The holiday season is on! It’s time to look at what happened in 2014 and write a new story for 2015. French interior designer Isabelle Mc Gee, owner of the new showroom REGARD located on Sutter Street in San Francisco, explains how to tell a story by designing your holiday dining tables.
Your table, your story
Gold, silver, red, white, black… These are the traditional colors that you can expect for the holiday season. They are christmasy, classical, elegant so they work perfectly.
However, you may want to think ‘out of the box’ and design your dining table differently. As much as your home should reflect your identity, your holiday dining table should reflect your story: see the holiday season as an opportunity to tell what happened in 2014 and/or what you are expecting for 2015.
Texture, materials, colors, patterns to illustrate a concept
The choice of textures, materials, colors, patterns will enable you to pin what was, is and will be important for you. But they are accessories: to bring perspective and give body to your table, to design a table that your guests will remember and that tells a story, you must start by choosing the story you want to tell. And by this, I mean choosing a concept.
Case study – The dining table designed by REGARDat La Soirée 2014
Concept, textures, materials,… This can all become very abstract. So to enable you to understand my point, I thought I would give you a very clear example and some pictures to visualize what I mean.
Let’s talk about the VIP table I designed at La Soirée, a high-end Gastronomy and Wine show, fundraising event organized on November 21 at Terra & Mer Gallery (San Francisco) by the non-for-profit organization French American Chamber of Commerce San Francisco (FACCSF).
From Sutter Street to Harrison Street for a “From Cannes , La Croisette, to Hollywood” show
On Friday, November 21, 2014 REGARD changed location from its showroom on 2182 Sutter Street (San Francisco) to Terra & Mer Gallery (San Francisco). The venue Terra § Mer Gallery, located on 511 Harrison Street hosted the 33rd Fundraiser Event La Soirée, organized by FACCSF.
The theme “From Cannes, La Croisette to Hollywood” was developed on two differents floors: the main floor for food and wine exhibitors and another floor for a Gold and Silver VIP dinner followed by a dancefloor.
REGARD, part of the organization for the Gold VIP Dinner for Bank of the West
The Gold VIP Dinner consisted of 10 pop-up restaurants. Each table was set up and hosted by a trio: one chef, one winery, one designer. 100 guests – 10 tables of 10 VIPs – had the privilege of watching a local top-chef prepare their dinner before their eyes. Wine was poured by a winemaker and a designer was in charge of setting up a unique ephemeral table design.
REGARD , member of the FACCSF, was offered to design the VIP table for Bank of the West, one of the main sponsors for the event. I fully embraced the glam theme “From Cannes, La Croisette to Hollywood” to design a table that was different and that told a story.
“Un Certain Regard” for this “From Cannes , La Croisette to Hollywood” theme
Embracing the movie theme, I chose one strong concept to tell my story: I picked the sub-theme “Un Certain Regard” and played with a combination of colors, textures and designs to illustrate it.
The concept “Un Certain Regard” was strong in two different levels:
- First of all, it refers to one section of the Cannes Film Festival: “Un Certain Regard”. This category, launched in 1978 by Gilles Jacob, presents a score of films with various types of visions and styles; “original and different” works which seek international recognition. So by choosing this concept, I was bold and announced right at the first glance that my table would be different from the other ones.
- It also used the word “Regard”, which is the name of my interior design consultancy § showroom based in San Francisco. This name refers to a quotation of French Author Marcel Proust “Le seul, le vrai, l’unique voyage c’est de changer de regard”- (The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes… (to improve something, in you or around you, change your attitude…)
An “Original and different” table
I fully embraced the concept “Un Certain Regard” and decided to design a table that would be different from any other one. Guessing that most designers would use a lot of gold, silver, black and red colors associated with a lot of flowers or plants, I chose to stay away from these items and used a variety of accessories to showcase her creativity.
- “Un Certain Regard” – Seat covers to announce REGARD’S Them
I designed 10 printed seat covers for the dinner party. The section name “ Un Certain Regard” set the tone for my table design.
- Pop colors to make a difference
I decided to be bold and play with pop colors (pink, yellow, blue, orange) for my table.
- Pink table cover with fabric by Elitis, another French company
To embrace the French Touch, I mainly used French accessories.
- Embroided “Palme d’Or” napkins
I embroided 10 napkins with the m ention and logo “Palme d’Or – Festival de Cannes”
- A handmade Napkin ring
The napkin was displayed in a handmade napking ring with the pop colors of the table.
- Printed Menus
I designed and printed menu with the colors I chose for the ? theme
- Handmade porcelain in limited edition
I used high-end, handmade and French contemporary porcelain in limited edition for this very special dinner.
- Plates covered in yellow leather
Leather is a luxurious material. And because this was a VIP dinner, I wanted high end accessories: I used my skill in hand-made luxurious accessories to cover plates in leather. I chose a bright color, yellow, as a way to remind the guests that they were under the spotlights for this party.
My Story: “ REGARD is a key resource if you want to make a difference, if you want your home to reflect your identity and to be at the forefront of the new trends”
This event was a great opportunity for me to showcase my creativity and talent as an interior designer aBy choosing this concept “Un Certain Regard” and use it for a variety of accessories, I showed my ability to design a space in line with a theme and usages.
But I also embraced the “From Cannes , La Croisette to Hollywood” theme to put under the spotlights what are the new trends in the interior design market worldwide: in France, in the US, worldwide, the interior design market is changing : “Playfull” has become an important keyword: Designers do not work, they “play”. They like to experiment, to transform materials and to use them in unexpected ways. They create daring objects or pieces of furniture. They want to surprise their audience. And to cheer them up after this tough period of economic crisis, designers and interior designers use bright colors. The general public responds well to this initiative: people want playful and color to bring energy, hope and happiness in their lives.