Keep in mind the size as well as the shape of the table when choosing a centerpiece.
For example with a large rectangle table seating 10 guests, you can be creative and do a longer narrow centerpiece, or use a piece in the center with two small items (candles, small replica of the piece in the center) on each side to create balance.
When you have a smaller party of 4 on a round table the centerpiece should be smaller and shorter as to leave room for the glassware, salt and pepper, wine bottle etc. You also want to make sure you leave plenty of room on the table to set the platters if you are serving dinner family style. However, it is important to always keep the centerpieces/candles low, not taller than 10 inches. You want to be able to see the entire face of the person sitting across from you.
It is a good idea to use low vessels for your centerpiece. Short vases or decorative bowls can be used. If you use a shallow bowl it is very practical to use florist foam to create your flower arrangement. Stay away from Highly scented flowers or candles. They will take away from the aromas of the food as well as the wine. It can also be very uncomfortable for guests that are sensitive to potent scents.
Here are some ideas for table decoration.
Take advantage of the seasons:
- Spring: lots of colorful flowers to choose from, tulips, daffodils, primavera, anemones, roses, herbs, short fruit tree branches in bloom
- Summer: Flowers, vegetables, herbs, foliage.
- Fall: Flowers, vegetables, gourds, foliage, herbs.
- Winter: Citrus fruits, herbs, flower, foliage.
Herbs are ideal for small centerpieces, Using a small round vessel with a narrow top, Rosemary in bloom mixed with lavender and thyme is simple, interesting and long lasting.
Stacking up a group of different shape and color gourds on a bed of leaves is a nice rustic look for a fall table. For dinner you can surround it with small votive candles.
Use your imagination, keep it low and not too fragrant, those are the main ingredients for a beautiful yet practical centerpiece.