Color Scheme Nelson
chose Radiant Orchid,
Pantone’s color of the year,
as the inspiration for his
coloring. “I love the idea
that the only color on the
table is the napkin,” says
Nelson. He suggests keeping your table neutral and
adding just a pop of color.
Wooden Table This is the
center point of Nelson’s
design. A rustic wooden
table wouldn’t typically be
paired with an elegant
runner or high-end china,
but because they’re so
opposite, it works.
Table Décor Be mixy-matchy. Use candleholders
for candles and as vases
for flowers. Mix floral with
non-floral elements, like the
decorative spheres seen
here. And if the textures
are different, even better.
Nelson is a designer at Event Lab with nearly 18 years of experience.
He works to bring a client’s vision to life in all aspects of design, from
linens and lighting to tableware and floral.
For this design, Nelson played off the trend of mixing elements to create a look that he
describes as “sexy rustic,” intertwining two completely different styles. It all started with a
wooden table, which he built upon by adding upscale pieces: a silver embroidered runner,
chrome and mercury glass metal tones, Vendela roses and Phalaenopsis orchids, fine china,
and lots and lots of candles.
As far as placement, he tends to rely on instinct. “It’s all about balance,” says Nelson.
“I don’t know if it’s a conscious decision, it’s just what makes sense in my designer brain.”
There is one general rule he followed, though: avoid an even plain. In order to create visual
interest he used different levels of floral and candles. For larger centerpieces—and they
can be tall—be specific and more symmetrical in their placement. Then, the lower pieces—
which should be varying heights—can be placed more organically.
Initially this was envisioned as the head table at a wedding. “Doing a center harvest
table like this is really popular at weddings right now,” says Nelson. “Just the bridal party
sits there—you’re in the middle of the room with your guests surrounding you.” However,
it is also transferable to other settings. “I’ve seen a lot of corporate events starting to get
a little more daring with their tables, so it’s not just the typical rounds, rounds, rounds,”
says Nelson. “It all depends on what your program is going to be, but for gala type events,
doing some unique seating is getting popular.”