Impress your guests with a bauble bowl
- Alice Naylor-Leylan, a tablescaper, reveals how she creates statement displays
- READ MORE: How to make your supermarket centrepiece sensational…
Like most families, we’re bauble crazy in our house, adding new ones to an already burgeoning collection each year. But the problem with hoarding so many trinkets is that you inevitably run out of space to display them on your tree.
So, what to do with the excess? You make a virtue of it, that’s what, by creating this season’s must-have table decoration: the stunningly sumptuous Christmas bauble bowl.
As a professional tablescaper, I love this simple way of creating a statement display that is dramatic enough to take centre stage on your festive dining table. These merry-looking bowls can also be turned into cheering points of interest throughout the house, placed on coffee and hallway tables, as well on window sills and shelves.
To make a bauble bowl, simply stack a dish with decorative globes — though follow a few golden rules.
The first is that you should stick with traditional round baubles (although some finial ornaments with tapered ends mixed in can look lovely placed in shallow dishes).
So, what to do with the excess baubles? You make a virtue of it, that’s what, by creating this season’s must-have table decoration: the stunningly sumptuous Christmas bauble bowl
I’m afraid those novelty shapes that are proving so popular this year — Liberty’s bestseller is a handbag with a marmalade sandwich, a reference to Elizabeth II’s Paddington skit — won’t work for this bowl. It’ll just look like you’ve plonked a load of knick-knacks into a dish as a jumbled-up afterthought.
The next is that the bowl you use to display them in is transparent. After all, think how enticing a fruit trifle looks when you place it on the table and your guests marvel at the sight of each delicious layer stacked through a glass dish.
In the same way, create a festive feast for the eyes by using a glass bowl to show off each tier of your baubles, from every angle. A china bowl, however lovely, will simply mean the bulk of your baubles, and your efforts, will go unnoticed.
In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to pull granny’s cut-glass trifle dish out from the back of the cupboard — especially if it’s got feet, or a built-in pedestal, which will provide height, helping your bauble bowl stand out amid all the food on your dining table. Bevelled and cut glass adds to a lavish sense of occasion.
It’s also a good idea to stick to one colour palette, unless a chaotic mix of brightly clashing shades appeals to you. Having a colour scheme will make your bowl look more thought-out, and you can match the tones to the colour scheme of the room in which it will be placed.
Mixing up colour, sizes and textures is important. Feathers, glitter and shining thread-covered baubles, arranged with smooth and plain balls, create balance and allow the more interesting decorations to stand out.
Aim to keep the ratios of the different sizes fairly similar, and distribute them evenly throughout the bowl. Other than that, anything goes! I especially like to scatter extra statement baubles around my bowls, so it appears that they’ve been so generously filled, the contents have spilled out onto the table.
As a professional tablescaper, I love this simple way of creating a statement display that is dramatic enough to take centre stage on your festive dining table
Here are a few techniques to try…
If you’ve got a hotch-potch of jewel-like baubles, make a virtue of those clashing colours and aim to create layers. Using a trifle dish, place larger globes on the bottom, sticking with one darker shade. The higher you go up the bowl, the more you can mix up the colours and sizes, to emulate the way trifle layers start bleeding into each other. You can even throw in some Quality Street chocolates.
VASE OF DELIGHTS
Large, wide and globe-like vases are my favourite vessels for bauble bowls. But you can also use standard tall vases, filling them first with a layer of moss, then adding everlasting flowers and stems, such as pussy willow and dried hydrangeas, before packing out the rest of the vase with small, shiny baubles of green, red and gold. This also works well with peacock feathers.
OH SO SHALLOW
Opaque, shallow dishes provide an attractive backdrop for different shaped trinkets, such as finial styles. Add baubles appropriate to the size of the dish. Chocolate coins will make a sweet finishing touch, as well as making your bauble bowl doubly attractive to guests!
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