A happy holiday tablescape by Steven Sabados

For a fanciful table of Victorian abundance, Steven says ‘Pull together anything and everything you have’!

For a fanciful table of Victorian abundance, Steven says ‘Pull together anything and everything you have’!

(Photography by David Bagosy)

When we checked in with our favourite design expert, Steven Sabados, to see what he had in store this Christmas, he had yet to decorate his loft for the season. So, we couldn't resist asking him to show us how to create a holiday table with his favourite trends, colours and DIYs for the holidays. Take a look at this warm and cozy console table he designed to be full of rich colour, warm light and thoughtful DIYs.

Victorian abundance is back in the spotlight in a big way in interior design, and the table picks up on that trend. Even though this table looks like it was plucked out of a royal palace, Steven insists it's totally achievable and rather easy to do if you follow some simple guidelines.

(Photography by David Bagosy)

Steven says, "Create a strong focal point in your home rather than scattering decorations throughout. This look can be created on any surface at any scale: on a dining table, on a kitchen island or, as I have, in my entryway. Pull together anything and everything you have to fit the theme and add it to the table. Creating a strong focal point has infinitely more impact than peppering decorations around the house."

The table started with Steven pooling a large piece of vintage upholstery fabric across it and tucking all raw and frayed edges away. He then created a DIY runner by hot gluing mop fringe meant for a sofa to the edge of a hemmed piece of velvet in the same colour.

(Photography by David Bagosy)

Once Steven pulled out all his serving dishes, holiday decor, Christmas lights and theme appropriate decorative accents the table started to take shape. Steven created balance by putting the tallest piece in the centre and scaling down as he moved left and right. "I like to roughly lay out all the pieces I have to get a sense of the look before I purchase anything to add to it. As soon as I put the urn on the table I knew this table should have a large centrepiece." Steven laid out all the empty vessels on the table before moving forward with his centrepiece.

Here is how it came together:

(Photography by David Bagosy)

Here's what you'll need:

  • Vase or urn (any solid vase would work)
  • Wet floral foam
  • Steak knife
  • Cutting board
  • Pine / evergreen Branches
  • Dried, faux & fresh flowers — the colour of the flowers should match your fabric
  • Feathers & pinecones
  • Ornaments


Here's how to do it:

  1. Cut floral foam with your steak knife to fit in vase
  2. Fill the bottom of your vase with the floral foam
  3. Add water soaking the floral foam
  4. Insert pine branches into the foam – build up the shape and height you want.
  5. Add flowers – Spread them evenly throughout. Start with your least expensive pieces and fill in any holes. Add the most expensive and attractive florals front and centre.
  6. Spread pinecones and feathers throughout
  7. Hang a few ornaments off of the pine cones or branches for extra sparkle

Filling in the rest of the table happened very quickly. Everywhere you look there is something interesting to see which is a testament to Steven's aesthetic. He insists it is not that hard.

"Creating layers is fairly simple. Start with size, making sure nothing is blocking anything else completely. Walk around the table and be sure you can see things clearly. Next, consider material. If you have a great glass bowl, layer something colourful in front of it. Mix materials, texture and colour where you can."

This table is a feast for the eyes and includes everything from traditional Christmas tree ornaments and cut crystal candlestick holders to a tea pot repurposed as a vase and decorative accessories pulled off of Steven's bookshelf.

(Photography by David Bagosy)

The table was brought to life with candlelight fresh fruit and scents of the season. Steven suggests that the best holiday tablescapes cater to all the senses. He wanted to create a special moment within his theme that filled the space with scent — and his twist on traditional sugared fruit was just the thing.

"I chose plastic fruit and turned it into a potpourri of sorts. I sprayed the plastic fruit in a thin layer of spray glue and rolled it in scented Epsom salts. These Epsom salts have a pine, eucalyptus and peppermint scent combination. Once I created as many pieces of fruit as I needed to fill my bowl I layered them with extra greenery and some lemons I dehydrated in the toaster oven!"

In a season that's all about giving, the final touch on the table came in the form of some small candles that Steven intends to give away. He punched a small hole in magnolia leaves and added a grommet using an inexpensive grommeting kit. He then tied the leaf to the votive with a simple organza ribbon.

"I love to give people a small token of my affection when they visit my home over the holidays. This is my favourite candle, so I buy it in multiples and give them to visitors if they pop over. If I have any left over, I just get to enjoy them myself throughout the year."

(Photography by David Bagosy)

Steven says, "I hope this inspires readers to mix things up this season and maybe rethink items they already have. I would never want anyone to go out and buy all new decor. Just put it together in a new and interesting way. Ultimately this season is about gathering and having fun, so why not create a tablescape that reflects that sentiment."

We could not agree more here at CBC Life and hope this table inspires other to try something new this season.


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