Our Guide to the Best Decor Inspiration and Chilled Bubblies to Make your Holiday Gathering Shine

By The Editors | November 11, 2019 | Lifestyle

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Pink glassware and rosy cutlery play nicely with neutral-toned florals by Moon Canyon.

Known for her impeccable taste as much as her beautiful recipes, author and influencer Athena Calderone is constantly looking to the design and culinary worlds for inspiration. A gorgeous fall dinner party hosted by Calderone and online interiors marketplace Chairish at jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth’s Melrose Place boutique was no exception. “I’m always looking to my immediate environment and to the season,” Calderone explains of her design vision. “The store is studded with rosy warm tones with hits of brass, so the table followed suit. We chose vintage pink glassware and gilded flatware, as this particular space would not have worked with a traditional brown and orange autumnal palette, but I still paid homage by using a natural-toned tablecloth and neutral-hued florals.” When it comes to taking this look home, Calderone recommends establishing a color palette, carrying it through the food to the tablescape, and accentuating the season but not in an obvious way. For example: gather fresh herbs and florals with simple twine and place on guests’ dinner plates. “You do not need to be literal here, but a loose nod and respect to the season is a philosophy I find helpful to create cohesion between the food and aesthetics.”

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Lifestyle expert Jenni Kayne’s Thanksgiving tabletop makes use of nature-found greenery, feathers and nuts.

Celebrated multihyphanate Jenni Kayne—she of the beloved mule shoe, effortlessly minimalist fashion line and California-made furniture line—loves entertaining so much that she dedicated her entire first book, Pacific Natural ($45, Rizzoli), to the topic. At left is the L.A. tastemaker’s pared-down-pretty take on a Thanksgiving tablescape, making use of found objects from her SoCal surroundings such as feathers, herbs, seasonal nuts and spices, plus simple taper candles. Her decorating modus operandi—particularly during this often stressful holiday gathering—is to keep things simple. “Set a trail of greenery directly atop a runner with walnuts, cloves and any seasonal bits you like,” Kayne advises in the book. Her place cards pair elegant calligraphy with star anise seeds; the table is otherwise deliberately spare, Kayne astutely notes, as you’ll need space for a plethora of dishes. Her practical plan-ahead advice is also worth noting: “I have my kids help set the table a couple of nights before, and I cook as much in advance as possible,” she writes. The consummate hostess also stockpiles cardboard takeaway containers so no one leaves without a second helping. Smart!

Recently, luxury maker Tiffany & Co. launched a new men’s collection that the brand describes as “direct, uncomplicated and rooted in a legacy of expert craftsmanship.” The Tiffany 1837 Makers Collection (the name is a nod to the brand’s founding year) was inspired by the jeweler’s holloware workshop and by its long-standing business in handcrafting championship trophies. A sure winner is this gorgeous and sturdy cocktail shaker in sterling silver and brass—a can’t-miss for the fellow who has (almost) everything. Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer for the house, says “there’s a person behind each object”—in this case, someone who appreciates an exquisite drink, exquisitely delivered. $2,250, Beverly Center, Beverly Hills and Westfield Century City, tiffany.‌com

We find ourselves in hearty agreement with Peroni’s slogan this year: “Whatever you do, do it beautifully.” It holds especially true at the holidays. So we were delighted to learn of the beer brand’s limited-edition bar cart, the result of a stylish partnership with prolific designer Jonathan Adler. Rendered in clear acrylic with nickel detailing and featuring the beer’s blue stripes, it’s made for the host or hostess whose gatherings feel like an evening on the Amalfi Coast. “There’s no place I love more than Italy,” Adler says. “And the bar cart I created… is the next best thing to actually being there.” Salute! $1,450, by special order, L.A., jonathanadler.‌com

Traditional isn’t always better. Witness the reimagining of the Christmas tree as a modern, glowing masterpiece. Modern Christmas Trees founder Matt Bliss’ grandfather created the prototype when he made a family Christmas tree out of cardboard in the 1960s. From that midcentury start, Bliss fashioned a new version of the A-line tree from concentric acrylic rings, chandelier crystals and LED lighting. The final touch is the Sputnik-reminiscent star on top. The trees come in four heights, with different color options and even a new, inclusive rainbow design. $269-$1,399, modernchristmastrees.com

Ceramicist Paul Schneider is no stranger to the spotlight, having caught the eye of his top-tier clientele early on with his signature chevron prints, dappled techniques and multibanded drip process, which he meticulously applies to an assortment of lamps, trays and accessories. This season, Schneider swirls into new territory with the launch of his geode collection, which utilizes an innovative marbling process. What to expect? A whimsical mix of rich hues, intricate design and swoonworthy pieces that will make for the perfect addition to your holiday tablescape. And like the ceramic artist himself, each piece is one-of-a-kind. $325, Mecox, West Hollywood, mecox.com; paulschneiderceramics.com

Candlelight adds a festive air to the winter table. And the Evelina candleholder centerpiece by AERIN is a stylish, versatile centerpiece that holds eight tapers while adding its own sparkle to the tablescape. “There’s something so cozy and inviting about lighting candles in the winter. Especially during the holiday season, candles immediately create a festive, warm environment,” says company founder Aerin Lauder. “I like to decorate with a lot of red and gold, but candles are always the best finishing touch.” Given that this centerpiece is customizable and can be configured in different shapes for small or large tables, it means you won’t use the Evelina only for the holiday dinner; you can also make a chilly Tuesday night a special occasion simply by lighting a few candles. $900, Gearys Beverly Hills, gearys.com; aerin.com

Any host worth their salt knows no holiday place setting is fully dressed without fine linens. Enter the tabletoppers of the smart set, Julia B.’s hand-embroidered creations. Raised in Tokyo and San Francisco, founder and CEO Julia Berger credits an attention to craftsmanship as key to her handmade limited-edition designs. With myriad monogram styles and designs available, these linens are the most delicious thing on the dining table this season. Venezia table linens, set of four mats for $620, four dinner napkins for $640, four round cocktail napkins for $190, monogramming for $160, juliab.com

What’s more glam than glassware by famed French cristallerie Saint-Louis? The St. Regis Midnight Supper set by Saint-Louis—a sublime pairing between the luxury hotel brand and Saint-Louis. Inspired by Caroline Astor’s Midnight Supper tradition, which dates to The St. Regis New York’s 1904 opening, the collection pays homage to glamorous dinners throughout the ages. “Saint-Louis has often set the table for The St. Regis—from fashion week events in New York to luxurious crystal-laden picnics in London’s Hyde Park to one-of-a-kind Midnight Suppers around the world,” says Saint-Louis CEO Jérôme de Lavergnolle. The set includes a mix of the amethyst Tommy cocktail glass, Stella American water glass, Les Endiablés Bubble glass (shown here), amethyst Bubbles hock and amethyst Excess Champagne flute. $2,300, Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills; saint-louis.com

From Danish objects company Georg Jensen comes the Matrix collection. Designed by acclaimed Swedish designer Monica Förster based on Georg Jensen archives, it’s the ideal way to incorporate some of Scandinavia’s finest designs into your holiday decor. Made from mirror-polished stainless steel, the cube vase, tube vase and bowl are all available in both small and medium sizes, making the possibilities for use endless. $40-$195, Lucy Zahran & Co., The Grove; georgjensen.com

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Entertaining expert Heather Taylor used her brand’s gorgeous golden linens to ground this pared-down seasonal setting.

“I wanted this table to feel like fall but also have a distinctly Southern California lightness,” says entertaining connoisseur and tastemaker Heather Taylor, who has a gorgeous line of table linens. “I love the idea of provoking the emotions and feelings associated with a changing season.” To bring that idea to life, Taylor laid a strong foundation with her tablecloth and napkin picks, and incorporated special details like brass flatware and leather napkin rings to dress things up. “For the linens, I wanted to move away from light and airy to something with a more soothing heft,” she explains. “Our Solid Goldenrod linens were the perfect backdrop for casually arranged dahlias I picked up from the Santa Monica Farmers Market and simple white plates.” The Laurel Canyon resident recommends a few tips on setting a chic seasonal table, such as using linens in autumnal colors; picking a special detail—like cool napkin rings—that take the table to the next level; and not going crazy with florals. “Just go to the farmers market or your local flower shop and get a couple bunches of whatever looks most beautiful to you and feels of the season,” she says. “Make approximately five small arrangements in simple glasses. And don’t forget the candles!”



Photography by: courtesy of Jenna Peffley; courtesy of Rizzoli; by Lindsay Kindelon