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A floral arrangement is the finishing touch on any event, and shows that you’ve thought through the smaller details. We’ve put together 7 clever ideas for using flowers and plants to wow your guests at your next dinner party.

DETAILS: It's the details (and company!) that make for a memorable dinner party.

Photo by Miss Glass Styling

When you live in Melbourne (or any gorgeous cosmopolitan city) it’s easy to get caught up eating out whenever it’s time to catch up with friends. It makes sense: when you have every cuisine you can think of on your doorstep and you don’t need to cook or clean, it’s tempting to forget about the classic dinner party. But when you do plan a soiree at home with some of your favourite people, make it even more special by focusing on little details, like your floral arrangement, that has a big impact.


The main event will usually be your centrepiece, although it doesn’t have to be an obstacle your guests navigate around in the middle of your table. Start your party in a casual room, such as your living room, with a fantastic cheese platter, wine and a bouquet displayed on your coffee table.

READ: Style the perfect cheese platter

Alternatively, break up your bouquet into smaller bunches and trim down the stems. Arrange them around the dinner table or together in the centre in a handful of short vases for a unique centrepiece that won’t get in the way of conversation.

SIMPLE: Mix and match your colours and textures. The bright red pop of the chrysanthemum plays beautifully against the burgundy hues of the wine and grapes, and the softer, secondary pale pink of the rose. Photo by Miss Glass Styling.


When you move into the dining room, it’s a great idea to tie the theme together by adding a matching floral corsage to your napkins in the middle of a plate. The beauty of this trick is you’ll always have a fresh napkin ring for every dinner party, and these tiny details won’t be missed by your guests.

Besides - unless you’re an expert swan folder, a regular folded napkin can be pretty boring.


​When selecting a floral arrangement, choose colours that will complement your décor, tableware and even your meal. If you’re serving up a specific cuisine, select flowers that reflect the culture or work well with the colours in your food.

Remember your high school art classes and choose flowers at the opposite side of your décor’s colour wheel for a dramatic pop of colour.

If you’re unsure, chat to your florist – they’re experts at putting together unusual colour and texture combinations and if you mention the napkin corsage, they’ll find delicate flowers that can be used in both a vase and as a detail.

COMPLIMENTARY: Choosing flowers and foliage that compliment each other tie together your overall dinner table look. Photo by Miss Glass Styling.


​Kill two birds with one stone: instead of relying on scented candles to make your home smell beautiful and inviting, take advantage of heavily scented flowers that will disperse their fragrance throughout your space.

Oriental Lillies have a beautiful, strong scent that will welcome your guests before you do. For something a little different, choose the Muscadet species rather than the supermarket pink variety. They smell just as sweet but only have a smattering of pink.

Keep in mind that strong scented flowers may conflict with the scents and flavours of your meal or irritate sensitive guests. Jonquils, while beautiful and fresh can smell slightly astringent after a while, and are best left growing in the garden.


​Like your food, seasonal flowers work best and are cheaper (not to mention lower on transportation kilometre’s). Most florists will primarily stock seasonal flowers unless specifically ordered in, resulting in fresher, longer-lasting flowers.

If you’ve got a local farmer’s market to buy your produce, pick up a cheaper bunch at one of the flower stands.

HOT TIP: If you go towards the end of the day, usually on a Sunday, you might be lucky enough to score $5 bunches of super fresh flowers. South Melbourne Market is one such gold mine.

TEXTURE: The simple green and white colour palette is given life with interesting textures and detail. Photo by Miss Glass Styling.


​Australian native flowers have a wonderful reputation for not only being beautiful, but also resilient – and with good cause. Anything that grows naturally in our sunburnt country is going to be tough!

From the iconic Waratah or spiky Grevillea to the fluffy, dusty pink Protea, we are fortunate enough to have some amazing native flowers that you’ll enjoy long after your guests have left.

SIMPLE: A garland of natives leaves down the length of a table is a simple yet effective way to add colour and detail to your table, ready for your guests. Photo by Miss Glass Styling.


​If flowers aren’t your thing, add a pillar candle to the centre of a leafy wreath or focus on leaves and greenery to add eye-catching texture to your table.

Alternatively, enjoy a terrarium centrepiece on the dinner table: they’re gorgeous and add a wonderful pop of colour without being a hindrance to guests chatting across the table. They’re easy maintenance, quirky and look great in almost any room of the house (including the bathroom!)

IMPRESSIVE: Sourcing some coloured cutlery and glassware with complimentary white and green flowers will impress your guests. Photo by Marnie Hawson Weddings.

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