By Tracy Mukherjee
The turkey is in the oven, the sprouts have been on for 4 days. It’s all going to plan. Now for the fun part. Sparkles or foliage, candles or lights? And what about the centrepiece? How do you produce…
THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS TABLE
From the 1st of Dec each year I live in 1940’s Vermont a la White Christmas. It’s a chance to embrace garlands and wreaths, soft fairy lights and cosy candles. It’s a chance to appreciate your home and your family. And at the centre of Christmas is the table. Christmas dinner, our loved ones around us, laughing, eating, drinking and being merry (I told you I live in a fictional festive ideal). So that Christmas table, the aesthetic, the theme? It’s kind of a big deal.
Fortunately, the West End is the perfect place to get that table just right. So why not start at the beginning… the actual Table. Turner Furniture, the brainchild of Chris Turner was set up in 2003. Chris creates bespoke, let’s face it, works of art.
Chris says ‘At this time of year people are getting ready for the festive season which is typically a time for entertaining. The way a room is set, its furnishings and decorations can be particularly important when welcoming friends and family, so I always want to make sure my clients have the perfect pieces of furniture from which to serve, talk-around, dine on or just exhibit.’ His stunning Hele Dining Table is the perfect piece of furniture for entertaining. Whilst contemporary, it has a nod to the past in its stylish design. The circular table provides a practical use of space in smaller rooms, ideal for welcoming small groups of friends and family into your home. Chris designed the piece so that the solid Walnut under-frame gives the table a structural but elegant feel.
For that extra touch of elegance throughout the festive season the sumptuous beauty of the Boclair Cocktail Table would be a gorgeous addition to your lounge. The designer himself admits it is perfect for informal entertaining. The piece combines stunning Scottish Walnut with inset copper triangles and is the perfect talking point during after dinner drinks. Chris notes of the design ‘discussions are encouraged from all angles and the wood split in the table allows a glimpse at the abstract lines of the table legs from above, showcasing the craftsmanship involved.’ With such skill involved, what inspires his designs?
Well, the conception always starts with the client’s functional or aesthetic needs. ‘Dining tables when hand-crafted are created for a lifetime and are made in the knowledge that these pieces will be cherished through generations. My aim at the start is to create a piece which complements the surroundings whilst clearly stands out as a talking point or piece of art in a room. The materials used can offer such a rich base for the design of a table and how that piece of art may look on completion.’
Turning to the look of your Christmas table, or tablescaping as its known, do you have a theme? Its completely fine to mix and match tableware if you are having a larger gathering, just so long as there is a common scheme, be it colour, style, to the plates and glass settings. And when it comes to style of the table my goodness, the possibilities! Decadent Luxury or Scandi Chic?
Nikki Jones Boutique on Great Western Road is the perfect destination to pick up the items you’ll need for a more natural look. Niki’s inspired by craft and the use of traditional techniques. As well as homewares which have been developed using her own design ethos, the store also curates items from other brands who share and value the timeless design and use of natural core ingredients reflected in her own products.
And when it comes to the Christmas dining table what are Niki’s tips?
‘For me it has to have natural foliage and candlelight. I remember as a child foraging in the garden with my mum for berries and ivy to decorate the house at Christmas. I love the tradition of Christmas and the ritual of bringing out the same decorations each year. I always have green foliage on the table- eucalyptus, ivy, I love to add some red berries as high lights and I always make clementines and clove pomanders which smell gorgeous and add a lovely pop of colour to your table. Candlelight is essential, I particularly like our beeswax candles for my Christmas table.’
From Nikki’s own range, what would she recommend?
‘I love our La Soufflerie, mouth blown glass candle sticks with our natural beeswax dining candles for the Christmas table. I also love proper table linen for Christmas, we are selling a selection of linen table covers and sets of napkins this Christmas. It just makes the occasion feel more special and creates a beautiful back drop for all that delicious food. I love to tie a bit of natural twine around my napkins with a little sprig of something green tucked into it to add those extra little details at Christmas.’
For expert advice on the floristry aspect of the table centrepiece, Gary MacLean of Hyacinth House in Anniesland is the man to ask. Gary says ‘I would advise that your Christmas table should look natural but structured, try to keep the scale of the design in relation to your table. Not too big and not too small, nothing worse than pine needles in your Christmas dinner! You don’t need to keep your design as one, you can separate into smaller design composed around the table. Such as, small vases and ties around your napkins. Small sprigs such as Rosemary is good for this and will give a lovely scent. The important thing is to know your own style!’
Hyacinth House Floristry and Plant Emporium are also on hand to design your Christmas bouquets to add a decadent touch throughout your home. Gary notes ‘A must have in our Christmas arrangements would always be pinecones, seasonal foliage and Christmas decoration such as cinnamon, berries or baubles. I like to design the arrangements with a natural style.’ Though Hyacinth House isn’t afraid to get some colour in to their designs whether traditional or with a more modern twist. ‘We are diverse, and design led with our colour range,’ adds Gary. From metallics with frosted blues and silvers to warmer gold and white tones, the team’s ‘All I want for Christmas’ range includes traditional Christmas berries but with fresh pinks and white colours.
In terms of the kind of foliage we might use for our centrepiece or indeed for our home-made wreaths, what’s on trend this year?
‘Dried wreaths have stayed strong from previous years as well as the popularity of eucalyptus. I expect that this will continue this year. If making your own at home, try to keep it simple and use foliage from your garden if possible. Use a limited range of decor but vary the scale.’ To get that professional look, Hyacinth House is running wreath making evenings, so get along for great tips and a glass of fizz to boot!
It would seem then, for that perfect Christmas table, the West End is your oyster. Or sprout. It is Christmas after all.
The team at Hyacinth House will be running wreath making workshops for the festive season.
Dates are – Nov 17th, 18th, 24th and 25th and Dec 1st and 2nd. Classes run from
6-8pm with complementary fizz and nibbles and cost £49.95