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Creating a wonderful, wintry table for seasonal dinner parties

You don’t have to deck your dining room in green and red for the holidays.

The concept for this dining room in Hamilton wasn’t so much Christmas as it was seasonal.FREEBIRD

“I don’t gravitate toward true reds,” Kate Daskalakis says. “I prefer a burgundy or aubergine as an alternative for the season.” As such, when devising the winter scheme for her client’s dining room in Hamilton, the KSD Designs founder stayed fairly neutral, using local greenery and dusky florals for color, along with burnished gold tones for subtle shine. The concept wasn’t so much Christmas as it was seasonal. “It’s a cozy, winter dinner party vibe,” Daskalakis says. “I wanted to give the family a soft, natural, and authentic look that has longevity through the season.”

1 Kerrie Sesto of Glass Onion Floral Design fashioned a centerpiece with lisianthus, hellebore, and cream roses in a well-patinated vintage compote bowl. Daskalakis displayed extra blooms in transparent glass vases that seemingly disappear so the table doesn’t feel cluttered.


2 “Every designer loves to grab the brass candlesticks this time of year,” Daskalakis says. “These are a modern take on an otherwise traditional accessory.” In addition to ambiance, they add height to the tablescape.

3 Plush faux fur throws infuse instant coziness. “I like to treat head chairs as thrones,” the designer says. “This is a great way to accent them no matter the season.”

4 Daskalakis draped the garland, which Sesto made from umbrella pine, fir, and other local greens, on just one end of the mantel. “The less conventional, asymmetric arrangement is unexpected in a traditional home,” she says.

5 “I’ve always liked a chunky knit stocking that looks like your grandfather’s old sock,” the designer says. “It’s nostalgic and more believable, like maybe Santa Claus really will come.”

6 “The imperfectness of the tree makes it perfect,” she says of the scraggly specimen, which she placed in a mason jar with water inside an old cast iron pail filled with firewood to hold it steady. “It looks like the family might have cut it down in the woods themselves,” she adds.


Marni Elyse Katz is a contributing editor to the Globe Magazine. Follow her on Instagram @StyleCarrot. Send comments to