The Holiday Dinner, 2014

M and M holiday 2014 (1)For the past several years, I have posted pictures from a holiday dinner hosted every year by 2 very good friends. They both have careers in the arts and are keenly interested in design.  They have a collection of ornaments amassed over a period of many years.  They have strong ties to French art and design.  All of this shows, whether the subject at hand is their collection of boxwood in pots, their perennial gardens, or their French style potager. Their holiday is ordinarily a very subtle and understated affair.  This year’s table is a significant departure.

M and M holiday 2014 (2)This holiday featured an unexpected turn of events. The French blue flocked tree around which they had planned their holiday was not available.  By the time they ordered their tree, the color was sold out. With equal parts pique and nerve, they ordered a flocked tree in turquoise.  M sent me a picture of the tree-I could not imagine what they would do with it.  The color was very strong. Intensely turquoise. As they felt it was either a turquoise flocked tree, or a tree with no flock, they jumped in.

M and M holiday 2014 (3)Once the initial shock of the color had worn off, I could see them both accepting, and later enjoying the challenge. They kept me updated, as the decorating process unfolded. My part in all of this?  Being available to tell them I was sure what they did would be great. The design process always has those moments.  A tree that dies, and leaves an attending shade garden exposed to full sun is a design challenge, as it is based on a circumstance that cannot be altered.  The one boxwood or lavender that dies out mid-hedge, or an exceptionally cold winter that kills the roses back to the ground can present significant design challenges.  Every gardener experiences moments like this.

M and M holiday 2014 (4)But the glory of their holiday is in what companion colors and materials they chose to make that turquoise look beautiful and deliberate.  They harvested lots of weed seed heads, and hydrangeas from their garden.  Those cream colored stems are intertwined, and float over that startling blue.

M and M holiday 2014 (5)They used lots of red, as in pomegranate, and red amaryllis. I am not sure why red and turquoise is such a striking color combination, but here it is-with gold and cream as an intermediary. Big splashes of gold, and some silver added to the festivities. It was clear this design process was not drawn on paper, or completely imagined in advance.  It was a process for which they both had patience. Do enjoy their pictures.

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M and M holiday 2014 (12)red for the holiday

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M and M holiday 2014 (14)the holiday table

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M and M holiday 2014 (16)Sophia

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M and M holiday 2014 (23)I thought their holiday was incredibly beautiful. Their willingness to take on an unexpected circumstance with energy and verve is equally as stunning. Taking chances with design-how I admire this.


  1. Love the mix of blues and pomegranates !
    Happy, healthy 2015 !!

    Jane and Joel Mettler

    • Deborah Silver says

      Happy and healthy to you and Joel too, Jane. Their mix is all their own. I am happy to be a witness to it. All the best, Deborah

  2. WOW! What fun to have friends who are as bold and artistic as yours! Thank you for all your posts and willingness to share design tips. I always get inspired. Happy New Year to you and your staff who make it all happen!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Lucinda, they are friends whose sense of fun and beauty is incredibly influential in my life. What they do takes my breath away. Love them! Happy New Year to you. best, Deborah

  3. I absolutely love the table this year. A change but a magnificant change. Their table never disappoints.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Jane, they do not know the meaning of the word disappointment. You and I both know this. Happy New Year, my friend. best, Deborah

  4. Fun, fun, fun! And also so elegant

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Laura, fun and elegant describes these friends perfectly. I am pleased you got this from the pictures. Thanks for writing, Deborah

  5. WOW!

  6. Thank you all for sharing and a happy and healthy new year

  7. Traci Retholtz says

    Lovely! Do you sell or design topiaries like those pictured in the window near the dining table?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Traci, it could be that some of those myrtle topiaries came from Detroit Garden Works. We will have them again in the spring. best, Deborah

  8. I love this posting…thank you for sharing these photos! The colors are wonderful and exciting! Kudos!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Carolyn, how could I not share these pictures? They are beautiful. My friends who fashioned a beautiful holiday from disaster-I admire them. Happy New Years, Deborah

  9. That tree is magnifique! The use of all the natural elements bring it down to earth, and works so well with the turquoise. I love the pods,pomegranates and gold, beautiful.

  10. Erica McKoane says

    I love how those colors look together; the touches of gold give an elegance and vintage sense. Just lovely and festive. Happy New Year! I really enjoy the blog and the holiday season is most inspiring!! Many thanks!! Cheers!

  11. I find the whole table/place settings/tree to be quite marvelous. Lovely job! I’ve never considered pairing turquoise with red before but love it. Striking color combination.

    It makes me want to invest in a pair of red pants with a turquoise top. Really like the idea of decorating with pomegranates as well.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Laura, pomegranates are really good to eat, and really good to look at. Especially at the holidays. love the fashion reference-great design spans a lot of fields. best, Deborah

  12. Nobody could decline an invitation to that table and party! Marvelous!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Greg, everyone who takes a place at that table must be thrilled. Marvelous is a good way to describe it. Happy New Year, Deborah

  13. Love, love, love this tablescape!
    Turquoise, pomegranate red and gold are a significant part of the palette of the desert southwest where I live.
    Every image is so artistic. This posting really made my Christmas spirit soar!
    Happy New Year and thanks for all the wonderful writing, photos, and gardening ideas to dream of for the new year.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Terry, the turquoise, red and gold is also a significant part of French culture. Funny how things come and go around. Happy New Year to you too. best, Deborah

  14. janet aronoff says

    Class A fabulous!!!

  15. I am thoroughly enchanted by their joyful embrace and celebration of this color scheme. The pictures present one captivating scene after another and the atmosphere is pure joie de vivre. Their undeniable artistry is impressive and admirable. I’m going to take a wild guess (ha) and assume the food was amazing also!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Michaele, pure joie de vivre describes them perfectly. As for the dinner, I suspect it was first rate. They are great friends, so they always look good to me. And what they do always looks good to me. But this holiday scheme was astonishingly good-no two ways about it. Happy New Year to you! all the best, Deborah

  16. Unexpected and so very pretty! Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed the pictures. Cheers to a wonderful new year!

  17. Stunningly beautiful! And a surprising and welcome departure from all the red and green, gold and silver that so dominates most holiday decorating. The pictures are inspirational.Thank you for sharing them. Happy New Year!

  18. REALLY STUNNING!THANKS for sharing this..will pass on to others who will “GET IT!”

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