Tips for creating a beautiful holiday tablescapes from the Houston Chronicle


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Robert Leleux is one of 10 interior designers who will decorate tables for the annual Deck the Tables event at the Houston Design Center. He calls his entry "The Lion in Winter Table." He collaborated with Back Row Home. Here's how he did it:

  1. The mood: Aim for "holiday vague" so it could be used for Hanukkah, Christmas or New Year's — or even a special winter dinner with friends.
  2. Metallics: They bring a wintry gleam to the table and always look better mixed. Try silver, gold and gunmetal in different forms on the same table among the flatware and candlesticks.
  3. Upcycle: Use things for different purposes. Leleux chose marble vegetable trays for his charger plates, then set stainless-rimmed dinner plates on top for an Old World feel.
  4. Textiles: Leleux used a Mexican tablecloth from Hibiscus Linens turned inside out because he liked the underside just as much as the top side. He intentionally folded it so there was no overhang, showing off the table's (borrowed from Design House) beautiful natural surface. On top of the cloth, he placed a small antelope hide for an element of surprise.
  5. Mix it up: For glassware, don't be afraid to mix high and low. Leleux used 19th-century goblets with contemporary drinking glasses and hand-blown, tortoise-shell tumblers.
  6. Centerpiece: Yes, you need one. Leleux used 18th- and 19th-century candlesticks from Italian cathedrals. He intended to use them as a candelabra but loves them simply as objets d'art.
  7. Natural photoshop: Use votive candles. They'll shine light upward and make everyone look pretty.
  8. Little touches: On each dinner plate, Leleux used small vintage sheets of music paired with cinnamon sticks and tied them up with vintage silk velvet ribbon.