3 Designer Takes on Festive Tablescapes

We asked three talented local designers to create holiday tablescapes to surprise and delight merrymakers of all stripes this season

Angela Reynolds of Jupiter-based Angela Reynolds Design table, Photo by Jerry Rabinowitz
Photography by Jerry Rabinowitz

A Chic Winter Scene

Angela Reynolds of Jupiter-based Angela Reynolds Designs set out to create a multipurpose winter tablescape. The pops of red amid black and white surrounds lend a festive feel without veering toward Christmas kitsch. 

“I wanted to do something a little bit more drama-ridden because this dining room has this amazing wallpaper that’s super hip and cutting-edge, and then the dining table has acrylic spires,” she shares. “It’s really about this white, clean, modern tablescape with the drama of these red roses.”

The roses are from Pomp, a flower company that delivers directly from family farms in South America. “We love working with them because the type of roses they get are the best quality,” she says. “They last a really long time because there’s no middleman—they’re really cutting, picking them, boxing them, and shipping them to us.” She arranged the vibrant flowers in a polished chrome bowl to create a modern sculptural centerpiece.

Angela Reynolds of Jupiter-based Angela Reynolds Design table, Photo by Jerry Rabinowitz 2

Aside from the roses, the Baccarat fire-red shaded candlestick is what Reynolds calls “the eye-catcher of the table.” She also glammed up the scene with silver chargers and vintage ruby-red Luminarc Verrerie D’Arques glassware from the 1970s. “I like the fact that they have a very contemporary shape to them,” Reynolds adds. And for her, no gathering is complete without candles and diffusers from London-based Victoria Cator—her favorite candle company—to scent the space. “It’s like a very rich perfume, where you just are enveloped by this gorgeous candle,” she says.

In the background of it all stands a Balsam Hill white LED tree. “If you were to remove the tree, it could be just a dinner party,” Reynolds explains. “I think the tree reinforces that this is a holiday tablescape, but it’s not the focal point.” 

JMA Interior Design, Photo by Jerry Rabinowitz

A Modern Hanukkah Celebration

Jackie Armour of JMA Interior Design in Jupiter crafted an offbeat Hanukkah celebration at a unique property with a private island in Palm Beach Gardens. “With everything that’s been going on over the last year and a half, we wanted something that was a lot more fantasy—pushing the boundaries and having some fun and not taking it too seriously,” Armour says. “So we envisioned a Hanukkah pool party.” 

She took advantage of the home’s Intracoastal-front pool with a 400-square-foot sun shelf and placed the dining table directly in the water. “The family could be frolicking in the pool, just hanging out,” she explains.

Since the pool has a darker finish to blend with the waterway in the background, Armour chose a light-colored table that would stand out. “The ghost chairs are great because they kind of disappear, and they’re lightweight and super practical to be outside and in the pool,” she says. 

JMA Interior Design, Photo by Jerry Rabinowitz 2

On the table, Armour placed modern black and gold metal vases. She added blue feathers to one of them to bring in a traditional Hanukkah color but “opted to keep the majority of them empty, just to take on more of the sculptural feeling.” Another unique tabletop element is the miniature gazing balls. “It’s kind of fun because when you’re sitting at the table, you’re getting not only a reflection back to the house, but you’re also getting a reflection of the sky, of the water—I think the gazing balls add a really great touch,” Armour says.

One of the simpler elements of the tablescape is perhaps its most heartfelt—the wooden menorah was handmade by the son of one of the designers in Armour’s office. She chose to include it to demonstrate the fun of inviting the whole family to contribute. “Everybody can be involved in the table setting; it doesn’t have to be this mysterious, hands-off experience.”

The end result is edgy yet approachable, in line with Armour’s advice to “have fun and experiment.” 

McCann Design Group, photo by Jerry Rabinowitz 1

A Nontraditional Christmas

Sara McCann of McCann Design Group in West Palm Beach opted for a Palm Beach take on Christmas by using tropical pink and green instead of the holiday’s classic red-and-green colorscape—creating a relaxed alfresco setting for the celebration.

“My team of little Christmas elves helped with this,” McCann shares. “Because we’re in South Florida and the weather—even in December—is absolutely gorgeous, we thought we’d embrace the whole outdoor feel. We thought it would be really nice to entertain outside on a gorgeous Christmas day in the sun.”

McCann Design Group, photo by Jerry Rabinowitz

McCann and her visual team played with natural textures and patterns to celebrate the Floridian outdoors, and in a nod to the Christmas holiday, erected a white Christmas tree with bromeliads inserted in among the boughs, dotting it with hand-blown green and white glass ornaments. Complementing the natural greens interspersed through the scene are a conch-shell-pink umbrella and custom pool towels monogrammed in pink.

For the tabletop itself, McCann tasked her florists at Hive to assemble bouquets consisting of bright zinnias, ranunculus, and freesia and completed the look with refined bamboo and wicker Mercedes Salazar placemats and votives, hand-blown glass vases in a muted shade of pink, and handmade splatter-glazed ceramic plates from Aerin Lauder’s line of home decor.

“We embraced green and natural elements, so we went with a more casual napkin and bamboo napkin ring, tortoise silverware, and then beautiful William Yeoward martini glasses with our tropical concoction,” McCann says. The scene she sets is the very picture of a breezy Floridian Christmas.

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