Our Guide To The Best Stemware, Decor And Chilled Bubblies To Make Your Holiday Gatherings Shine

By Jaclyn Jermyn; The Editors | November 12, 2019 | Lifestyle

ajp-2.jpgBright colors and bold blooms bring life and warmth to this otherwise industrial- leaning space.

Fruit Froward
Playing off the idea of a fruitful new year, Dawn Crothers of Something Vintage Rentals styled a vibrant New Year’s Eve celebration that is positively blooming. Based on the tradition of eating 12 grapes for luck in the new year, fresh fruit—including those grapes—was paired with richly colored floral arrangements from She Loves Me. “When planning a party, I am obsessed with two things,” Crothers says. “There must be upbeat music—I typically opt for Motown—and all of the decor details must be taken into account.” This meant vintage glassware, handmade ceramic plates and metallic pops throughout. “Handmade plates are an extra touch of luxury guests will notice,” she says. “The porcelain plates show the hallmarks of being handmade while still being superversatile. I’ve had such a great response so far, I’m planning several new collections for 2020.” Drawing from Something Vintage’s extensive collection of unique items, the table has a one-of-a-kind feeling Crothers is obsessed with and knows guests appreciate too. “If the cocktails are flowing and the decor is picture perfect,” she says, “how can you not enjoy yourself?” By appointment only, 4826 Stamp Road, Temple Hills, Md.

WASH_NOV2019_20191011_0006.jpgSimple and refined design made the room’s existing decor blend seamlessly into the party.

Mountain Time
Inspired by the mountains of Aspen, Colo., Susan Burke of Susan Burke Studio brought winter elegance to DC for a fabulous 50th birthday party. The inspiration was near and dear to the hearts of clients Mike and Annie Magruder, who lived in the luxe ski town before moving back to the District. A palette of white and sage green kept things refined, while mounds of baby’s breath and silver dollar eucalyptus from Green Hydrangea Flowers brought to mind snowy peaks. Custom place cards with calligraphy by Ginna Dunlap set in pieces of birchwood, made clear that even the smallest details were attended to. “A guest’s impression is directly influenced by the amount of thematic details a host uses,” says Burke. She also recommends setting your table well in advance. “The process always takes longer than anticipated,” she notes, “and no one enjoys the last minute stress.”

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 a nod to the brand’s founding year) was inspired by the jeweler’s holloware workshop and by its longstanding 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, CityCenterDC

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

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

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

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, AnnSandra, Annandale

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, Mazza Gallerie

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

jodi-kurt-photography-rebrand-dinner_08.jpgPared-down table elements were made for having deep conversations with guests late into the evening.

Natural Beauty
When Emily Butler of Karson Butler Events designed an intimate dinner party at the home of chef Sidra Forman for some of the District’s top event planners, she decided to focus on neutral fall textures and colors that would be flexible with changing weather. “Less is more,” she says. “When table space is limited, a few beautiful candles and thoughtful place settings can be impactful.” Guests were greeted with herb-forward specialty cocktails and delicious bites from Forman before sitting down to share a meal. Butler didn’t shy away from the space’s existing decor—instead, she made the dining table an extension of the room. “Beautiful blooms on the piano and family photos add a special touch,” she says, suggesting that hosts step away from the table and see the room as a whole, just as your guests would upon arrival. “Creating an ambiance throughout the entire room will make it feel inviting and warm.” And don’t forget to enjoy yourself. “If you are relaxed and ready,” Butler says, “your guests will feed off the energy, and it will set the tone for the entire evening.” 317 Constitution Ave. NE Rear

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, A Mano