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Center of attention

Creative centerpieces for the Thanksgiving holiday can be simple with a little planning. Experts suggest keeping it simple to save time and money. Many items can be found around the house to create an eye-popping display. -- Special photo

With Thanksgiving a week away, food preparation takes first priority for some. But when you’re shopping for the main course or side dishes, don’t neglect the space where your food will set. Spice up your Turkey Day with a unique and inviting centerpiece.

Home and Garden experts say adding the right centerpiece can add eye-popping glitz and glamour to your Thanksgiving table, especially when you’re short on time and cash. Experts encourage you to keep it simple by using what’s on hand. Local interior designer Belinda Roper said there are several things one can do to spruce up the table.

“Pine cones are the easiest thing,” Roper said. “You can get them outside, spray paint them to your liking or leave them natural. (Also) magnolia leaves; you can take them and put them under pinecones and the cost is zero because you get it off the tree.”

Using artificial flowers or candles, Roper said, can also be a nice touch.

“If you bunch them (flowers) together, you can create a masterpiece,” Roper said. “You can put (a) pillar candle in the middle of magnolia leaves and build up leaves, and you can put pine cones around it.”

Depending on where you shop, candles and spray paint won’t even put a dent in your wallet, Roper said.

“For the basics, $5 tops,” Roper said. “Bigger candles will be more and more accents will cost more.”

Home and Garden writer and housewife Prerna Malik said whatever the decorations, make sure the project is family oriented.

“At the end of the day, remember that Thanksgiving is a time for family to come together and celebrate the bounties of life, so fussing too much over the table decorations can take the fun out of the celebrations,” Malik said. “Involve the kids and other family members in the decorating process and sit back to enjoy the simple, yet personal Thanksgiving decorations.”

Malik gives the following decorating tips for the perfect table décor.

Create Thanksgiving décor with family. Decide on a décor or color theme and work your way around it. Choose autumn colors like yellow, orange, red or cream. Have family members or children pick leaves in these colors and stick them on place cards.

Use fruits and vegetables. This is appropriate because the Thanksgiving meal symbolizes gratitude for the harvest bounty. Bunches of colorful pumpkins or bouquets of squashes, greens or fruits, will look beautiful.

Use floral centerpieces and arrangements. If you don’t want to use fruits and vegetables, flowers and candles can easily add color and life to the table. Make your own dry or fresh flower arrangements with flowers from your garden. Use tapers or votives for a warm glow. Scent the air with homemade potpourri, herb sachets or incense. Remember to use your imagination.

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