‘Malunggay’ as mistletoe? Style tips for your New Year tablescape | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Belle Lequin of Wild Reverie (center) used bundled-up leaves as floating centerpieces for this setup. —@Wild_reverie Instagram Photos
Belle Lequin of Wild Reverie (center) used bundled-up leaves as floating centerpieces for this setup. —@Wild_reverie Instagram Photos

Earthy tones of red and green can give muted elegance to the New Year celebration. Belle Lequin of Wild Reverie Creative Studio (@Wild_Reverie on Instagram) gives us lessons on how to pull this theme off.

The Cebu-based stylist uses leaves of common plants and trees in her tablescapes. It’s not unusual to find malunggay, banana hearts, eggplants and cauliflower in her designs.

“There is no one way to decorate holiday tablescapes at home. It’s fun to experiment and pour our hearts out with any sprucing up we do for ourselves. But always keep in mind that cohesiveness is key in styling,” Lequin said.

She started styling in 2014 by accident. Lequin designed a friend’s wedding and ended up being recognized in a wedding blog. Clients started to come in until her business grew.

It is a career that chose her. She refers to herself as a flower geek, and says that styling for a living is a privilege that she is grateful for. Christmas is the only holiday she looks forward to because it reminds her of a happy childhood.

She said neutral tones have grown very popular recently. She had bookings for this type of holiday setup, but they all had to be canceled because of Typhoon “Odette” (international name: Rai).

But Lequin was excited to share her holiday ideas with Lifestyle readers, and that’s why she went to a mall with steady Wi-Fi to share these pictures. Styling, she said, starts with the palette.

The surrounding interior should be considered when decorating the home and table.

Green as staple

Place cards are fun projects for kids. Photos from Instagram @Wild_reverie

“Go for reds and greens for the traditional tablescape. Modern minimalist looks great with neutral and Nordic colors like grays, browns and whites,” she said. “Whichever palette you choose, greens are always a good staple, and you want to sprinkle your table with metallic specks here and there for a more festive atmosphere.”

She said gold evokes warmth and coziness, while silver creates a wintry and cooler palette. Go for copper if you are aiming for an edgier look.

For the centerpiece, pine garlands can be dotted with pine cones, Christmas balls and cinnamon barks if you’re going the minimalist route. If you want to go all out, you can use small potted Christmas trees alternated with holiday figures.

A finishing touch is equally important. Candles or stringed fairy lights can give the warmth and coziness that the occasion calls for.

Full-length linens can be draped over tables to make them dressy. But leaving the table bare with only a table runner and matching fabric placemats will also showcase the home’s beautiful furniture.

Fancy tableware

Plain tableware highlights the decorative pieces on the table.

Filipinos often take out their fancy tableware and use it for the occasion. If you are undecided on what to use from your collection, Lequin suggested deciding based on the centerpiece. Busy centerpieces will pop when plain tableware is used. But a minimalist centerpiece will highlight the plates, and is thus perfect for those with patterns such as Royal Albert’s Old Country Roses.

It is also the perfect occasion to make guests and family feel extra special. She encourages using glass stemware, layered plates, chargers and luxe cutlery.

Personalized place cards can also be added to guide and welcome guests and new members of the family. This is something that can be assigned to kids to make them feel part of the preparation.

Creativity is something Lequin encourages, but she advises against mixing and matching pieces that don’t belong to the same style. Oversized centerpieces should also be avoided because they tend to block conversation across the table.

How you will dine should also be considered. Crowded centerpieces are not ideal if your table is too narrow, according to Lequin. Family-style dining needs space between platters and the centerpiece.

“You can opt for a floating centerpiece that hangs from the ceiling, and just put candles and a few decor pieces on your table,” she said.

For reference, Lequin once used bundled-up leaves over the table. It gave the feeling of a Pinoy version of mistletoe.

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