How To Host The Holidays Like A Design Expert

ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN | BY | November 6, 2017

Too often in our modern era, formality is sacrificed in the name of keeping things simple, but there’s no rule that says elegant entertaining should require a Herculean effort. This season, Luxe looks to legendary interior designer Alex Papachristidis for his advice on how to create a gathering that’s both magical and stress-free. “When you entertain, it’s a reflection of how you live, and it’s also a way of honoring your friends,” says Papachristidis. “It’s vital to pay attention to the details, but also stay relaxed. After all, if the host is having fun, the guests are having fun–and that’s the most important thing.”

PLATS DU JOUR

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Just like the perfect ensemble combines haute couture with ready-to-wear, the ideal table setting is a mix of rarefied pieces with more accessible items. Here, antique floral plates and William Yeoward citrine goblets coordinate with rust chargers and gold-plated bamboo flatware, the latter of which are available through Everyday Elegance, Papachristidis’ new venture with business partner Lisa McCarthy (pictured in main image, alongside Papachristidis). An online destination for carefully curated looks for a variety of occasions, the website aims to ease the process of designing a tablescape.

PHOTO: Antoine Bootz

ANIMAL INSTINCTS

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While the color and pattern of plates and linens lay the foundation of a tablescape, it’s the custom touches that add personality. Papachristidis, a lifelong animal lover, is a big believer in using whimsical pieces that speak to the host’s individuality. In addition to the pair of large yellow Chinese Fu dogs, he also included antique parrots and even camels for this setting, all from his personal collection. “I love incorporating conversation pieces because it’s unpredictable and shows a sense of humor,” he says.

PHOTO: Antoine Bootz

FLORA FORM

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Deep-hued dahlias, oxblood calla lilies and vibrant ranunculus, punctuated with seasonal fruit, including wild blackberries and pomegranates, make a festive statement in an antique tankard. “It’s hard to do an impactful arrangement in a container with a narrow mouth, so I like to use pieces like tankards or tureens,” says Papachristidis. “Aim for blooms that could fill an opening two to three times the size of your container–that way it will always look lush and dramatic.

PHOTO: Antoine Bootz

BUBBLE BAR

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Positioning the drinks station as guests enter establishes a merry tone for the evening. Here, Papachristidis set his up on an entry hall console table designed by Victor Proetz; a contemporary gilded mirror and matching candlesticks by Les Lalanne lend an element of gothic fantasy. “It looks like something out of Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast,” he says. The bar features the designer’s fuss-free house cocktail, the Piscine, which is rose champagne poured over large square ice cubes served in oversize goblets. “Guests can dive right in,” he says.

PHOTO: Antoine Bootz

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