Holiday Tablescapes with Alisa Kapinos
Crafting a beautiful holiday table is an art form, a skill that eludes many of us. This is where the expertise of talented home stylist Alisa Kapinos comes into play. We sought advice from this gifted designer for a few tips on creating a stunning tablescape that mirrors her professional finesse.
Tis the season to be jolly… and creative! This year, try creating a beautiful tablescape for your holiday dinner. As an experienced tablescape designer, I’m excited to share my top tips for crafting a breathtaking table that will leave your guests in awe.
TIP 1: Start with a Color Scheme
Since it’s the holidays, we often veer towards reds and greens, metallic golds and silvers, and perhaps a simple white as well. Once you have that, you can add all your elements to that same scheme. For the florals, choose red roses or poinsettias, even some red berries mixed in. Or with white, consider an arrangement of all-white hydrangeas and perhaps white roses, too. Then add in your place settings. Most of us already have white plates, so stick with those, and then pair them with red or green linen napkins and a touch of sparkle with gold or silver napkin rings!
TIP 2: Decide the Ambiance
When designing a tablescape for my clients, I always ask them questions about the type of ambiance they want to create. Do you want a fun tablescape that kids will love? Do you want something more romantic? Or maybe you have no idea, but you do know that you love the look of all candles and minimal flowers. Great! I love using taper candles along the length of the table and accompanying them with some low flowers to fill in the space underneath the candles. Or, if candles aren’t your thing, choosing the right flowers to create an ambiance may be a challenge. I always suggest asking the florist for ideas, whether at your local florist or even at places like Whole Foods. The type of flower you choose will evoke a different vibe. For instance, all-white roses in simple, clear vases will create a more streamlined and “modern” look, whereas a table filled with pine branches, tulips, garden roses, and lilies will give off a more abundant and traditional vibe.
Tip 3: Make your Tablescape Practical
The dimensions of what you’re creating really matter, and no, I’m not proposing math problems here, but just paying attention to heights and spacing. When you’re making the centerpiece, whether it’s with candles or flowers, keep their heights in mind. Sitting at a table during dinner, you want to talk with the person across from you, and if you have a bunch of flowers or candlesticks in your line of vision, it can be quite distracting. Also, think about the spacing on your table. With all the place settings and all the flowers, will there be space for food? Or perhaps you’re going the buffet route; in that case, you’ll have plenty of real estate on the table. Think about what you’ll need to add to the table, regarding food, hot plates, bread bowls, etc., before you allocate all the space to your beautiful creation!
When I do my classes on tablescapes, my number one piece of advice is to have fun! This is about spreading cheer, getting those creative juices flowing, and doing something new. No one is judging how you set the table; your guests are there to eat and be merry, and if they have a beautiful table to sit at, well then, that’s just the mistletoe on top!
Alisa designs and creates tablescapes, as well as interior and exterior decor and designs for the holidays and special occasions.
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