Danielle shows you how to throw a rustic dinner party with organic flowers and creative design elements from around your house. (Nick Scott/MNN)


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Danielle: Hi, I’m Danielle Venokur from dvGreen and today we are going to be talking about how to design a rustic diner party with lots of influences from nature, from the past and from stuff pulled from throughout your house.
OK, so for the rustic dinner party, we really took this word “rustic” pretty seriously.
It’s great to come up with a theme I find because it just helps you just get inspiration for designing your table.
So what we did here was I went upstate and I, in the forest, found a fallen birch tree and took the birch bark and used that as an inspiration for the entire table décor.
So obviously, we’re going to get a real natural feel using that as our foundation.

And then, just going through the centerpiece for you, all the flowers here are either local or certified organic. So, we’ve got some spray roses here and some gaudacia here, from the local farmers market. So we are supporting our local farms. And then, these white roses here are certified organic flowers. A lot of local florists are starting to carry certified organic flowers too, so those are great options for the flowers.

Our farmers market flowers are in this vintage vase. It is actually a sugar holder, but for the night we took out the sugar, put it in something separate and used this for the table décor. So it’s really great to use things that you have around the house or vintage items to introduce into the table, rather than buying things that you are going to use for one night.

Other items, like this, are these cool, beautiful vegetables and fruits. there’s one there and we have these citrus fruits that are so interesting and again, from farmers markets, you are supporting the local vendors and then at the end of the meal, you take this and for tomorrow’s dinner, you can throw it in a pot steam it like cauliflower.

Here, you can see these adorable, little pinecone candles. These are from the Bee Man Candle Company and they are pure beeswax, which is an incredible alternative to paraffin candles. Most candles, which are made from paraffin, are petroleum based, so you want to try to avoid that.  And they smell great.

So other aspects of the table that make it specifically eco-friendly and a little bit interesting, include the napkins, which are all made from vintage scarves. I love this idea and I think it is a really fun idea that anyone can do...  And what we did, we took vintage scarves and we took linen and we sewed them together. So you have one side is a usable napkin and the other side are these interesting scarves, which some of them came from my closet, some from my mother’s closet… So you get this very fun, a lot of introduction of a lot of unique color. And again, it’s a really cool thing to just have on the table, and obviously you can re-use these again and again, which is better than using a disposable napkin.

Our final accent on each napkin was this Cream City Ribbon. So this is a cotton-based made in the U.S., totally biodegradable and all the dyes are water-based. So it is super easy, you just cut it off the roll. It is this already in this form you just kind of slip it right through this napkin, and it is a great little accent.

And that is our rustic dinner table. Enjoy.




















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Danielle Venokur, creator of a Manhattan-based sustainable event planning company, hosts MNN's "The Green Party." In this series, Danielle offers her easy and elegant ideas for hosting intimate gatherings and big events in an eco-friendly way. Danielle has mastered the art of blending stylish and hip while being sustainable and responsible. You can learn about her party style by looking at other chapters of "The Green Party" video series.


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