How does Jonathan Preece do it? In addition to being an interior designer and stylist with Bunny Williams Inc. and serving as Creative Director of BeeLine Home, Jonathan also creates stunning holiday tables for a coterie of clients and friends. Obviously, Jonathan's creativity- and energy- knows no bounds. Need proof? Just look at a Thanksgiving table that Jonathan designed for a client. While most holiday tables are as dry as a Butterball turkey (mine included), Jonathan's is a delectable feast.
The setting was a Federal house in Westport, CT that had been decorated by Bunny Williams. The client often hosted Thanksgiving dinners for 30 to 45 guests, all of whom were seated at tables in the main Dining Room and the Hall. When Jonathan was brought in to assist with the Thanksgiving arrangements, he suggested creating an enfilade effect by having a table in the Dining Room and two 72" round tables in both the Hall and the Breakfast Room.
Because the client loves drama, Jonathan came up with a scheme loaded with "Wow". One of the first things you probably noticed in the photo above is the male turkey taxidermy. (I've always thought turkeys were actually beautiful birds, and if this shot doesn't prove it, I don't know what does!) Also woven into the mix were branches of pear, maple, and magnolia intertwined with pyracantha vines. Jonathan also nestled purple variegated decorative cabbage plants into the mix.
Blanc de chine cockerels were perched alongside pumpkin tureens that did double duty as cachepots. Mercury glass votives, compotes, spheres, and toad stools added a little shimmer to the table. Mother Nature was present in the form of seasonal fruits and vegetables like brussel sprouts on the stalk, shitake mushrooms, pomegranates, and grapes.
Jonathan's client asked him to include place cards and gifts for the guests. Keeping with the theme of the table, the male guests received turkey callers, while the females got silver old fashioned hand warmers. And the kids? Mini Coleman lantern key chains. The place cards were actually plaster leaves with painted relief. The china was Wedgwood and the etched wine glasses were Christofle.
Over-scaled branch arrangements flanked the Breakfast Room Entry and added color and height to the main Dining Room. Albino pumpkins and decorative cabbage were clustered around a 19th c. garden urn. Love the drama of the uplight. And if you look carefully, you'll notice little bird houses made of bark and moss that hung on the branches.
So...after seeing these photos, I'm completely rethinking my Thanksgiving table. (Anyone know where to get albino pumpkins here in Atlanta?) If you think this is good, just wait until I show you Jonathan's Christmas table!