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Prop styling by Heather Shaw/Judy Inc.MONICA MCKENNA FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Lighting can make all the difference when it comes to creating ambience.

Too bright and guests feel like they're being interrogated. Too dark and no one can see what they're eating. This innovative idea combining lighting with flowers will not only provide enough light by which to dine, but also create a relaxed atmosphere.

To execute, set a large vase atop a few small battery-operated spotlights (ones that are flat on top, like the Noma models pictured above, work best). Before filling the vase with water and submerging the flowers, make sure the vase is stable atop the lights. When you're ready, turn the small lights on, dim the overhead lighting and get ready for an evening of illuminating entertainment.

Chef Michael Tong is the owner of Toronto's Sublime Catering.