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Winston Flower's Theresa Larivee On Her Best Holiday Tablescape Tips

By Michael McCarthy | November 19, 2020 | Home & Real Estate Food & Drink Home & Real Estate

Richly hued flowers and seasonal textures mirror the changing landscape outside.

As the lead brand and product designer for Boston’s Winston Flowers (, Theresa Larivee spends lots of time thinking how petals, hues and furniture interact with each other, and how florals simply mark time.

“Flowers in decor are always the first sign of a really significant day,” she says. “As flowers are something we consider temporary, it always seems to ground me in that particular moment. Clearly this comes from a flower enthusiast, but slowing down—even subconsciously—to admire something that’s alive on these special days makes you more present. The more we slow down, the more enriched those memories will be.”

Larivee says that while tablescapes provide new life to annual gatherings, they also can play a role in smaller dinner parties or events any time of year. A tip for hosts: Allow florals to serve as a guide to a room’s temporary aesthetic. “Flowers that heavily coordinate with linens or plates will have a very different feeling,” she says, noting that it might be better to allow florals, linens and plates to subtly contrast or offer complementary pairings of hues.

When selecting tablescapes for the months ahead, Larivee says not to block sightlines. “You want flowers to be conversation pieces, but not to impact your ability to see who you’re speaking with,” she says. “While having some wispy elements dance into view is welcomed, when there’s bulk to an arrangement, it typically exists best below eye level.”

Trends in tablescapes include smaller pieces that make a big impact. “Whether this is with a footed vase, smaller bowl shape or multiple smaller pieces, the focal point is on the natural beauty of the flowers,” says Larivee. “Seasonal accents sprinkled on the table with candles always anchors the floral nicely. Additionally, I love seeing new and creative ways place cards are incorporated into the table settings.”

We asked Larivee and the team at Winston Flowers—with design centers in Boston and New York and four locations in Massachusetts—to share some of their favorite tablescapes to provide inspiration for gatherings during the chilly months ahead.


Filling a long table requires a bountiful floral piece—this one includes tangerine roses, burnt orange calla lilies and cinnamon-hued orchids.

Seasonal fruit also plays a part in the display.

Pears complement a display that appears unfussy and wild, capturing a season of change.

Festive Holiday Dinner

The pairing of red and green is always inviting—Winston Flowers’ team uses rustic winter textures like pine cones and bark, dressing them up with metallic touches.

Adding lots of evergreen textures allows for the velvety crimson flowers to pop, and additions like hellebore, red pieris, winter berries and thistle translate to lush beauty on display at every angle.

Whimiscal Holiday Tea Party

The concept is so fresh and fun—the dramatic height of the chandelier garland is enhanced with modern white vessels, pops of fuchsia and dazzling gold accents.

All of the glitz of the room is reflected by the glasses, and the florals ground the space with cheer.

Photography by: Courtesy of Winston Flowers