Topping your table

Color, fabrics and lighting are the building blocks upon which your fête will be set.
Photographs reprinted with permission from Alberto Pinto: Table Settings, text by Dane McDowell, Rizzoli New York, 2010

There's no magic elixir a festive holiday table other than ensuring that it conveys the warmth you feel for your nearest and dearest and reflects your personal style.

“Table decoration is meant to be viewed from all sides,” explains internationally acclaimed interior designer Alberto Pinto, author of Alberto Pinto: Table Settings (Rizzoli, 2010). “Three elements preside over its composition: the type of event to be celebrated, the volume of the bouquets—which must be in scale with the size of the tables—and finally the colors of the flowers, which must mesh with those of the porcelain.”

Color, fabrics and lighting are the building blocks upon which your fête will be set. Red, always a hallmark hue for the season, needn’t be your only option. Golds, silvers and winter-whites can also add sparkle to your table. And speaking of sparkle, candles will enhance the ambience, especially if you place them near glass or mirrored pieces that will twinkle in their light.

In terms of flowers, don’t be afraid to break with tradition. While poinsettias, holly and evergreens are classic holiday favorites, for example, you may wish to embrace other fl oral choices of varying colors and styles. Just make sure your bouquet does not obstruct anyone’s view.

When guests arrive at your table, the centerpiece you’ve carefully chosen will help create just the right backdrop for merriment, garnering attention almost equal to that of your festive feast itself.

See the slideshow before for more tips and tablescape ideas!

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