Design a Wow-Worthy Holiday Table!

 Peter Hurley

Mark Addison, a top New York City event planner, is the expert on all things chic and clever and has put his good taste to use with Kelly Ripa, Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez. Now, he is providing entertaining tips perfect for the holiday season.

Looking for inspiration for holiday decorating ideas?

Look no further than the pages of your favorite catalogs, store windows — and even the pages of US Weekly.

Dress your table as if you were dressing yourself for a fun theme party by focusing on layers, accessories and drama to add dimension, volume and eye-popping visual interest. Create your own designs or try these three fun holiday table ideas inspired by fashion runways, jewelry stores and even toys shops!

Holiday Angels
As seen in the pages of US Weekly, my Holiday Angels design reflects the ruffled and flowing looks straight off the runway of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This "wow-worthy" table focuses on the ephemeral and feminine-yet-appropriately-provocative qualities the models "worked" on the runway early this month. 

1. Think ruffled tulle tablecloths, plates with feathered wings and napkins corseted in glamorous and glitzy-gemmed cuffs.

2. Create runway style drama with glittered branches dripping with multi-colored ribbons of lace and satin and adorn the table with your favorite trinkets and ornaments.

3. Take notes from long-time Angel Heidi Klum to ensure your table has the "it" factor it deserves: Klum often added a rich pop of color to her red-carpet beauty looks — so try jazzing up your table with hot winter colors such as deep purple or fiery red!

Sparkling Holidays
The windows of luxury jewelry stores like the Ivanka Trump Collection boutique and Swarovski's Crystallized Concept Stores inspired me to create a dazzling holiday table using the 4 Cs of gemstone quality — color, clarity, cut, carat (maybe not carrots). This romantic table design brings to life the passion and elegance of fine jewelry and makes a bolds statement to your dining guests!

1. Start with layers of crystal organza at the table cover, and add mirror placemats and crystal trimmed napkins with a cut-glass napkin ring. For an added "wow" factor, custom cut a sheet of mirror Plexiglas to cover the entire table to reflect more light on to your faceted crystal and glass décor. 

2. Create a luminous landscape of cut-glass candleholders. Add wire-framed trees covered in miniature lights to hang cut crystal trinkets, beads and trimmings.

3. Punctuate and personalize each place setting with a hand-cut crystal pendent with a written nametag on a thin wire stand.   

Babes in Toyland
Dinners and soirees aren't only for the grown-ups! Treat your kids to a fun family-oriented table display made with toys and games. My inspiration for my toy-inspired table design comes from the iconic FAO Schwarz in the heart of New York City. Think family dinner party meets Disney's Toy Story. Kids won't be the only ones raving over the playful spirit of your toy-inspired table — it's a fun activity for the whole family!

1. Instead of typical table cloth, gift-wrap the tabletop complete with an oversized ribbon and bow.

2. Create your table decor using the toys and games that you and your kids love most, like Lego-themed centerpieces, monopoly or Twister-inspired placemats. Make a garland of toys and battery-operated light strands threaded through the table setting from generations past and present to spark conversations of fond childhood memories. For toys to include on your tabletop, visit

3. Personalize each place setting with homemade snow globes using waterproof toys that hold a fond memory for each guest, and paint each name using paint-pens.

Homemade Snow Globe How-To:

Fill a jar with water and shake to test the lid for tightness. Pour the water out, remove the paper label and let the jar dry completely. Choose a clean waterproof toy, game piece, travel souvenir or trinket to inhabit the imaginary world. Place it temporarily inside the lid and lower the jar over it, just to make sure it fits and allows enough space for "snow" to fall around it. An adult should glue the object on the inside of the lid with water-resistant glue, such as aquarium sealant, which is available at pet stores. Let it dry 24 hours.

Fill the jar almost to the top with mineral oil or use distilled water with a few drops of glycerin added. Sprinkle glitter or sequins — I like how they fall in water — into the liquid. An adult should apply water-resistant glue to the outside grooves of the jar rim and carefully screw on the lid. Stand the jar with the lid end up to dry for 24 hours.

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