Spring entertaining tips from "The Katie Brown Workshop"

Brown, who grew up in the Midwest, has some ideas on bringing the outside in that are especially helpful if you're worried about Chicago's unpredictable weather ruining your backyard or patio get together.

Katie has also partnered with Meijer stores to present two new signature lines to dress up your home and make entertaining easy and budget friendly. The Northern Shores Collection and The Orchard Collection include patio furniture, holiday décor, bed & bath textiles, kitchen cutlery, bake ware, home décor, lighting, and room organization tools.

Here are some ideas from Katie to give your spring or summer get-togethers a unique look or theme:


"There's nothing easier than taking one color and running with it! Create a monochromatic table top for your next gathering," Katie says.

Colored Water Arrangements:

Who says that vases are only good for grandiose floral arrangements? Katie says. Group glass vases of varying heights and fill them part way with water, and add a few drops of green food coloring into each one. Snip the buds off of a few green flowers like mums, carnations, or roses and place them in vases to float.

What You Will Need


  • A collection of low glass bowls and/or vases
  • Green Food Coloring
  • Flower Blooms
  • Tools
  • Spoon
  • Garden Clippers
  • Get Started

    1. Fill glass bowls with water and add several drops of food coloring to achieve vibrant color. Stir.

    2. Cut off heads of flowers and float them in bowls.

    Hints and Clues

    Food Coloring will not hurt your flowers, although their color might be slightly affected.

    Artichoke Easel: Who says that artichokes are only to be eaten? Create a simple (and not to mention textured) nametag by taking the head of an artichoke and sticking either a photo of your guest or a name card in between the leaves of the artichoke.

    Bath Salt Party Favors: I never let my guests leave empty handed! Send your company off with a bottle of homemade luxurious bath salts made from Epsom salt and essential oils.

    Give your favors a little burst of green by adding some herbs like eucalyptus, rosemary, or mint into the mix.


    Create a girly garden party for your friends! Katie advises.

    Floral Napkin Rings: Add a little flare to your table setting by dressing up your rolled dinner napkins with bright flowers. Take plain napkin rings and wrap a short stem of your favorite flower around them.

    Moss and Flower Name Cards: Plain bi-fold name cards are so dated, and not to mention a little boring! Create a fun garden inspired name card by taking a small cube of floral foam and cover it with fresh moss. Stick the bud of your favorite flower onto the top of the cube, and use a small wooden garden stake to write the name of your guest – and voila!

    It's like a mini garden on your plate!

    Fabric Cones: The plates and silverware on your table are already kind of flat - but that doesn't mean that your centerpiece needs to be! Add a little height to your table setting by taking Styrofoam cones (of the same height or varying heights) and use dress pins to attach fresh moss to them. This will not only add a pop of color to your table, but it will also add an element of texture to it too.

    For more entertaining tips from Katie Brown, visit www3.meijer.com/katie/


    From clean-cut, coastal-inspired creations to rustic and rough-hewn designs, two new exciting product lines for the home created by lifestyle maven and national television personality Katie Brown are available at all 191 Meijer stores in the Midwest.

    The charismatic Brown, who is an author, syndicated columnist and host of "Katie Brown Workshop" on PBS, developed the Midwest-inspired products in conjunction with Meijer. The offerings consist of two distinct product lines: The Orchard Collection and the Northern Shores Collection. In addition, there are also be a number of practical items including gardening tools and kitchen gadgets that carry the "Katie Brown Collection" name.

    The launch of these items is a departure for Meijer, as this marks the first time that the Midwest retailer has partnered with a national figure to create such a high-quality, value-driven line of signature items.

    Initially, Meijer will roll out a number of fresh, design-driven kitchen textiles items, tabletop products, patio furniture, outdoor décor accents, and gardening tools to kick off the Katie Brown signature lines. By late September, the retailer will introduce bed & bath products and home décor products to the mix. And in time for the holidays, it will introduce Katie Brown's unique take on holiday-themed kitchen ornaments, stockings, skirts, tabletop textiles, accent tableware and home décor.

    The Orchard Collection, inspired by Katie's affinity for the rustic appeal of log cabins and mountain retreats, features all the vibrant colors of nature's palette with designs that evoke a simple, unaffected lifestyle. The Orchard Collection includes a wood patio set, rustic outdoor décor, hand-thrown ceramic dinnerware, wire mesh tabletop accessories, beeswax citronella candles, rough-hewn wood serving pieces and oversize fire pits.

    "The relaxed feel of the Orchard Collection truly helps turn a house into a home. And what better way to achieve this than with the natural hues, shapes and textures from the greatest designer of all: Mother Nature," said Brown.

    The Northern Shores Collection reflects Katie's days along Lake Michigan as a child. Marked by bold primary colors, crisp, clean minimal design and an All-American vibe that connotes equal parts preppy and nautical, the collection delivers a soothing familiarity, but not without a bit of an edge.

    "I like to think of this line as having its roots in my preppy upbringing, while being updated by my experiences in New York," Brown said. "People will be pleased not only by the look of these items, but by the detail and construction that went into each."

    The Northern Shores collection features angled porcelain dinnerware, stainless steel serve ware, heavy-duty steel patio set in a striking gloss white, nautical outdoor accessories, board-and-batten planters and crisp clean table linens.

    "I used my memories and recollections of the past more than anything else in creating these products," said Brown. "Virtually everything here was initially inspired by my memories of summer days on the Great Lakes or the precious time I'm able to spend in my log cabin at the foothills of one of Mother Nature's greatest designs. Both collections are vastly different from one another, but both will immediately transport you to a definitive place that is as comforting as it is beautiful."

    By year's end, Meijer will have introduced more than 700 signature products from Katie Brown. Next year, the retailer expects to begin selling bake ware, picture frames, a refreshed seasonal garden line, home décor, pantry ware, fresh floral, room organizers and craft organization. In total, Meijer will offer more than 1,000 products under the exclusive Katie Brown label over the next five years.

    Brown began a partnership with Meijer in late 2008, serving as the retailer's "Home Solutions Advisor." Over the past year she has worked to create a micro site on the Meijer website, and to develop practical and easy-to-follow solutions for Meijer shoppers in and around the home.

    For more information, visit meijer.com

    Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.