By Anna Paola Snaidero
“Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci
Design is about small things as much as it is about big statements, and even the simplest occasions can offer an opportunity for expression. As a fan of design, I love to indulge in décor as a way to give voice to my creativity. The pictures on this page show the table setting I created to share with my family and guests during this season’s celebrations. While I call it “designing your White Christmas”, this décor is suited for the holidays in general as it has no specific religious connotations.
Obviously, as you will see, my sense of aesthetics draws a lot on Snaidero’s design philosophy…after all, I live and breathe it in my daily life! So, for this décor, I realized I was influenced by the white Venus kitchen by Pininfarina because I think it speaks of what modern design is about: sophistication, unconventionality, movement, and understated richness emerging through the finer details.
In the setting, the sophistication comes from the use of neutral colors mixed with silver touches, which give the table a rich look without making it redundant. The proportions of the items are calibrated to create a balanced composition, with nothing claiming a superior presence over the rest.
The décor infuses calm and serenity (feelings we cherish, perhaps even crave, during the holidays). It is festive in a more unconventional way, as it does without the expected choice of red ornaments. The silver and snow effect here and there provide a magical feel. The little gift boxes, one per guest, convey caring and affection as they represent the act of giving and the bond that exchanging presents creates between people.
The warmth (usually associated with the color red) is given by the use of the earthy pine cones and the candle lights, both natural elements. I picked up the pine cones at a local park and spray painted them. Using fallen branches and real pine cones helps transmit the spirit of the holidays and it is more eco-friendly than cutting down a tree. Not to mention the fabulously added pleasure you get from your table smelling like a forest!
The composition has movement, as it is not just about the centerpiece; rather, it takes you on a clear visual path around the table, through accompanying elements which fill the space without making it too chaotic (also thanks to the neutral color palette).
Elements of design are found in the patterns of the snowflakes (of two different kinds, to introduce variety with no excess), the simple but interesting motif of the napkin holders, and the folding of the napkins themselves. The choice of two distinct types of glasses contributes to the visual variety but it’s not too much because their design is simple and the green color of the wine glasses allows the color palette to remain intact.
When you look at it as a whole, the composition flows and feels effortless; no single element is too “loud”. Yet, when you examine it more closely, you begin to discover a little trove of understated details that make the end result interesting and pleasing to the eye. And while the style is decidedly modern, you will find that this décor goes equally well within contemporary and traditionally settings. For a finishing touch, festive but not cliché, wear white: a reflection of all colors.
Here are some tips to find the items you need to create a similar composition: Michael’s crafts stores, PaperSource and other cardshops are good places to find little gift boxes and name tags (please help the environment and choose only eco-friendly materials!). Nice glasses, candleholders, napkin holders and the remaining decorations can be found at Neiman Marcus or similar higher-end department stores.
Here’s a toast to the holidays, design, and all of you!
While Winter is all about white, Summer is all about color: find out how to bring nature onto your table with Anna Paola Snaidero’s Summer dining decor tips.
(Credits for photo 1, 2 and 4: Daniela Scaramuzza of Studio Scaramuzza)