5 Inspiring Ideas for a Modern Floral Fall: Cornucopias and Thanksgiving Tablescapes

Can you honor fall traditions in your own fresh and personal floral design way? You can—and appeal to conservative and free-spirited customers alike. That’s the lesson from Portland, Oregon, floral designer Meredith Cope. Her modern take on the 1,500-year-old cornucopia inspired four other ideas for contemporary autumn and Thanksgiving floral arrangements. Could these inspire you to try new and different materials to create a look completely yours?

Traditions do anchor us …

[rev_slider alias="thanksgiving-tablescapes-1"] “Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year and who doesn’t love a great cornucopia?” asks Meredith, who is a floral designer at Floral Sunshine in Portland. “This festive day brings us together with family and friends to pause in our busy lives and give gratitude. Not to mention we get to eat pie,” she adds with a smile. Meredith’s ‘Modern Cornucopia’ was chosen as the Most Inspirational Fall Holiday Floral Design in the OASIS Floral Products INSPIRE Floral Design Showcase. Design Director Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI recreated the design for the OASIS ad that featured it.

… but don't have to weigh us down

“I like traditional beauty with contemporary flair. I wanted to create the customary feeling of a cornucopia, yet update it with a modern look, “ Meredith explains. “The copper-colored flat wire freed me from using a traditional wicker cornucopia. The textures of the arrangement, some traditional and some non-traditional, help to make it especially appealing.” “I loved using a mix of smooth and rough textures,” Meredith continues. “Making the flat wire cornucopia armature was fun, and combining it with curly willow for stability was really effective. I also loved the warty yellow gourds with their fun long curly stems!” “What I appreciate about this design is that if you have the right tools on hand, you can easily whip it up. A 6" LOMEY® Designer Dish, a block of OASIS Floral Foam Maxlife, a roll of 1″ OASIS Flat Wire, Copper and you’re ready to go,” shares Meredith. “Rather than a random cornucopia basket that can only be used in the month of November, that same Lomey dish and flat wire can also be used the other eleven months of the year.” Meredith feels that this is a memorable design because she was able to take a traditional concept and make it modern for her clients who love the look of something unexpected. How can we add that unpredictable vibe to classic Thanksgiving centerpieces? Consider these five suggestions:

1. Create a Cornucopia

[rev_slider alias="thanksgiving-tablescapes-3"] The cornucopia has been a traditional symbol of abundance and prosperity since the fifth Century. In modern times, this historic shape often serves as a popular Thanksgiving centerpiece, expressing the year’s good fortune. Cornucopia is derived from two Latin words: cornu meaning horn and copia meaning plenty. According to legend, the horn of plenty of ancient times originally came from a goat. It was filled with an abundance of fruit and flowers and given as a gift of celebration. Thank goodness today we choose horn-shaped forms that aren’t quite as disgusting. Decorative materials like wicker, ceramic, wood, metal or woven vine are more popular choices for modern designs! Cornucopias are often filled with a textural mix of materials such as flowers, gourds, pumpkins, nuts, plants, leaves, fruits and vegetables, making it an attractive choice for a colorful Thanksgiving centerpiece.

2. Mix fruit and flowers

Fall is a great season for using the rich colors and textures found in nature. Cones, pods, vines, sticks, fruits, vegetables, stones, feathers, grasses, seashells and other natural materials can add visual interest to an otherwise typical Thanksgiving centerpiece. Insert wood picks into the fruits and veggies, etc., then into the floral foam to secure textural accents into your flower arrangements. When the pick absorbs the water from the wet foam, it will expand and lock the object into place. If the arrangement is heavy or needs to be delivered, apply FLORALOCK™ Plus Stem Adhesive to the foam to help hold the materials in place.

3. Be creative with containers

[rev_slider alias="thanksgiving-tablescapes-2"] Above are a series of fall arrangements by Smithers-Oasis Design Directors Frank Feysa AIFD, PFCI and Loann Burke AIFD, PFCI featuring interesting containers. These designs were created using OASIS decorative accents.

4. Offer DIY Thanksgiving Tablescapes

For customers who aren’t in love with cornucopias, suggest a Thanksgiving tablescape of natural materials. Design horizontal forms of layered moss, bark or branches for the tablescape base. Suggest the use of cake stands, old pottery or silver bowls, candlesticks and disks or chunks of wood for elevating gourds, fruits or vegetables to varied heights. Recommend filling in with greens and grains or cones and candles for accent. Create a grab-and-go display of these items in your store for easy access to DIY materials. Organize pre-matched collections of fresh flowers placed in OASIS™ Water Tubes that can be purchased and easily tucked in as a finishing touch on the client’s Thanksgiving table.

5. Paint those pumpkins

White and sage-colored pumpkins are all the rage for Thanksgiving this year, but don’t throw your traditional orange pumpkins away when Halloween is over. Dress them for the Thanksgiving table with a shiny new coat of gold, silver, copper or rose gold. Mix crystal, mercury glass or gold leaf decorative elements in this sales display to promote impulse DIY buys for creating an elegant tablescape. Meredith Cope’s inspiring idea for her Modern Cornucopia was to use new and different materials in creating a contemporary look for a traditional style. This helps to attract customers who prefer non-traditional designs. Encourage your staff to think beyond the wicker basket this Thanksgiving to create new and inventive designs. Interested in other Thanksgiving cornucopia or tablescape ideas? See these pins: pinterest.com/sharonmcgukin/thanksgiving-tablescapes-cornucopias What innovative floral design ideas can you share with your Thanksgiving customers?

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