Colorful Summer Centerpieces | Midwest Living

Colorful Summer Centerpieces

These creative centerpieces and table decorating ideas are perfect for summer entertaining.
  • Sweet succulents

    Glass cloches highlight a dusty green succulent as a simple centerpiece. Delicate pink flowers in tiny tinted vases add to the sweet appeal.

  • Enchanting illumination

    Tiny tea lights add mystery and romance to any outdoor event. Line the tea lights in a moss-covered tray for elegance. Silver accessories glimmer in the candlelight.

  • Marigold mix

    Marigold mix

    Use large marigolds like 'Giant Orange' Africans to anchor an arrangement that includes a mix of other, smaller flowers and greenery. In addition to 'Giant Orange,' this McCoy vase holds 'Tangerine Gem' marigolds, Zinnia 'Queen Red Lime', 'Yves Piaget' roses and two scented geraniums: 'Concolor Lace' and 'Lady Plymouth.' 

  • bouquet

    Everlasting charm

    Combine dried flowers, such as sea lavender and dreamy white statice, with small echeverias and graptosedums in this hand-tied bouquet. Add flair with red-edge protea flowers and air plants. Be careful with fragile dried flower stems; they may need to be wired, just as stemless succulent rosettes do. A burlap ribbon adds charm to the arrangement. 

  • Floating bouquet

    A kaleidoscope of blooms orbit around a single white candle in this portable floral night light. Fill a large galvanized bucket with water and arrange flowers with moss as the filler.

  • Tabletop clutch

    Nearly everything tastes better with a sprinkle of freshness. Garnish your table with clutches of fresh herbs in vintage mustard tins. Pour some water in the bottom so the cuttings won't wilt. Serve bruschetta, pasta or salad and encourage guests to liven entrees with snips from the herbs. Make several and send them home with guests as tasty party favors.

  • Eye candy

    A buttercup yellow dahlia blooms from a dessert bowl. Highlight each place setting with a summer bloom and a colorful napkin.

  • Fun and colorful

    Tie together fresh-cut brunia, succulent rosettes and dried flowers such as statice and strawflowers to make a rainbow bouquet. Use a bright ribbon to bring it all together, secured with pearl-head florists pins. 

  • Edible centerpiece

    Edible bouquet

    In a large clear container, what’s in the water is as important as what is above it. Distilled water in a clean glass vase shows off scrubbed carrots and kohlrabi with leaves attached, along with large branches of green cherry tomatoes. A vintage silver-plated tray under the vase reflects light into the arrangement.

  • Sweet and simple

    White hydrangeas look lovely in recycled cans. Continue the recycling theme by reusing newspaper sections as place mats. For this black-and-white setting, the arts section sets a classy tone. For a more festive look, use the comics.

  • Sunny setting

    Scattered sunflowers seem to grow from a burlap-covered table. Green-and-brown tableware continue the earthy theme, while sky-blue jars hold candles.

  • Soft touch

    Rather than play up marigolds' bold nature, create an arrangement with more subtle tones by using only yellow and dusky purple flowers. Here, a milk-vase compote elevates a combo of Tagetes patula 'Vanilla', Delphinium consolida 'Earl Gray', Nigella damascena, Daucus carota var. sativus 'Black Knight', Persian carpet zinnias, Salvia officinalis 'Berggarten', and golden raspberries.  

  • Mossy masterpiece

    A rectangular planter looks nice on a long picnic table, and fresh moss adds a lush, natural feel. Scatter gray river rocks around the planter and embellish with attractive insect-repelling candles for a carefree evening.

  • Summer sweetness

    Beachy colors of blue and yellow take to the porch in this summertime setting. Silver lanterns add sparkle, but for a spark of surprise, we left the candles outside and filled the lantern with sunny yellow lemons for this luncheon.

  • Country casual

    Red-and-white linens and cheery sunflowers set the tone for a casual country table. Tie up napkins with a sprig of herbs like parsley or cilantro.

  • Throwback florals

    Old metal boxes and lunch pails make great vintage holders for your favorite indoor arrangements. White hydrangeas, viburnum, and paperwhites complement any color container. Display the planter on a vintage dish for added style.

  • bouquet

    Small but sweet

    Add contrasting color and texture to an array of blue and green echeverias with sunny yellow Craspedia. Use vivid green Artemsia annua as a fun filler. For this small bouquet, a sturdy glass works best. 

  • Video: How to create a succulent arrangement

    A cake stand and some florist’s moss provide a simple foundation for this stunning succulent display that works great as a centerpiece.

  • Radish centerpiece

    Radish appeal

    A vintage silver water pitcher shows off bundles of red and white radishes, secured with rubber bands around the stems. Radish leaves and red onions sporting roots add more color and texture to this arrangement of edibles.

  • Joyful rose bouquet

    Bundle a bunch of open roses in a short, wide vase for a fragrant addition to your table. Complement some deep pink roses with a splash of brightness, in this case white- and salmon-colored blooms.

  • Garden afloat

    For colorful centerpieces, collect an assortment of fruit and flowers, put in clear vases or large low bowls and fill with water. Float candles over the arrangements. 

  • Sand, candles and starfish

    For a glowing evening, fill hurricane vases with sand and fat white candles. Place the candle keepers in the center of your table, and after your meal, use them to line porch steps or define the edges of a patio or walkway.

  • Succulent centerpiece

    Succulent centerpiece

    For casual flair, use a variety of succulents as a centerpiece. Try displaying them in the same type of pot but in different sizes. Bonus: They'll last much longer than cut flowers! 

  • Nice slice

    A playful mosaic of fresh citrus slices makes inexpensive glass flower vases look as refreshing as lemonade.

    Start by nesting a small vase inside a large one (we used 4- and 6-inch square vases). Slip lemon and/or lime slices between the two; fill the gap with water. We completed our centerpiece with an arrangement of punchy peonies, roses, salvias, alliums, geraniums and orchids.

  • Artichoke flowers

    A bouquet of baby artichokes makes a nice alternative to flowers.

    Cut stems short and poke in floral picks or wooden skewers. Fit the pitcher with floral foam to anchor the skewers, then arrange like flowers. To keep your bouquet fresh longer, store in the fridge at night.

  • Spice up the table

    For a striking centerpiece that's super easy, surround a glass hurricane lamp with a jumble of the day's most colorful veggies. Go for contrasts in color, shape, and texture, and mound the pieces around the lamp, starting with the largest ones. Green beans, chile peppers and cherry tomatoes make great accents. Fill in with garden-fresh herb sprigs.

  • Serene scene

    Create a place for an al fresco meal by throwing down a rug. Gather comfy chairs around the table set with wine and cheese.

  • Some assembly required

    Create a DIY table by placing wood slabs across concrete columns as a base. Top with casual place settings and posies in jars. 

  • Backyard feast

    Set the scene for a summer backyard feast with bouquets of bright sunflowers, casual red-and-white table linens, and strategically placed tea candles and large bottles of chilled water. 

  • Easy flower centerpiece

    Bottled up

    Create an inexpensive centerpiece from single stems displayed in mixed glassware. 

  • Wine and dine

    Green glasses with white wine perfectly complement this table's elegant color scheme. For the centerpiece, a vintage watering can holds the leafy ivory hydrangeas. A homemade chandelier of candles and moss hangs above.

  • Natural appeal

    Keep the ambience natural with elements such as a handsome wooden table topped with a natural-fiber tablecloth. A terra-cotta pot holds herbs. Freshly baked bread makes a mouthwatering centerpiece for this dinner party.

  • Tranquil table

    Set a serene tone with natural elements. A leafy variegated hosta stands out against slabs of dark slate. Scattered small stones provide muted tones and simple adornment to the otherwise austere table. Reserve some stones as placeholders personalized with silver paint pen.

  • Garden's glory

    Display a rainbow of garden blooms in a colorful assortment of glassware. Continue the whimsical arrangements with alternating colors and patterned placemats. Mingle in the season's fruits — peaches, strawberries and blueberries — for fresh decor.

  • Daisies and denim

    Dark blue denim serves as a table runner for this casual dinner. Terra cotta pots hold chimneys and candles that seem to grow from the pebbles. Tiny pots of daisies sit atop individual plates.

  • Sunny centerpiece

    A loaf of bread makes a unique pot, while a handle of fresh rosemary provides a hint of green and a delightful fragrance. Fill with sunflowers or other large blooming flowers.

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