’Tis the season to celebrate and embellish our homes for the holidays and beyond. A great way to start is with some insightful tips for your tabletops from local talent.
When setting the table for any occasion, balance is important, according to David C. McKnight, owner and founder of Emerald City Designs, The Special Event Group (emeraldcitydesigns.com), in Farmington Hills. The seasoned event planner suggests leaving some space between the place settings and the centerpiece.
For one dreamy winter theme, he took an understated approach. “Less is more,” McKnight said. Every centerpiece he creates has unobstructed views for conversation, like manzanita branches flocked with gold that support crystal pendants and candle holders.
Something as simple as a floating candle or a Christmas ornament sets the tone, and white can be magical at this time of year. “In Michigan, we are in the winter state. We might as well bring the outdoors in for the right atmosphere,” McKnight said.
At Variety’s annual The Children’s Charity Table Tops Luncheon held at the Pine Lake Country Club in West Bloomfield, Caroline Groeneveld, principal with Birmingham-based Caroline Inc. (carolineinc.com), created a “reflections” theme that suits the holiday season.
“People reflect on New Year’s Eve and try to start again in the New Year,” the interior designer said.
For her striking ice sculpture centerpiece, she envisioned a rock formation seen in caves. Crafted by Ice Dreams Sculptures in Plymouth, the unique creation that slowly melted during the meal includes remote-controlled lighting and a mirrored container.
The white base and the detailed mirror were designed by Groeneveld, who suggests mirrored chargers for a similar look. Tree branches held test tubes for flowers, while appliques and twine gave simple linens a visual lift.
“In the wintertime, everything is still and quiet, like the ice and the trees, but they’re not dead,” she said. “They’re getting ready for spring.”
At fleurdetroit (fleurdetroit.com) in Bloomfield Hills, their concepts are client driven, owner Phillip Morici said, “We’ll find an object that interests them to use as a starting point so that their personality is mixed with the vibe.”
It could be anything from a cherished Christmas ornament to a family treasure, such as a menorah or grandma’s lacey napkins. Morici enjoys the juxtaposition of disparate objects, such as those shown on a vivid table ideal for Valentine’s Day or any romantic occasion, where black and white napkins sharpen the shades of pink. “It’s fun to throw in a texture or pattern that’s totally different from what’s going on, like mixed metals that are really hot this year,” he says. “We like to ride the current trends and put a little spin on them.”
A little extra effort goes a long way, he says. “Don’t be afraid to try something new that’s outside what you would normally consider,” Morici said. “Take an antique treasure or a piece of art and build your table around that.”
— Jeanine Matlow, Michigan BLUE Magazine