Living in Manhattan, it's a humongous boon to have a place to escape to on the weekend. For me, that's not a vineyard-dotted property at the foot of the Catskills or a quirky Hudson escape (not yet, at least, though a girl can dream). It's my childhood home an hour west of the city in rural New Jersey. So it was with great pleasure that I invited my beloved Lonny colleagues there for a holiday dinner party, and dressed two rustic wood tables in the barn for a fête befitting such a stylish team.
On a table set for nearly twenty guests, creating a cohesive centerpiece that each seat could equally enjoy was a bit of a challenge. Enter the 25-foot cedar garland from Green Valley Christmas Trees, which arrived in no time and smelled like it had just been made. The greenery created a fresh foundation upon which to layer country details like delicate branches and deer antlers found on the property, and broke up the brown expanse of the wooden table, creating opportunities to pop in twinkling votives and silver salt sellers. Mariposa tortoise shell water glasses added polish to handmade tinware plates by Canvas, and thick tan linen napkins each got a sterling ring from my mom's vintage monogram-engraved collection.
Two twinkling iron-and-crystal chandeliers from Lonny favorite Currey & Company presided over the party, adding sparkle to the otherwise woodsy theme. Hits of rich color came from rustic white urns filled with red and white tulips, and barn-appropriate x-back wooden chairs softened with royal blue velvet seat cushions.
To draw the eye from the single-plane table to the hanging chandeliers, I opted for a tall arrangement of thick-stalked red amaryllis and festive hypericum berries, which not only added much-needed height but were also sparse enough not to obscure diners' views of one another and impede conversation. Laying an oversize oriental-style rug beneath my guests' chairs added an element of coziness to the drafty space, and even managed to attract two uninvited dinner guests: the family dogs, Jett and Coal.
How do you decorate on the holidays?