Setting the Scene

In a season that can sometimes be dominated by excess, we like the idea of keeping things bright and sunny, with a nod to our native Florida lifestyle. That’s why we love this inspired tablescape by Cassandra LaValle, the founder and creative director of the design blog Coco Kelley, which offers great advice and stylish inspiration with a mission to curate and create fresh ideas for a well-styled life, from interiors, parties and tabletops to travel, food and fashion. Her philosophy is: “Life is in the details.”

We chatted with LaValle to get her tips for achieving such breathtakingly simple holiday style, which would be a great option for a festive holiday dinner or chic New Year’s brunch.

We love how fresh and optimistic the look you created is—can you describe why a look like this feels right for the holidays, even though it’s not a “traditional” decorating choice?

While it may not be traditional, citrus fruits have long been associated with winter and the holidays, such as oranges stuffed with cloves or tangerines in stockings. Growing up, I remember stuffing my face with tangerines at my grandparents’ home. They would buy a whole box knowing that I loved them. This tabletop was inspired by that memory.

A lot of people try to make everything “perfect.” For you, is that the goal or should people go for something other than perfection?

I prefer something in between relaxed and perfect… because things have to be inviting too. If things feel overly “perfect” then they can also come off as too precious. We want guests to feel welcome in our homes and at our tables. Also, sometimes perfect feels like it has no personality. I like my tables to have an element of play or wildness to them.

You use a lot of organic elements—tell me why that appeals to you.

I approach all my decorating with nature in mind. For this setting specifically, I wanted to really bring in some sunshine.

Visit cocokelley.com for more information and inspiration.

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