Architects and designers call it “adaptive reuse”—I call it savvy uses for what you already own.
Did you make a New Year’s resolution? I did, and for once I think I can actually stick to it (unlike that “use less butter” one I made two years ago). This year, I have vowed to shop less for home décor and kitchen accoutrements and to find new and savvy uses for things I already own but that do not get used every day. I have a complete and utter love (or obsession, if you ask my husband) for all things entertaining related.
Each day, as I walk by one of my china cabinets (I may have six—shhhh!), there is a beautiful French soup tureen that just begs to be used. Pure white porcelain with lion head details and an elegant profile—it is probably one of my favorite pieces. Upon a closer observation, it is just a bowl, a vessel that can hold anything, not just soup! I was planning a dinner party a few days ahead and wanted to surprise my guests with an arrangement for the coffee table (where cocktails would be served) that wasn't my normal low-lying flower ball. Since soup was not on the menu, I imagined my tureen could be my “vase”! My thought wasn't even complete, but I bundled up and headed out to my local grocery store in search for my favorite flower—white hydrangeas.
- Cut a piece of floral foam (oasis) to fit the size of your tureen (or other vessel). It does not have to completely fill the interior, but should be large enough to rest securely on the base of your container.
- Fill your kitchen sink with tepid water. Place the foam on top of the water and allow it to gradually soak up water, until it is completely submerged. Gently remove the foam from the water and place it into your vessel.
- Cut the stems of your blooms, on a diagonal, to the desired length. This will ensure each bloom can drink the most water.
- Arrange flowers as you would in a vase, pushing each stem into the foam to the desired depth.
- Add small amounts of water to the foam daily to ensure flowers are kept as fresh as possible.
**TIP: Floral foam is very forgiving. If you don’t like the shape you created using the flowers, gently pull the flowers out and start again!
If flowers are too fussy, try these other ideas:
- Line a tureen with a linen napkin and use as a bread basket
- An elegant fruit bowl
- A cache pot (think how elegant an orchid would look!)
- An ice bucket with silver tongs for cocktail parties
- A silver tray filled with canapés set on top adds height to a food table or buffet
- As a punch bowl filled with my Pear and Orange Punch
- As a serving bowl – pasta, mashed potatoes, and of course soup
My original article was on VRAI Magazine - January 2015