With a father who is a florist and a fiance who is a chef, it seems only natural that I am attracted to the idea of using food as a centerpiece. The next time you have guests arriving on short notice, don’t sacrifice a beautiful tabletop simply because of time. Instead, mindfully arrange food items you already plan on serving down the center of your table in lieu of a more “traditional” (and potentially wasteful) centerpiece. For an impromptu summer lunch or brunch, consider arranging small baskets or bowls across your table that are filled with fresh, brightly colored fruits and vegetables (purchased from a local farmers' market) that guests will pick on while enjoying easy conversation. Organizing an evening get-together? Keep things simple yet stylish at your next dinner party by embracing the casual feel of Tuscany. Forgo a formal antipasto plate and instead scatter drinking glasses filled with breadsticks as well as small baskets and plates of fresh, organic olives, tomatoes, Italian meats, etc. to substitute a more structured centerpiece.
Photo: Martha Stewart