December marks the start of the traditional holiday celebration season. This year, the hottest events will be bucking tradition in favor of sleek colors and a modern vibe. Evan Carbotti, of Perfect Surroundings Inc. in Newport, R.I., says that themed holiday parties may have seen their day. “It seems there’s been a shift, at least for our company,” Carbotti says. “People used to want the winter scene: the sleigh, the trees, the fake snow, the fireplace, the wreaths. Now it seems to be a look that clients want; a decorative environment that offers a specific vibe or atmosphere; another world that need not be defined so literally by traditional holiday elements.”
Rather than going with the standard red and green, clients may opt to showcase one color family, with modern metallics such as gold, silver and copper proving the most popular. “Color and textures are huge,” Carbotti contends. “You can still provide that wintry holiday feeling by using cool colors, textures, fabric and lighting.” Carbotti likes the idea of different-sized vases filled with pine needles, or acrylic tables with tons of silver or gold balls underneath the dining surface. “Why not bring traditional colors into the event with the use of nontraditional floral?” Carbotti suggests. “We love to combine traditional elements with contemporary ones.” Carbotti favors recreating the feel of a classic hotel decorated for the holiday season, but adding modern, cutting-edge elements to keep it fresh.
It’s true that the intended “audience” for the event—its guests—will determine how trendy or traditional the event is. “There is no one way to think about any party or event, and there is certainly a time for tradition,” Carbotti says. “We simply find that more and more people want to get away from those poinsettias and move toward a more progressive look.”