Our guide to the best sparkling stemware, decor inspiration and chilled bubblies to make your holiday gathering shine
Event planner Mark Masone designed a formal dinner party, hosted by Candace Bushnell, in conjunction with Authors Night in East Hampton.
Florist and event stylist Mark Masone and his family have been crafting chic, one-of-a-kind flower arrangements since 1994. Masone’s passion for floral decor began when he started working at his local flower shop on holidays at the age of 14. Five years later, he went on to open his own boutique. Since then, he’s served an exclusive list of clientele, including New York Governor David Paterson, Lindsay Lohan and corporations such as Sony and Avon. Masone’s designs incorporate plush stuffed animals, a diverse array of plants, silks and custom arrangements made of some of the freshest flowers in the industry to create an immersive themed event experience for guests. The quality of his flowers is a top priority—Masone has them flown in daily for the freshest and most beautiful centerpieces possible. For him, it’s all in the details: Utilizing a pop of color can add drama to a tablescape, such as a single stalk of lavender laid over the guest’s place card for a natural but vibrant vibe.
Candlelight adds a festive air to the winter table. And the Evelina candleholder centerpiece by AERIN is a stylish, versatile centerpiece that holds eight tapers while adding its own sparkle to the tablescape. “There’s something so cozy and inviting about lighting candles in the winter. Especially during the holiday season, candles immediately create a festive, warm environment,” says company founder Aerin Lauder. “I like to decorate with a lot of red and gold, but candles are always the best finishing touch.” Given that this centerpiece is customizable and can be configured in different shapes for small or large tables, it means you won’t only use the Evelina for the holiday dinner, but you can make a chilly Tuesday night a special occasion simply by lighting a few candles. $900, Bergdorf Goodman; aerin.com
Any host worth their salt knows no holiday place setting is fully dressed without fine linens. Enter the table-toppers of the smart set, Julia B.’s handembroidered creations. Raised in Tokyo and San Francisco, founder and CEO Julia Berger credits an attention to craftsmanship as key to her handmade limited-edition designs. With myriad monogram styles and designs available, these linens are the most delicious thing on the dining table this season. Venezia table linens, set of four mats for $620, four dinner napkins for $640, four round cocktail napkins for $190, monogramming for $160, juliab.com
Bronson Van Wyck created a bar setup, featuring vintage taxidermy and naturally felled antlers, for Christmas at his family farm in Tuckerman, Ark.
Bronson Van Wyck
With Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow and former President Obama as part of his clientele, expert party planner Bronson Van Wyck knows the ultimate style secrets for this holiday season. Believing conversation makes or breaks an event, his forte includes carefully curating guest lists with the right ratio of talkers to listeners. To break the ice, Van Wyck serves tequila from Arrowhead Farms, his line of all-natural cocktails, and family-style plates. Guests feel more comfortable and immediately begin interacting when passing food around the table, creating a lively environment. Celebrated for his extravagant tablescapes, the event designer is never afraid to mix and match. In fall and winter, he pairs lavish flower bouquets with the malachite dinnerware collection from L’Objet à la Plage. In combining a variety of shapes, styles and colors, he never has to worry about having enough of one style and is also able to create a personalized look. 122 W. 27th St., Floor 12, vanwyck.net
Let's Raise a Glass
What’s more glam than glassware by famed French cristallerie Saint-Louis? The St. Regis Midnight Supper set by Saint-Louis—a sublime pairing between Saint-Louis and the luxury hotel brand. Inspired by Caroline Astor’s Midnight Supper tradition, which dates to The St. Regis New York’s 1904 opening, the collection pays homage to glamorous dinners throughout the ages. “Saint-Louis has often set the table for St. Regis—from fashion week events in New York to luxurious crystal-laden picnics in London’s Hyde Park to one-of-a-kind Midnight Suppers around the world,” says Saint-Louis CEO Jérôme de Lavergnolle. The set includes a mix of the amethyst Tommy cocktail glass, Stella American water glass, Les Endiablés Bubble glass, amethyst Bubbles hock and amethyst Excess Champagne flute. $2,300, Neiman Marcus; saint-louis.com
On the Grid
New from Danish objects company Georg Jensen comes Matrix. Designed by acclaimed Swedish designer Monica Förster based on Georg Jensen archives, it’s the ideal way to incorporate some of Scandinavia’s finest designs into your holiday decor. Made from mirror-polished stainless steel, the cube vase, tube vase and bowl are all three available in both small and medium sizes, making the possibilities for use endless. $40-$195, georgjensen.com
Shake, Rattle, Roll
Recently, Tiffany & Co. launched a new men’s collection the luxury maker describes as “direct, uncomplicated and rooted in a legacy of expert craftsmanship.” The Tiffany 1837 Makers Collection (the name is a nod to the brand’s founding year) was inspired by the jeweler’s holloware workshop and by its long-standing business in handcrafting championship trophies. A sure winner is this gorgeous and sturdy cocktail shaker in sterling silver and brass—a can’t-miss for the fellow who has (almost) everything. Reed Krakoff, chief artistic officer for the house, says, “There’s a person behind each object”—in this case, someone who appreciates an exquisite drink, exquisitely delivered. $2,250, tiffany.com
At Your Service
We find ourselves in hearty agreement with Peroni beer’s slogan this year: Whatever you do, do it beautifully. It holds especially true at the holidays. So we were delighted to learn of the brand’s limited-edition bar cart, a stylish partnership with prolific designer Jonathan Adler. Rendered in clear acrylic with nickel detailing and featuring the beer’s blue stripes, it’s made for the host or hostess whose gatherings feel like an evening on the Amalfi Coast. “There’s no place I love more than Italy,” Adler says. “And the bar cart I created… is the next best thing to actually being there.” Salute! $1,450, by special order, jonathanadler.com
Larry Scott utilized candlelight for a wedding anniversary party.
Larry Scott of Lawrence Scott Events is known for his dedication to the over-the-top. His work mostly focuses on creating spectacular, one-of-a-kind events such as masquerades and weddings that sometimes need that extra flair. One of his specialties is getting the waitstaff to parade around the party at an unexpected time. As a former caterer and restaurateur, Scott believes what you serve is as important as how you serve it. He recommends having variety in food selection because it adds to the overall visual impact of a table. With most holiday spreads, food is going to be the centerpiece, whether that’s a Thanksgiving turkey or Christmas ham. But in order to take the table a step above, bring in some nontraditional holiday foods to the spread for a delicious contrast. For Scott, mixing high and low design elements makes a truly outstanding event. He says, “I’m not reinventing the wheel, I’m just driving it differently.”
Ceramicist Paul Schneider is no stranger to the spotlight, having caught the eye of his top-tier clientele early on with his signature chevron prints, dappled techniques and multibanded drip process, which he meticulously applies to an assortment of lamps, trays and accessories. This season, Schneider swirls into new territory with the launch of his geode collection, which utilizes an innovative marbling process. What to expect? A whimsical mix of rich hues, intricate design and swoonworthy pieces that will make for the perfect addition to your holiday tablescape. And like the ceramic artist himself, each piece is one of a kind. $325, Mecox, mecox.com; paulschneiderceramics.com
Merry & Bright
Traditional isn’t always better. Witness the reimagining of the Christmas tree into a modern, glowing masterpiece. Modern Christmas Trees founder Matt Bliss’ grandfather created the prototype when he made a family Christmas tree out of cardboard in the 1960s. From that midcentury start, Bliss fashioned a new version of the A-line tree from concentric acrylic rings, chandelier crystals and LED lighting. The final touch is the Sputnik-reminiscent star on top. The trees come in four heights, with different color options and, even, a new, inclusive rainbow design. $269-$1,399, modernchristmastrees.com
Photography by: Mark Masone tabletop photo by Carly Tumen; Bronson Van Wyck photos by Stephen Karlisch; Modern Christmas Trees photo by IC Buck; Lawrence Scott Events photo courtesy of Lawrence Scott Events; product photos courtesy of brands