Fall is traditionally the time to celebrate a bountiful harvest. Put that bounty on display by using beautiful fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors and textures to create a lavish centerpiece that spills across the table.
A symmetrical arrangement for the table's focal point makes a visually strong statement. In this case, the tall stacked centerpiece is flanked with two bouquets that were made with the same flowers and produce in vases that are the same size and color.
Flank a Thanksgiving dough bowl with pillar candles on plates, pedestals or candle stands. Wrap candles in twine or ribbon, and create a loose candle ring with elements from the dough bowl to tie the two decorative elements together.
If you don't have an antique wooden dough bowl at your disposal, many reproductions can be found at chain home decor stores. This idea would also work with a metal or wood trough, a crate or even a shallow basket. Just find something with the right shape and scale for your table.
Stack one cake plate or pedestal on top of another to create height at the center of the table. If you don't have a pedestal, stack a plate on top of an upside-down bowl, making sure it is stable. Arrange fruit, like grapes in bunches, along with nuts, small apples, pears and artichokes on the stacked plates.
Carry the centerpiece onto the plates with edible garnishes. An artichoke can make a great holder for a place card. Grapes and figs provide a little appetizer or even a healthy dessert. Tip: Keep a nutcracker and a bowl for shells on the table, so guests can sample the variety of nuts scattered on the table.
For added interest, mix fall fruits and vegetables with traditional flowers for a florist-worthy centerpiece. Persimmons, pears, apples and grapes are fruits to consider; squash, artichokes, asparagus and winter cabbage are good vegetable choices. Skewered with picks, the produce should look fresh in the arrangement as long as the flowers — about a week.
Instead of going to the pumpkin patch, head to the grocery store and see what produce inspires you. Small acorn and pattypan squash have almost the same shape as pumpkins, making them appropriate for an arrangement like this. Keep your options open. Figs, mini apples and pears, grapes and artichokes can all be used for decoration (and eaten later!).
Think outside of the fruit bowl and tuck some edible goodness into flower bouquets as well. Black grapes look striking against hydrangeas and eucalyptus leaves. Pinecones and mini artichokes still look "floral," but add a different texture. Play around with combinations to see what looks interesting. Tip: The grapes were simply nestled into this flower arrangement, but larger fruit can be stuck on wooden skewers.
To create a stylish centerpiece, fill a compote with water and whole limes, and tuck flowers – stripped of most stems – in amongst the limes. Pinecones, ornaments or fresh, colorful vegetables like artichokes and radishes also serve as sturdy anchors for blooms. In addition to candle-filled votives set casually on the table, succulents placed in water-filled votive cups make charming tabletop decorations.