Home Training Interior designers gather at Holiday House Hamptons event with inspiring tablescapes

Interior designers gather at Holiday House Hamptons event with inspiring tablescapes

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While most fundraisers, especially in the Hamptons, are beautifully designed, it’s rare to find a design-inspired event like Holiday House Hamptons Coming Together Table Eventwhich took place on July 20, 2022 at Topping Rose House in Bridgehampton.

The event featured sixteen designers and their tablescapes, including ABC Carpet & Home, Abundant Habitat, Amal Kapen Interiors, Ashley Stark Home, Elsa Soyars Interiors, Evan Mason Designs, Hidden Gem NY, Kathy Kuo Home, Katie White Interiors, Sage & Madison, Sarah Lederman Interiors, Sea Green Designs, The Lewis Design Group, The Rinfret Group, Unlimited Earth Care by Frederico Azevedo and Weston Table. Each tablescape was a gorgeous and incredible expression of each designer’s unique vision. But the most important thing is that this event, which was founded by Iris Dunker, went to benefit Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BKRF).

Several of the designers at the event shared with me the inspiration behind their designs, as well as some of their best tips for those looking to create a beautiful table at their own event.

But perhaps Andrea Stark, who designed the tablescape for Ashley Stark’s house says it best. “The inspiration was breast cancer, the memory of those we have lost, the hope for those going through it, and for the future, treatment and cure. So we don’t have to do any more [these events].”

Weston Table

Weston Table was one of the most visionary and certainly the most New England-inspired tables at the event. “Rather than relying on bouquets of summer flowers for color and texture, we’ll surprise our guests with William Yeoward Crystal glass bowls of various sizes filled with water and a live bright blue floating Betta fish. These low-profile elements provide an unobstructed view around the table,” says Diane O’Connor, Founder and CEO Weston Table.

“Our beachscape captures the rustic elegance of alfresco dining and a long stretch of coastline as the sun sets and it’s still warm enough to dig barefoot in the sand. Something unexpected on the table sparks a conversation. Candlelight bouncing off faces makes everyone glow, and our setting features modern glass oil lamps of varying heights that stay lit even in the summer breeze. We hope that at the end of the night, our meeting will leave everyone with a sense of calm and beauty that reflects the magnificence of the seaside.”

O’Connor also believes that it is better to choose low-key images. Less is always more. “Set the table, step back, and then see if you can remove anything that might be too noisy. Just like how you dress and accessorize, understated elegance is timeless. It’s a classic sensibility that I strive for every time I set the table.”

This understated yet creative aesthetic doesn’t have to be expensive either. It’s easy to use things you already have. “For example, we use rope as napkin rings to simulate rigging on a sailboat, small seashells as salt shakers, and linen beach towels as tablecloths for our beach-themed parties,” she says.

ABC Carpet & Home

With a bright purple carpet underfoot ABC Carpet & Home the tablescape stood out for its combination of both causal and formal elements. Suki LaBarre, vice president of merchandising and e-commerce for ABC Carpet & Home, tells me, “Our tablescape is inspired by the bright hues and whimsical illustrations of summer. This is a festive range of some of our new arrivals such as Ginori 1735 combined with products from our favorite collections and designers such as Astier de Villatte and our very own abcDNA range. An eclectic mix of vintage-inspired tableware and linens, along with mirrored accents, embellishments and bold color palettes, create dream-like nostalgia with classic charm.”

LaBarre tells me that mixing and matching is the key to creating a similar look. “Whether it’s mismatched (but coordinating) colors, incorporating vintage and modern pieces, or working with different pieces to play with visual texture and size…”

Then, elevate the tablescape by adding fun elements. “Add unique or whimsical touches like mirrored accents or natural elements like farm-raised vegetables, fresh flowers and side dishes. We also always recommend anchoring your space with a unique rug so you can anchor the landscape and tie the table setting together to create an unforgettable, vibrant atmosphere.”

Cathy Kuo’s house

Celebrity designer Cathy Kuo began her Hamptons coastal tablescape with a selection of basic furniture pieces. “We wanted to choose something light and natural that would also be a classic backdrop for a tablescape,” says Kuo. “The Chair Oly has been a favorite item to use in design projects as it brings a simple yet elegant feel to any room. Accompanied by a bleached pine forest dining table– both parts were perfectly combined.”

Then she chose dishes and flower arrangements at the same time. “For the dinnerware, we used a combination of light neutrals with pewter and gold accents that will exude grace, strength and humility—some of the many qualities of a strong woman,” she says.

Kuo believes the secret to a good tablescape is layering. “The combination of different heights, textures and colors helps to create an individual and thoughtful design, adding interest at first glance. It is also important to define the color scheme from the beginning. A rule of thumb is to have no more than three different colors and textures, but of course there are always exceptions.”

A tablescape can also be built around the centerpiece. “Whether it’s a beautiful floral arrangement, stunning ginger jars or a statement bowl… Setting it up in a way that makes a lasting impression on your guests is essential and can often become a talking point. You can also add personal touches to each setting, whether it’s a handwritten card or a small souvenir,” she says.

Interiors Almost Kapen

As a designer catering to the grandmillennial crowd, Amal Capen of Interiors Almost Kapen tells me that he always looks to the past for inspiration and then gives it a youthful twist. “A classic old-school print from Cowtan and Tout was the starting point [for the tablescape]. It spoke to me with its mix of lavender, blue, green and brown colors and large scale print. I’m obsessed with lavender these days and the big vine got me thinking about a climbing clematis centerpiece! Vintage 1960s grotto chairs from my shop and the plates were a mix of antique Calyxware and vintage Melox lotus plates.’

Kappen believes mixing it up is essential for a chic tablescape: “Your china doesn’t have to match, and you don’t need a whole new set of dishes. Consider buying a colorful sample dessert or salad plate set that coordinates with the china you already have to make a statement.”

For added elegance, she likes to use tablecloths and coasters together. “Messengers work great with tablecloths as they add an extra layer of protection in case of dirty dishes (or guests) and add extra interest to the table.”

Then skip the paper towels and use linen or cloth napkins as a finishing touch. “[They] can be monochromatic, with a pattern or even with a monogram,” explains the designer.

Kathy White Interiors

Kathy White of Kathy White Interiors designed one of the only roundtables at the event. It had a timeless yet modern look. “The vision was inspired by nature. I am drawn to organic, soft, rounded shapes and neutral colors that reflect the natural world around me. I wanted to create an organic mood [and simple]. A limited color palette of whites, greens and neutrals was chosen to match the theme,” says White.

“On the tableware side, I loved the perfectly imperfect natural curves of the plates and mango wood chargers from BeHome. Most of the flowers and accessories were from my house.’

Keeping with the theme of bringing nature indoors, Dedon has provided a table, chairs, lamps and a rug, all designed for outdoor living. “The whole setting can be used in the dining room or in the backyard,” she says.

White tells me that creating a beautiful tablescape starts with mood and theme. “The shapes, colors and materials of everything you use should fit the theme and should work with the decorations throughout the rest of the space. Combine pieces of different heights to add dimension to your table. Use what’s around you. Take a walk outside and take a pair of scissors with you. Everything you find will reflect the season and the place.”

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