No matter what kind of dinner, if we sit at our dining table, I need to put something in the center. It’s just a must as the table, to me, looks bare and unfinished when set otherwise.

But, centerpieces are challenging recently. When we had lots of space and a table that seated twelve, I found it easy to spread out and create center pieces that were 3-4 feet long.

But now, our dining table seats just six, and there is really only room for a centerpiece which takes up very little space and it must be narrow. This configuration just allows the placement of a charger and wine glasses and the center piece.

As we were having guests for dinner recently, I started looking for ideas a week or so in advance and came up empty. But, funny how things work out, after morning of chores, we had stopped for lunch, and as we are looking out over the street, I saw a dollar store directly across the road! Dollar stores are usually good for any number of items from balloons to kitchen stuff, to fake flowers, to tea towels, you name it. I was pretty sure I would find something.

Sure enough, on the shelf next to the last aisle, I found the perfect thing. Shiny, tiny, buckets with handles. I originally picked up three, then thought better of it and went back for two more. I was less circumspect for the two additional buckets and it was not until I got home and I unstacked them that I found the handle missing from one of them. Unfortunate, but on the other hand, I paid $1.25 for each, so a definite bargain and perfect for what I was looking for. I placed the handle less bucket in the center.

Good fortune continued as next door to the dollar store, was one of the flower shops that I used back in the day when I bought flowers by the bucket! And, again, I was lucky, because they had tiny succulents that fit inside the bucket perfectly, pot and all.

I think that this was a great solution. We set the table, no cloth this time, with silver colored chargers, which matched my silver colored tiny buckets. I think it looked great. Just a simple centerpiece, which lasts.

I am always on the lookout for these kinds of things and on a recent trip to the Danforth, we walked past a shop that had some little black and white containers, of just the right size, perfect for the next centerpiece. These were more expensive, they were $2.50 each. How can you go wrong?

Incidentally, I know how you can eliminate center pieces, just serve family style and use your platters as the focal point of your table. Unfortunately, if I placed platters on our table, there would be no room for plates, so I carry on with my center piece tradition. Originally for very large tables, and now for a very small table. Center pieces are still required.


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