Dine By Design with Lonny and the Conran Shop

Michelangelo Ice 6 Piece Cutlery Set: $48; The Conran Shop | Signal S1333 Table Lamp in Black: $450; The Conran Shop | Loop Candelabra: $30; The Conran Shop | 78" Oval Saarinen Dining Table- White Marble Top with White Base: $6,807; The Conran Shop | Edgar Bentwood Chair in Black: $150; The Conran Shop

Setting your table for the holidays can be a daunting task: expectations are high, and the list of to-dos is often long. In our November/December issue, we offer plenty of inspiration and tips to help you find the perfect table setting for your winter gatherings. But, just in case you’re still stumped, Lonny partnered up with the Conran Shop to show how to put together a sophisticated but original table design. Here are a few tips from Michelle and Victoria’s workshop:

Begin by choosing a theme: No, this doesn’t mean that you should break out the bad ’70s clothing and melamine. First, find a style that inspires you and then reinterpret it. Whether you have seen it on the runway, in a movie, or in your favorite shelter publication, a theme should be done loosely and never taken too literally.In our design, we chose Art Deco. The Conran Shop had some fantastic pieces that fit this theme: the platinum-rimmed plates, modern silver cutlery, and architect’s task lamp are all great examples.

Decide what mood you’d like to give your party: Every party can have a different feel. This is completely up to you and can be dictated by everything from the occasion and the type of food to the time of the party. You can both enhance and refine the mood through the table settings and decorations. Choose a mood that will complement the theme.We decided that for an afternoon tea and champagne, Alice in Wonderland would be a great source of inspiration for the event’s mood. The Conran Shop had whimsical yet sophisticated teacups and candle holders that added a playful element to our design.

Don’t be afraid to mix styles from different eras: We encourage mixing pieces so that the overall feel isn’t too polished or predictable. Pick contrasting pairings, such as a heavy table with lighter chairs, dark woods with white lacquer, or modern with traditional.The white marble Saarinen table, a timeless modern piece, worked well with the black bistro chairs. The two pieces are completely different in look and style but are united by a similar approach to simplifying furniture design.

Metallics can be used together: Silver and gold don’t clash. Use them fearlessly when decorating and never skip out on silver if you have already introduced gold, and vice versa.

Feathers are a lasting alternative to flowers: Feathers can make just as elegant a statement as flowers but will last you through several parties, if not a few years. If you live in New York City, head to the Garment District to pick up some fabulous peacock feathers. If you live outside the city, there are many websites where you can purchase them online. Here’s an example.

Balance your table in pairs: Remember to have two of each serving piece on your table. Having two sets of salt and pepper shakers, two teapots, and two dessert plates is a functional way to make sure all your guests have what they need within an arm’s reach.

And threes: Have three decorative pieces as your tablescape. The centered piece should be the largest and tallest, while the two side pieces should be at equally shorter heights.

We hope these tips will help you put together your most stylish and coordinated table setting. Please share your favorite pointers; we’d love to know how you pull it off. Happy holidays!


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