Laura Butler-Madden is a successful property developer and interior designer living in Bath. Over the last ten years, along with her husband, Patrick, Laura has overseen the design, planning and construction on multiple projects - they have just completed their eleventh!
Laura also runs a successful and inspiring Instagram page, @laurabutlermadden and blog. I really encourage you to check out and follow Laura's page if you don't already. Her style is enviable and she is excellent at adding modern touches to properties with beautiful architectural details.
I asked Laura if she would be interested to style a Christmas table setting for us - photos of which you can find below. I love how the flowers and candles take centre stage. Laura demonstrates so beautifully that you don't need to choose typically festive colours to create an incredibly elegant Christmas table setting.
How do you approach your Christmas table?
It’s a part of Christmas that I love planning and designing each year. I tend to decorate in early December (so I can photograph for the blog) and then keep the table garland in place until the New Year, so it’s important to choose foliage and plants that will dry and still look beautiful! I normally base it on eucalyptus and then add a range of dried flowers (I love hydrangeas) and grasses, berries etc. My colour palette tends to be quite calm and soft with all my designs, so I like to keep it to greens, whites, golds, silver and other natural tones.
What decorative elements do you add to your table?
My general style is less is more, but when it comes to the floral centrepiece I will sometimes go bigger at Christmas! I love to keep it elegant and cohesive when it comes to crockery place settings – I adore white/off white ceramics, so usually these will be central to the scheme. The last few years I have chosen sets with texture though, which is why I fell in love with the cabbage collection. I do love to add splashes of colour and the Gabriella Murano glasses did that perfectly this year.
What is your Christmas colour palette this year?
I took inspiration from a beautiful piece of artwork that we had commissioned for the dining area by a gorgeous and talented friend of mine from Brooklyn, Kristin Gaudio Endsley. I picked coral as a colour to use alongside the greens, whites and golds that I mentioned above.
What are your tabletop must haves?
Good glasses are a must, both for water and wine and also candles are key! Lighting is so important – it’s what ultimately creates the atmosphere for the table and for me soft lighting with lots of candles is a must.
Do you have any tips for adding personalised touches?
I think it’s lovely to add personal touches with either homemade crackers with gifts chosen specifically for each guest, or to add a small gift to the place setting that they can take home. A perfect Christmas choice for this would be a tree decoration, there are so many lovely ones these days and it’s the perfect gift for people to keep and use year after year.
Who and what inspires your tables?
Oh gosh this is hard to answer – will all my designs (interiors or tables) it’s something random that usually starts the process off! This year a painting, last year it was my white hydrangeas in the garden – they dried out and were the most beautiful green/red colours, totally unexpected, but I picked armfuls and used them in garlands all around the house!
I hope you feel inspired for your Christmas table!