Set Your Table with Surprises


“Joyful and happy, unusual and unexpected.” So describes the festive tablescape Anne Gee designed for a father and his daughters in their Cherry Creek home, featured in the L’Esprit de Noel Home Tour. The co-owner of Patina Antiques & Home in Greenwood Village called in some creative help—her business partners Joy Phelps and Debra Platt, along with floral designer Becka MacPherson of The Plum Gallery—and together, they combined vintage artifacts with contemporary elements, rustic touches with shimmery fixings, neutral tones with pops of metallic. The result: a beautiful, sparkling spread that’s sure to inspire much dinnertime conversation.

A Christmas That's Anything But Cliché
Antiques shop owner Anne Gee shares her go-to ideas for holiday tabletop décor that’s oh-so fresh.

Forget red and green. “There are so many new color schemes you can use,” Gee says. She suggests magenta and robin’s-egg blue with worn silver ornaments. Or, forget bold hues altogether and opt for neutrals with hits of glimmer and sparkle, much like this spread.

Reinvent the table runner. Gee suggests getting creative with materials to create your foundational layer. Consider a piece of embroidery that your grandmother made, black-and-white photos from holidays past, an antique German grain sack like the one used here—just look for “something that calls to you.”

Don’t buy new baubles. Use old items to create a new holiday look: here, Gee reincarnates
vintage gloves and books, even an old dress form that’s covered in lace and topped with a festive necklace. “We wanted ‘her’ to pose as the French maid to add a bit of whimsy,” Gee says.

Be adventurous with ornaments. String them from the chandelier, arrange them in a bowl—anything to give this holiday mainstay a year off from the tree.

Layer, mix, repeat. “Mix textures, finishes, straight lines, curvy lines,” Gee says. “Mix the heights [of items], and don’t have everything stand along a straight line.” Incorporating lots of interesting items brings a design to life.

Consider the room next door. “It’s important to work with the rooms that lead off the dining room so it all flows and doesn’t clash with your design,” Gee says.


Tabletop Design: Anne Gee, Joy Phelps and Debra Platt, Patina Antiques & Home,
Get the look: Find many of the items in this tablescape available for purchase at the boutique.

Floral Design: Becka MacPherson, The Plum Gallery,

Categories: Entertaining, Furniture & Accessories, Recipes