What’s the one word we’d like to hear more often during this hectic time of year? Effortless. For Heather Dwight, owner of Calluna Events and 13-year veteran of the party-planning business, “effortless” is a guiding principle. “I love and appreciate minimalist design,” she says. “You can accomplish a lovely table setting with what you have in your cupboard plus a few small touches—taper candles, a sprig of fresh rosemary on the napkins.” We invited Dwight to set her dream holiday table (she calls this one “modern organic”) at Boulder’s the Kitchen Upstairs. Borrow her ideas for your own stress-free—and gorgeous—holiday celebration.

The Settings

Dwight says one of her favorite color palettes is gray, black, gold, and white with accents of green. Gray silk Tono & Co. napkins tied with black ribbon feel feminine alongside dark stemware, flatware, and plates scored at West Elm (Northern Lights Glassware; Scape Dinnerware in Cocoa; and Ridge Flatware). “I try to set every table with little unexpected surprises,” Dwight says. “I love when guests have different views. One is looking at lush flowers, and the other sees an artichoke.”

The Centerpiece

The restaurant’s moody gray accent wall finds a perfect counterpoint in an airy and festive centerpiece dreamed up by Robyn Rissman of Denver’s Bare Root Flora. White dahlias, artichokes, chocolate Cosmos, and eucalyptus compose the wispy arrangement—with a few sprigs draped around the farm table to add softness. When using flowers and candles, Dwight says, remember to design them so they “don’t take up so much surface that you can’t put down food, bread, or wine—or that your guests can’t see or talk to each other.” They are, after all, here for a party.

The Table

“Our initial design inspiration came from the lovely wooden farm table,” Dwight says. She rented the table and chairs (and pillows!) from Denver’s Eclectic Hive. Metallic accents, like gold chargers, make farmhouse style glam in an instant.

The Paper Goods

“Beautiful place cards and menus are an easy way to personalize your table and elevate the design,” Dwight says. Here, she employed Denver’s Ink & Root; the menus are original watercolor with gold accents.

Get The Look

Need inspiration or help bringing your party vision to life? Try some of the pros who dreamed up this design.

Designer and stylist: Heather Dwight, Calluna Events

Florals: Bare Root Flora

Table, chairs, and pillows: Eclectic Hive

Paper goods and calligraphy: Ink & Root

Linens: Tono & Co.

Venue: The Kitchen Upstairs

This article was originally published in 5280 Home Winter 2016.
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers
Cheryl Meyers is a contributing writer to 5280 Home, which means she gets to spend her days writing about Colorado’s most beautiful indoor spaces.