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Holiday Table Decorations

Styling Secrets From a Pottery Barn Designer

When Pottery Barn was asked to create a tablescape for DIFFA's 2013 Dining by Design event, the chain called on its head designer for tabletops, Tony Leo, and the product development team to work their magic. With Pottery Barn's inventory at his fingertips and creative customization ideas buzzing in his head, Tony and his team created a tablescape worthy of a wooded wonderland. Keep reading to see how they captured this enchanting look!

POPSUGAR Home: What was the inspiration for this tablescape?

Tony Leo: It was inspired by the idea of al fresco dining on a Winter evening. We wanted to create magical elements, like dappled moonlight and glimpses of woodland creatures.

PS: How did you arrange the centerpiece?

TL: One of the great things about Pottery Barn decorating is that it is deceptively simple! The centerpiece is comprised of multiple flameless candles with decorator moss placed in between them.


PS: The mini olive trees add a fresh element and can also double as favors. Any tips for a tidy presentation?

TL: Yes! Water the plants at least a day before wrapping them in burlap and setting them in glass, otherwise you end up with soggy burlap and condensation on the glass. This is such an easy way to take any table up a notch. If you don't want to use live plants, try wrapping sprigs of rosemary in twine for a fresh element at each place setting.

Keep reading to discover which Pottery Barn pieces were used and Tony's easy table-styling tips!

PS: What are some of your favorite custom moments?

TL: The massive custom table is the focal point, but the mercury glass antlers we hung above the table turned out to be one of our proudest moments! Since we hung them in between the Clift Pendants, the light reflected against the mercury glass – they looked like they were illuminated.

PS: What are three creative table styling ideas anyone can pull off?

  1. Make the most out of twine, thread, and string: There is something about an element of loosely tied string on a table setting that immediately gives it cache. Wrap your flatware, your napkins, or some aromatic herbs around a napkin. The key is you don’t want to wrap too many things, or it could look contrived.
  2. Experiment with asymmetry: The flatware and glassware will already be in line, so offset your tablecloth on an angle, or better yet, layer two tablecloths on a bias. It will add some unexpected drama.
  3. Invest in flameless candles: Spread them all over the table. Besides casting a natural glow, you won't have to worry about cleaning spilled wax or burning your forearm when you reach for the last of the brussels sprouts!

Source: Pottery Barn

PS: Which pieces from the design are available now at Pottery Barn?

TL: It’s flooded with terrific Pottery Barn pieces! We used the Gabriella Collection for dinnerware, a new collection of flatware called Kade (available in January 2014!), the Classic Linen Napkins in flax, Clift Glass Pendants for overhead lighting, and flameless wax candles in the centerpiece.

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