Significant holidays, such as Christmas are a stylist’s dream, the quintessential time to unleash ideas, unearth objects and have some fun with ribbon and a hot glue gun.
Sometimes, taking the all-white approach to table decoration can create as much drama as an all out riot of vibrancy. Here, there fireplace has been filled with porcelain logs and the improvised ‘tree’ – a spindly felted branch – decked with porcelain feathers, snowflakes, glass swans and metal butterflies.
Wreaths and garlands are lovely additions to any scheme, but working in pieces made in an array of textiles offers a personal take on the festive season. A beaded wreath and paper garland bring a softness to this vignette.
You don’t have to stick to the fixtures of Christmas such as a pine tree. A green branch brings a unique look and could be a found branch that a tree no longer wants. The plume of green leaves offer a nod to a traditional Christmas colour scheme, without falling into the trap of loudness. Plus set up high on a table, your gifts will fare a little better than when they live on the floor.
If you’re still feeling a little colour shy, keep the base tone of your entertaining spread neutral with a simple paper table runner and add flashes of brightness for cheer. Here, coloured masking tape has been randomly stuck to slender branches, with metallic party hats making the perfect finishing touch.
The beauty of a lunching out doors – whether for a festive occasion or otherwise – is that you can afford to be a little more relaxed with your styling. The tone of alfresco dining plays to a more 'come as you are' vibe, so don't be shy about gathering what you have to set the scene. Clearly, I love a slender branch for a Christmas tree, as they carry ornaments beautifully and have a sculptural presence. I think at this time of year, love and family are top of mind, so mismatched chairs and glasses are just the thing to keep the focus on the company rather that a "don't touch" table setting.