If anyone knows simple, lovely table centerpieces, it's Martha Stewart (and the people that work for Martha). Our number one favorite based on look and cost: displaying fruit (or anything you'll eat anyway) in either the most basic or creative ways. Here's a selection of our favorite Martha-inspired ideas, all of which are definitely more traditional than cutting edge, but always on the mark:
Above, clockwise from top left:
Vegetable Basket: Small carrots, red and white potatoes, turnips, and radishes rest on a bed of sheet moss.
Basic Candles: Candles surrounded by flower petals
Bleached Pinecones Basket: The distinctive plate-gold and brown of these pinecones is the result of bleaching. For contrast, we coated this new basket with green spray paint, and then lined the edge with a garland made from budded incense cedar.
Gilded Pear Baskets: Gold-painted pears look straight out of a fairy tale. This gold dust, however, isn't magic -- it's available at baking-supply stores. Magnolia leaves are also transformed with gold, in the form of floral paint. A beribboned, gold-dusted fruit welcomes each guest to the table.
Lilies and Needles: Double-sided tape and pine needles transform an ordinary glass vase into an ideal container for crisp white lilies. Use these inventive creations as the center of attention at your winter occasions.
Evergreen: Assemble evergreens into an elegant winter centerpiece. Accentuate the needles, leaves, and pinecones by filling your container with as many branches as possible.
Glitter Candles: These candles light up the room even without a flame, thanks to a dusting of superfine metallic glitter. To make: Place a few in a large box and coat with spray adhesive (sold at crafts stores). Spoon glitter over the candles to coat; let dry overnight.