Make it Merry: Update Your Holiday Table

Make it Merry: Update Your Holiday Table

Freshen up your holiday table with a pastel palette and plenty of fresh greenery.

Just as delicious aromas from the kitchen activate our senses, triggering a yuletide mood, so too should the tablescape serve as a visual cue, lighting up the part of our brain that registers “festive.” But you don’t necessarily need to take a traditional approach to evoke the seasonal spirit. For this luxe look, decorator Jessica Jubelirer, owner of Jessica Jubelirer Design, and floral designer Sally Vander Wyst, owner of Milwaukee Flower Co., eschewed the default red and green palette. “I wanted the design to walk the walk between the elegance of the room itself, and the rusticity of the natural world outside,” says Jubelirer. Here, the experts share tips on how to get that look.

Scour your yard for pine, evergreen and other types of greenery to use as decorations.1216_decorating_mmholiday-0058_little-giant-photographyInstead of a table cloth or runner, “we wanted something a little more wild, magical and dramatic,” says Jubelirer. Vander Wyst tucked pink- and peach-colored blossoms, including ranunculus and garden roses, into the cascading garland, composed of cedar and juniper. For variety, she added pinecones and ornaments made of grapevines.1216_decorating_mmholiday-0031_little-giant-photographyAn arrangement of pine boughs and flowers dresses up a sideboard. Start by making a grid out of waterproof tape over the top of the bowl or vessel. This will help keep your branches and flowers in place. Insert greenery into the squares of the grid, creating the overall shape of the arrangement, then fill in with flowers and more greenery.

1216_decorating_mmholiday-0005_little-giant-photographyBay leaves suspended in ice cubes extend the nature motif in an unexpected way. Use fresh (not dried) leaves. Wash them and set one in each square of an ice cube tray. Fill the tray with distilled water and freeze. Place a cube in each water glass.1216_decorating_mmholiday-0029_little-giant-photographyThese charming plates belonged to Jubelirer’s grandmother, and helped inspire the nature theme. Rattan chargers add an element of texture to the place settings.


1216_decorating_mmholiday-0026_little-giant-photographyUsing leaves (these are magnolia) as place cards lends a whimsical touch to the place settings. Write the names with a gold metallic paint marker.

Photos by Little Giant Photography

‘Make it Merry’ appears in the December 2016 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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