We used to sprinkle display-type items around the house: a few vases arranged on an end table, a decorative bowl on the coffee table, a pretty candle by the edge of the tub. Now the surfaces in our home can be divided into two categories: empty (to protect our belongings from the curious and clumsy hands of the toddler); or piled high with diapers, spit-up rags and toys.
But I'm vowing to add a third category this holiday season: tidied and topped with something simple and pretty. As a start, I dug out this little fall centerpiece I pulled together a few years ago, inspired by Martha Stewart. I love the mix of colors, textures and scents—the rustic imperfection. It's also self-contained, easily embellished and low-profile, so you can talk to your companion across the dinner table without interference.
Want to give it a try? Let me break it down.
You'll need a few bags of coffee beans, five or more round glass vases, raffia, a votive candle for each vase (I chose pumpkin spice, which is the only candle scent I can stomach) and a round or square pan or tray. Aside from the coffee beans, you should be able to find the supplies at Michael's or A.C. Moore.
Fill the vases with coffee beans.
Wind the raffia around each vase several times and knot.
Nestle a candle into each vase.
Locate the awesome copper pan your in-laws gave you—a memento from the years they lived in Iran. Don't have one? Any round or square pan or tray should do. Try to use something with interesting texture.
Place the vases into the pan and voila: you've got a simple fall centerpiece. Now you just have to find a tidy surface to display it...
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.
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