Posts in tabletop
4 Tips for Setting Your Holiday Table

I absolutely love having family and friends visit during the holidays! Planning those dinner parties and get-togethers are half the fun for me, but I know some people find it to be stressful. The key is to not try to make everything perfect, but to enjoy every moment! So I’ve put together 4 of my best tips to set a stress-free - and gorgeous! - holiday table:

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

1. Mix high and low.

I like to use three categories of items on my tables: current, vintage, and precious. Current could be something you picked up at a store that isn’t necessarily expensive, but you love it! Vintage could be china you inherited from your grandmother, or a great piece of silver you found at an antique store. And precious - well that’s something that holds more sentimental value than monetary value. Then it’s all layered on the table; it makes the look approachable, but still special!!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

2. Fresh flowers.

Always have fresh flowers or greenery on the table. It could be a bouquet professionally done, or a bunch of seasonal flowers from your local market, or even fresh-cut greenery. If budget is tight, spread the bunch of flowers out by using single bud vases lined down the middle of the table for greater visual impact!

 Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

3. Make it personal.

If it’s a family gathering, use some vintage pieces passed down to you. If it’s a bunch of friends gathering, make simple place cards, tie ribbon to the back of each chair, and thread the place card through the ribbon

 One of my own collections!

One of my own collections!

4. Use your collections.

There is nothing better than a collection. Maybe it’s a collection of salt and pepper shakers. Maybe a collection of monogrammed napkin. Perhaps a collection of mini nutcrackers. Use your collections to make your table about you and your personality. People are gathering around your table because they want to spend time with you. Show them a little about you through your collections. Don’t have a collection? Start on by searching on Etsy or going to your local thrift store. Start with what speaks to you and go from there!

Use these tips to create new memories this holiday season - and remember to have FUN!!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

How to Have a Haute Halloween

Next week is Halloween! If you want to celebrate the fun of the day but you don’t have little kiddos, there are still so many options for getting a little spooky while staying on the more chic side of the spectrum! Here are some of my faves:

 Table design by Cynthia Fergusion

Table design by Cynthia Fergusion

I found these amazing skull plates at TJX, the flatware at Crate & Barrel, and the platter at Home Sense, proving you don’t have to spend a fortune to get a gorgeous look! The black-and-gold palette gives this outdoor table a lot of drama, without a lot of kitsch.

 Hudson Grace

Hudson Grace

This feather art from Hudson Grace adds intrigue and a tiny bit of spookiness, but looks incredibly chic!

 Pumpkin by Hot Skwash (isn’t that the best name?!)

Pumpkin by Hot Skwash (isn’t that the best name?!)

I was at a jewelry store when I saw this fab silky pumpkin. It reminds me of one of my favorite companies, Hot Skwash! They offer beautiful pumpkins like this that will give you a luxe look for your Halloween decor.

 Table design by Cynthia Ferguson

Table design by Cynthia Ferguson

And here’s a look at a dinner party I had last year at Halloween. With lots of candles, a spooky palette, and just a touch of faux webs, I created a Halloween mood that was hip and haute. 

Try these ideas to take your decor from silly to seriously sophisticated!

Until next time,

-Cynthia

Designer Inspiration: Dining and Decor

Next week it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada – a time to gather with friends and family over a fabulous feast and a gorgeous table! I love to design not only a gorgeous room, but also a great tablescape for my guests and I pull inspiration from so many sources. As I travel, I get a lot of great ideas from restaurants around the world – for colours, design ideas, or for table settings!

 This restaurant in Majorca has me dreaming of a non-traditional Thanksgiving tablescape!

This restaurant in Majorca has me dreaming of a non-traditional Thanksgiving tablescape!

For example, a recent trip to Majorca has me thinking about gorgeous cobalt glassware and plates for a more non-traditional Thanksgiving table! Can I just say that the lavender planted near our table also was a heavenly experience? Maybe I should add a few springs to my centerpiece!

 A restaurant in Denmark designed by Vernon Panton.

A restaurant in Denmark designed by Vernon Panton.

Speaking of non-traditional colours, I’m crazy for this mix of purples, blues, and oranges in a restaurant in Denmark, designed by Vernon Panton! The lighting and that incredible ceiling installation are inspiring some ideas not only for a party at my house, but also a design I’m cooking up for my client’s dining room.

 A private dining room at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, featuring a Damien Hirst!

A private dining room at Cecconi's in West Hollywood, featuring a Damien Hirst!

I was lucky enough to enjoy a fantastic dinner at Cecconi’s West Hollywood, in a private dining room that included this beautiful Damien Hirst! The orange in this piece is more in line with a fall-themed Thanksgiving, but I also am inspired by the tiny butterflies that flutter across the painting. I may have to pull out my butterfly-patterned china!

The next time you’re dining out, consider the decor as much as you do the menu – you never know where you might find your next inspiring idea!

Until next time,

- cynthia

Perfect Summer Soirées
Cynthia Ferguson Design Tabletop

There is nothing I love more than spending time outdoors – especially after being on hot dusty construction sites all day! I love throwing a tablecloth on the table outdoors and just dining en plein air!

Everything on your table doesn’t have to match or be perfect – summer dinners and socials should be fun, spontaneous, and about the people around the table!

Everything on your table doesn’t have to match or be perfect – summer dinners and socials should be fun, spontaneous, and about the people around the table! I love to mix and match dinnerware – even using vintage or heirloom pieces with newer settings. Some of my favourite sources for those fabulous vintage finds are Sean George Pressed Glass & Goblets, Replacements Ltd., and Cynthia Findlay Antiques.

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

Look for colours that can be used as a coordinating element – like the green in a tablecloth, or the pink in a floral pattern. Then pull in other items from your collections that have the same or complementary colour!

Cynthia Ferguson Design

To create a fun bar cart, I love to use my collections of pressed and vintage glassware! Patterns can be mixed for a festive look, especially when you coordinate with straws and bottles that are in similar colours.

But do you want to know the REAL designer secret to creating a fabulous tablescape for a summer dinner party?

Cynthia Ferguson Designs

The inside scoop is to just throw something festive and fun together and invite your friends over! Don’t worry about any judgement. Trust me, your guests are just thrilled to have someone else cook for a night! Our friends and family love that the table is always a surprise when they arrive!

Open a bottle, look up at the stars, and enjoy the laughter. That’s what is really important when it comes to dining al fresco!

Until next time,

Cynthia

PS – I have some fun events coming up soon! To see the tablescapes I’ve designed, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

-Cynthia