Decorate with a Stylish Table for Each Celebration
December its replete with celebrations (such as Christmas and New Year’s) where families and friends come together. Due to its ideal climate and relaxed atmosphere, Puerto Vallarta can offer something very different for enjoying these special dates, so it should be reflected in the decoration of your dining room, to surprise your guests.
For this article, we talked to Mike Hickman, owner of Casa Vallarta Interior Design and one of the most prestigious and experienced interior decorators in the region, who shared valuable tips on organization and etiquette for these three important celebrations.
According to Hickman, the important thing about decorating for these occasions is that it be simple, clean and elegant.
“The simpler, the better. It is not necessary to fill the dining room with a large candelabra or festoons, nor the table with excessive decorative elements. The idea is to capture or interpret the essence of the holiday through your decorations, with class and subtlety, always bearing in mind that the most important element of these events is your guests.”
For these special occasions, he recommends not overloading the living room or dining room with decorations, focusing instead on the table, the principal meeting point you will share with your family and friends.
Small decorative elements are perfect, particularly fresh and natural plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables in nice containers, as well as some Mexican handicrafts, always being careful not to overload the environment.
In general, dishes and tableware should be in neutral tones, a palette of white, cream and bone, and should not include a pattern, as the food should be the star. The combination of fresh and natural elements, tableware in neutral tones and decorations and cutlery in silver or metallic tones is perfect for any celebration.
Here, we present the main tips for each of the holiday festivities, what you should and should not do, as well as an extra tip to give your evening that tropical touch that will remind you that winter in Puerto Vallarta is enjoyed differently.
Hickman notes, “In the United States and Canada, Christmas dinner takes on a much more festive tone, but in Mexico it is more family-oriented, and we must pay attention to that. The important thing should be the guests and not so much the decorations, such as the tabletop artificial Christmas trees that are in fashion.” As with Thanksgiving dinner, he advises using fresh fruits in a pretty container, which reflect the winter season or even the traditional Christmas colors, such as cranberries and limes. A centerpiece made with pine cones or red roses also gives an elegant touch to the table. The tin stars, little angels and candlesticks so typical of our country are the ideal addition to give the table decoration a Mexican touch.
While the traditional Christmas colors are red and green, limiting yourself to those can be boring. Blue can be a very elegant option, or try using the plethora of vibrant colors typical of Mexico. And it could be interesting to include a Huichol figure or print that contrasts with the formality of the rest of the decorations.
Christmas trees sell out quickly in Puerto Vallarta. If you do not get one, an original alternative is to entwine your tropical plants with small white lights, including the trunks of the palms. It is an exotic addition and very chic; you may end up preferring it to the traditional decorations.
Do: Dare to try unexpected and surprising colors and decorative schemes.
Do not: Incorporate all the options and themes in the same space.
The New Year’s celebration is all about starting over. It’s much more festive than the other two holidays, a time to go all-out. So, for this occasion, you can decorate with more abandon, including festoons, garlands and other fun elements. It is also the perfect opportunity to include the vivid colors characteristic of Mexico or gold and silver tones, but never combined! Hickman points out that New Year’s is not about getting together around a table, something more casual, a celebration along the lines of a cocktail party. “Once it’s all decorated to your liking, let the spectacular fireworks over Banderas Bay be the star of your gathering. Bring out your best champagne and invite your friends and family to the terrace to give a stylish and sparkling welcome to the new year.” Hickman warns that although illuminated paper lanterns and balloons look like a very pretty and fun option, they can be very dangerous because of their high flammability, not to mention the pollution they cause with their metal parts.
Arranging grape clusters in nice containers can be the perfect edible decoration for your New Year’s party. According to tradition, you must eat 12 grapes at midnight, one for each month of the coming year. A sweet grape is indicative of a sweet month, while a bitter one signifies that problems are coming.
Do: Welcome 2018 with fireworks and champagne!
Do not: Use those tantalizing but very polluting paper lanterns.
Mike Hickman has worked in Puerto Vallarta for the past 18 years and is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Architecture, with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Design. He is the creative mind behind Casa Vallarta Interior Design, one of the region’s most prestigious design firms. Thanks to his constant travels throughout Mexico, he has been able to find the most exceptional artisans and merchants. Always on the cutting edge, Hickman and his talented team create totally unique environments in the homes of the most demanding clients.