I’ve mentioned before that our dining room table is a workhorse. We use our table every single day and, because it it so well-used, it often becomes a dumping ground of sorts for homework, toys, mail, magazines, purses, etc. It is also a room that is basically the center of our lower level. You must pass through it frequently to move through the house. For this reason I try valiantly to keep it as clutter-free as possible (and fail miserably most days!) However, one trick I have learned is to try to keep some sort of decorative centerpiece situated on the table. This way I can easily sweep the accumulation off the table and hide it away when guests come over so the table looks instantly presentable.
Now, when I say I keep a centerpiece on my table let my make myself super clear that I am NOT talking ornate. If you have it in you to go ornate in your space then I give you all the credit, but in our house I tend to keep it simple and easy because 1) I’m always in a rush, ALWAYS!, and 2) I just don’t want to spend $$$. In the Fall a bowl or wooden board of gourds, colorful leaves or my favorite velvet decorative pumpkins does the trick. For the holidays I fill a silver champagne bucket with a full poinsettia. Spring can be a simple small bouquet of white tulips. I add just enough to freshen the space without it being too overwhelming. As the summer season sets in, I find myself repeating an easy, DIY centerpiece of which I blatantly stole the inspiration from a decor piece in one of my favorite wine bars from my pre-children, “I used to go to cool places” days living in Dallas, Texas.
This centerpiece is so easy to put together, doesn’t cost a lot of money, lasts for several months, and can be up-cycled when you are ready to make a change.
First you need a vessel to hold your centerpiece. In the wine bar, this piece was very large. It was in a wooden trough-like bowl taking up the top of a console table. I have opted for a smaller, more manageable size in my home but feel free to go big! It was so pretty in a large scale. I recommend a shallow bowl or platter, but really, your options are limitless. Use your imagination for what works best for you. Second, you need corks. Lots and lots of corks! So start saving those wine corks! Ask your friends to save theirs, host some wine parties, do whatever you need to do to get your hands on some corks.
Once you generously fill your vessel with the corks, start your next layer. I use driftwood purchased several years ago from Hobby Lobby.
Scatter the driftwood for a natural and uncluttered look.
Your next layer consists of my one of my favorite house plants and decor elements, air plants. I love air plants! They are very easy to maintain, you can place them anywhere, and they add an instant pop of green, texture and natural visual element to any space. For this centerpiece I recommend choosing an assortment of air plants in varying sizes. For this particular piece I used one gorgeous large air plant and three smaller ones.
Place the air plants around the driftwood, on top of your cork layer.
For the final touch, tuck a few river rocks randomly around your air plants and driftwood. I purchased this canister of river rocks at Crate & Barrel years ago but you can find them easily at hobby stores or online.
With proper care this centerpiece can last indefinitely. Simply soak your air plants in room temperature water for about 5-10 minutes every 1 to 2 weeks, let them fully air dry and place back in your centerpiece. It’s almost too easy. When you are ready for a change in centerpiece you can “upcycle” your air plants by moving them to another place in your home as a decorative element. Since these magical plants don’t require being planted in dirt, you can honestly set them anywhere.
So thank you Dallas wine bar whose name I can’t even remember for the inspiration, and thank you to my younger self for checking out the decor everywhere and filing this one in the “keeper” folder of my brain! I hope this simple centerpiece is one you try in in your space!