Setting the scene: Make your table the star of the holiday meal

Holiday tablescapes on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, at Four Seasons, in Las Vegas. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal
Holiday tablescapes on Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2018, at Four Seasons, in Las Vegas. Benjamin Hager Las Vegas Review-Journal

There is an old saying that life happens around the family table. It’s especially true during the holiday season when the perfect setting for a meal sets a mood for celebrating. We asked Vegas pros for their best tablescaping tips.

Hector Rubio
Director of catering and special events, The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

LIGHT ’EM UP: “I always say that the candle is king when it comes to a tablescape. It makes everything beautiful and seductive — plus adds class and beauty,” Rubio says, but take a pass on red. “I find that a bit more timeless choice is candles in white or cream for the holiday season because they look fantastic with pine branches and pine cones.”

PRO TIP: Mix up the sizes and shapes of your candles. “Candles that are all the same type and height might be boring,” Rubio says. “A well-balanced table has two or three candle shapes done at different elevations, especially around the centerpiece.”

Photos by Getty Images
Photos by Getty Images

NOT IN RETROGRADE: Rubio suggests using different mercury glass pieces as vases and candleholders to provide extra pizzazz. “It’s modern, but in so many eyes, mercury glass looks vintage.”PRO TIP: Don’t just look for red, green or blue holiday pieces.
“There are so many colors now in mercury glass. I’d suggest silver and rose gold,” Rubio says.

GOING THE DISTANCE: If you think table runners are so ’70s, think again. “Traditional fabric runners can be taken to the next level,” Rubio says.

PRO TIP: “Create your own runner with flowers or candles. We did one that was made of clumps of moss gathered together on a wood table. We used succulents with little lights inside to create the illusion of fireflies. You could decorate the succulents with holiday lights.”

PROVE YOUR METAL: “Mixing metallic is very in for the holiday season,” Rubio says. “You can transcend the traditional silver and gold with other metallic colors on the table, including copper and rose gold. It’s very playful.”

PRO TIP: “You can do metallic candleholders and vases, or why not look for table linen in a gorgeous metallic color? Since we live in the desert, you can mix earthy tones for the holidays such as silver, gold and copper,” he says. “I saw this on a black sequined tablecloth with the metallic on the table. Gorgeous!”

OUT OF THE RING: Napkin rings aren’t necessary, Rubio says. “Unless, you have someone to pick them up, they really do get in the way. We love to do an envelope napkin fold, which adds a touch of class to the table instead of a napkin ring, which seems like a more casual item to me.”

PRO TIP: “There are no specialty linen stores that I know of in Vegas. I would go to Williams Sonoma, Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.”

Jessica Marshall
Owner of Miss Daisy Flowers

CENTERPIECE WITHOUT THE CENTER: “You don’t have to do just one big centerpiece this holiday season. In fact, it can be overwhelming,” Marshall says. “Why not try several smaller vases of flowers in jewel tones and not just your traditional red, white and green? Add pops of yellow, orange and dark burgundies to the mix.”

PRO TIP: Pay attention to the height of your arrangements. “The rule of thumb is you should measure from your elbow to the top of your wrist. If a flower arrangement that is set on a dinner table is taller, then it will block people.”

PLANT ONE ON: “An underrated plant for the table is berries on a branch,” Marshall says. “For the holiday season, I love the look of Hypericum berries in darker colors.”

Photos by Getty Images
Photos by Getty Images

PRO TIP: “Nothing looks crisper for the holidays than a gold vase with white florals. It’s not only very clean, but it will carry you from Christmas into New Year’s. You can accent with Fire Twilights to add a little twinkle.”

LASTING IMPRESSION: Celebrating Hanukkah for eight days doesn’t require many arrangements. “Orchids are a lovely lasting flower, as are Pincushions. You can also work with berries and greenery for longer-lasting plants,” Marshall suggests.

PRO TIP: Plants like a cool environment in the winter. “People turn up their heat, which isn’t good for the flower arrangements. To make them last longer, pop them outside overnight. The next morning, change the water, and every other day, give the stems a quick cut.

Lori Folt
Director of business development,
Blue Print Studios

Camilla Pinzon
Creative business development director,
Blue Print Studios

VEGAS, BABY: “I love a vintage Vegas look,” Folt says. “You can set the table with 1920s recycled glass and glitter ornaments. Retro colors are quite glam. You can also glitz it up with crystals or mixed metals in gold and copper.”

PRO TIP: “I’d recommend a day trip to Boulder City, a quick ride from Vegas, to get great vintage Vegas things. There are so many vintage opportunities there that aren’t too expensive in all of the antique shops,” Folt says.

POP GOES THE COLOR: “There’s nothing wrong with green and red because it’s Christmas,” Pinzon says. “You could go silver, white and gold for a touch of luxury. A pop of blue can also be beautiful.”

PRO TIP: Buy a color palette or color wheel. Choose a main color and then the palette will give you the contrasting colors. “Do the napkins or a glass in that contrasting or accent color for a pop,” Pinzon says.

AU NATUREL: “I always love a beautiful wood table without a cloth. It gives you a blank canvas,” Folt says.

PRO TIP: If you don’t have that type of table, it can be rented for the big event.

 A MIXED BAG: “I tend not to match too much,” Pinzon says. “Play with different shapes or surprise with graphics. Mix flatware with silvers and golds.”

PRO TIP: Another way to surprise guests is to use something in a different way. “Have dessert in a champagne glass or
use a teacup for juice. It will catch your guest’s attention.” Folt says. “Remember, it’s your holiday. The key is to make everyone feel comfortable at the table
and then just enjoy yourself.”

Photos by Getty Images
Photos by Getty Images