Holiday Decorations

Thanksgiving Centerpieces and Table Decoration Ideas

November 20, 2015

Pear Table Place Setting

Think of your tabletop as a blank canvas on which you will create your “tablescape” art. You choose your mediums as any artist would—your surface, linens, flowers and candles. The layering of colors and textures, adding personal touches, all play a part in the delight and ambiance that a beautifully designed table brings to a special occasion. Go as big or as simple as you want! This is your masterpiece, and should represent you and tell the story that you want told.

Let’s start with simple! Here are a few easy, creative and inexpensive ideas that I hope will provide some inspiration to get you started on your tablescape art.

Fresh Flower Wreath Centerpiece

Floral Wreath Centerpiece Close-Up

Wreaths are one of my favorite design styles for a more traditional centerpiece. Having the center of the wreath open provides endless opportunities for additional personalization. Here I used a beautiful amber Fenton glass vase as a candleholder. I think the amber glow is the perfect complement to the rich hues of the seasonal flowers in the wreath.

Recipe for Floral Wreath Centerpiece

When creating a fresh floral wreath I like to use flowers that air-dry nicely. Using flowers such as the varieties featured in this photo can extend the “life” of your centerpiece by weeks.

Succulent Wreath Centerpiece

Some varieties of hydrangeas dry better than others. The variety that dries the best and is featured in the wreath pictured above is known as an “antique hydrangea”. It is typically soft moss green with burgundy edging and works beautifully with all of the rich colors of autumn.

Fall Wreath Centerpiece Top-Down View

This wreath is all about the vibrant and saturated colors of the season. In order to create the perfect backdrop for this intensity I chose to keep everything else very neutral. A burlap table runner on a natural wood farm table and wooden chargers holding amber depression glass plates let this centerpiece take center stage!

How to Make your Flower Wreath Centerpiece:

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NY Bloggers Help Bring Back the Centerpiece

November 19, 2015

CARLE PLACE, NY – I always enjoy a good party, and with Thanksgiving just around the corner, on November 12, 2015 I was fortunate enough to help host a “Bring Back the Centerpiece” party for local New York bloggers/writers. At the event held in the Design Studio, each blogger was able to design their very own Thanksgiving centerpiece and add their own creative flair!

To further the bloggers’ floral design experience, I brought some help! One of our extremely talented 1-800-Flowers franchisee owners, AnnMarie of Imperial Florist in Baldwin, NY, joined the party to help the bloggers craft their masterpieces. AnnMarie is also part of the Local Artisan program, which allows florists to showcase their truly original arrangements on the site.


From Left to Right: Jane Morales, owner of Long Island Mamas; Alejandra Ramos, owner of Always Order Dessert; Julie Mulligan; AnnMarie, florist at Imperial Florist; Kimberly Thomas, owner of Valley Stream Mom; and Rachel Weingarten from

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Halloween, Holiday Decorations

Candy Corn

October 6, 2015

Candy Corn Flower Arrangement

Let’s keep the iconic-Halloween-symbol-3D-floral-design thing going! This time, it’s all about the candy corn. Does anyone actually eat candy corn, or is it just for crafts and decor projects? Whatever people do with candy corn, they do a lot of it; according to the National Confectioners Association, approximately 25 million pounds of candy corn are sold annually! That’s a lot of kernels… so plug in those glue guns and get crafty! Here are a few decor ideas and a few candy-inspired beverages for young and old ghouls and goblins!

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Fall Decor

It’s Pumpkin Time!

October 5, 2015

Flower Pumpkin Centerpiece

Pumpkins are popping up everywhere! I find these autumn gourds to be as versatile as Mason jars when it comes to the seemingly infinite DIY possibilities! From Halloween right through Thanksgiving you can use pumpkins for seasonal recipes and truly original decorating. You can carve them, paint them, stencil, and découpage them! You can even make your own “pumpkin” entirely out of fresh flowers, creating a beautiful statement piece for a dinner party or any autumn celebration or get-together!

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Fall Decor

Creative Ideas on How to Reuse Fall & Pumpkin Vases

October 5, 2015

Last year, introduced this gorgeous ceramic pumpkin container with a removable lid. It was such a hit that we’ve brought it back again this year. I love the naturalness of the color, and the matte finish gives it a sophisticated look that works throughout the entire fall season. It’s a keepsake container that you’ll look forward to using every year in many different ways, filling it with candy, plants or flowers. Even if you don’t have this exact pumpkin container to reuse, these tips below can help spark ideas for any similar container to decorate for fall.

Pumpkin Flower Centerpiece

Look how easy it is to set a festive table! Pick up a bouquet of orange roses, cut the stems short, fill the pumpkin with water and drop the flowers in! Make sure you change the water every other day to ensure the flowers have a fresh supply for a longer life.

Using a bright floral table runner with mere touches of orange lets the pumpkin and roses really pop!

Pumpkin Vase Close-Up


Holiday Decorations

Celebrating Grandparents Day

August 21, 2015

Being a grandparent is the best excuse to be a kid again! At least one afternoon a week I plan some type of creative activity to do with my granddaughter Juliette – watercolor painting, calligraphy, planting a fairy garden, and one of my all time favorites – coloring! According to Digital Trends website, adult coloring books are the latest, and definitely least techy, method that people are choosing to help relax! In the past few weeks anywhere from four to eight of the top 20 best selling books on Amazon are coloring books!

Grandma Coloring with Granddaughter

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Coastal Chic Color Palette

August 11, 2015

Coastal Inspiration- Summer Entertaining

Beach Inspired Decor for a Summer Soiree

Keep your floral varieties classic, such as roses and orchids, and use just one variety per arrangement and mass it out for maximum impact.

Coastal Flowers- Roses in a Conch Shell

To design in a large shell simply place a piece of saturated floral foam in the opening of the shell, cut the floral stems short and insert into the floral foam until the entire opening is filled with flowers.

Coastal Table Placecards That Are as Easy as a Summer Breeze

Coastal Orchids and Table Placecards

Do the same thing with other containers such as the white ceramic pedestal bowl filled with bronze dendrobium orchids. Buy full stems of orchids and cut each flower off of the main stem and insert into the wet foam that you have placed in the container. If the container isn’t waterproof simply add a plastic liner first before placing the foam and making the arrangement.

Sand dollars make the perfect place cards. Tucking a single cymbidium under the sand dollar brings it altogether for a customized look that’s sure to impress!

Holiday Decorations

Labor Day: A Time to Honor the American Worker

August 6, 2015

The History of Labor Day

While Labor Day signals the end of summer for many—and the weekend is often filled with beach parties, barbecues and picnics—I’m guessing that most people don’t think about the historical and lasting significance of Labor Day.

Celebrated since 1882, Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894 to honor the contributions of the working men and women who built this country. Indeed, laborers are the backbone of this nation, and Labor Day is a time to recognize the dignity of work and the belief that honest, fairly-compensated labor gives meaning and structure to our lives. This is, and always will be, a core American value.

Celebrating the American Worker

This Labor Day, I want to honor Mary Doyle Keefe. As the model for Norman Rockwell’s “Rosie the Riveter,” Mary Doyle Keefe became the symbol of American women working on the home front during World War II. Ms. Keefe died recently at her home in Simsbury, Connecticut at age 92.

There was another image, similar to that of Rosie, at the same time that was part of a nationwide campaign to sell war bonds. While not the same character, the message was the same: “We Can Do It.”

Rosie the Riveter Flower Arrangement

I created this beautiful bouquet for Mother’s Day one year using an old galvanized toolbox as the container and filled it with a variety of garden flowers. There are many versions of the original “We Can Do It” image. I loved this version with the baby being held in the strong arm of the working woman. To me, it says so much about the many roles a woman plays.

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Holiday Decorations

Sister’s Day and Friendship Day

July 30, 2015

This Sunday—August 2nd—is both Sister’s Day and Friendship Day. Peggy is my sister, and she’s also my best friend… and I can’t imagine my life without her. One of the things that I love most about Peggy is her laughter and how much we laugh when we are together. She’s just like our mom was in that way.

Sisters Day Quote and Flowers

This post is in honor of my sister. The photo was taken on a recent road trip along the California coast. Our husbands are the two men in the picture who are oblivious to the fact that Peggy has fallen! Peggy and I were laughing so hard we could hardly breathe, but I did manage to capture the moment! The fresh cut flowers in a vintage blue mason jar and the Sandra Magsamen artisan plaque are the perfect way for me to send a smile to Peggy this Sister’s Day!

Let your sister(s) and your very best girlfriends know how important they are to you.
1-800 makes it easy with a collection of gifts starting at as little as $10 including delivery! Here are a few of my favorites. Go to our Sister’s Day or Friendship Day Collections to see these products and more!


Blue flowers, sandra magsamen quote plaques


French Country Floral Decor

July 27, 2015

Flowers for Summer Entertaining

Are you planning a summer celebration or simple get together? Whether it’s a backyard barbecue, picnic in the park, or pool party, flowers can make it an event to remember. Here are some examples of my favorite summer styles and themes from French Country to Coastal Living and Poolside Cabana with a little American Farmer’s Market and Tropical Paradise thrown in for good measure!

Add a Touch of French Country Décor to your Table

French Country Floral Centerpiece

The French Country style of decorating, with its warm and casual feel, will easily fool your guests into thinking that they’re dining al fresco in the fields of Provence. The easiest way to create this look is to use rustic, Old World style containers brimming with fresh cut flowers. The most iconic French flowers that I would recommend using are sunflowers and, if available, fresh lavender. French Country style incorporates the full spectrum of the color wheel: sunny yellow and soft gold, fiery red and burnt rust, bright grass green and dark hunter green, cobalt blue soft ocean tones—all of these shades are found in this wonderful decorating style.

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