Using water as one of the main elements of a centerpiece can give a flower arrangement a modern flare. While most flower arrangements feature a vase of water, filling a large glass bowl with water to the brim and floating some buds on top, makes a statement, and can create a zen-like, peaceful feeling. You can take it up a notch by adding a few drops of food coloring to the bowl, dyeing the water blue or red. Using white buds will make it easier to see the food coloring, as it is drawn up through the stems, thus changing the color of the buds.
Twinkle lights are a popular decorative item, and can be used to update a typical vase of flowers. Wrap a cord of battery-operated lights into a transparent vase and let the stems of the flowers you are using get wrapped up in the light strand. When you turn on the lights, your flowers will look like they have a spotlight on them, a cool effect for a dark room or an outdoor party, after the sun sets. This trick also can be used with the small, battery-operated tea lights, found at most party stores.
For a bold statement, consider using tall, over-sized glass vases. Snip off buds of flowers of your choosing, and drop them into the center of your tall vase. Fill the vase with colorful buds, leaves and even some stems, and pour some water into the vase to keep the flowers at the bottom fresh. Then, using a spray bottle, little spray the flowers at the top of the vase to keep them looking healthy. Any large table can support vases upwards of 3- or 4-feet tall, which can add drama to an event being housed in a large dining hall.