An opulent, painterly floral centerpiece can cause the kind of lust associated with Italian men and chocolate. If you have the right arrangement even the addition of paper plates won’t compromise the setting. As with design or fashion, by centering the theme on one statement piece and all other accents fall into place.
DeJuan Stroud is an expert in the art of floral design, and it was only natural that his New York City business bloomed into events and a new book Designing Life’s Celebrations (Rizzoli).
Once the holiday season hits DeJuan is attune to tradition and family. Heirloom china, glassware and linens are the representative pieces that weave in family history.
In his own gatherings he chooses a theme, such as a Flemish still life or Provence. Taking the dual role of creator and curator, DeJuan thoughtfully approaches an event with spectacular results.
DeJuan’s tips to composing an event:
Conversation Pieces: Choose tableware that will not only add sparkle to your table and inspire your arrangements but also tell a story to share with guests.
Creating the Buffet: When styling a buffet choose one focal point with additional pieces that bring in beauty other than the food.
Moonlighting Tableware: Use pieces in innovative ways, such as an ice bucket to hold flatware rolled within linens.
Provencal Style: Decorative elements associated with southern France, such as lavender wands, lemons, pomegranates, bundles of cinnamon and herbs, compose his entryway. Stroud made garlands from cedar, fir and rosemary to the banister. A garland of lemons and bunched salal leaves add texture and color.
Manicure the Tree: DeJuan trimmed a Christmas tree into a topiary and planted it in a terracotta pot for a clever holiday Provencal look.
Natural Decor: Greenery and natural elements like herbs and fruit can set your scheme as effectively as flowers.
Photography by Monica Buck