Festive Flair

Designer Clary Bosbyshell decks the halls for a festive and fabulous holiday dinner party

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles: ’Tis the season! Walk us through the inspiration behind your tabletop design. What are the featured elements?

Clary Bosbyshell: I love creating a sophisticated table, and Christmas Eve is the most perfect time to pull out all the silver and use it. The table is layered with family heirlooms and new decor items I have collected, like the silver bells, which were given to me each year that my grandmother was alive, and the salad plates in my mother’s wedding china pattern, Hong Kong.

AH&L: The rooms throughout the home feature playful patterns and pretty pops of color. Tell us about your approach to using these bolder palettes? How do you achieve a sophisticated interior that doesn’t feel overpowering?

CB: I always want my clients’ homes to reflect them, and this client loves English interiors with a very layered and collected look. She loves warm and rich colors and already has a great foundation of collected antiques and art, which are sprinkled throughout the home. She is also a great friend, and I know her so well that it was really fun creating a place that reflected her personal style.

AH&L: We love that you commingled traditional holiday decor with items that also hold sentimentality. Tell us the backstory behind the mini tree in the dining room?

CB: My husband’s grandmother, Rena Smith, had always been an artist and loved miniatures. She started making these beautiful Christmas trees. Everything is completely handmade except the Radko ornaments. She would customize them for the specific family, and they truly are so special and priceless.

AH&L: You’re no stranger to hosting. Tell us how to make a holiday party memorable for your guests.

CB: Set a beautiful and whimsical table, lively music and have a signature cocktail. The best parties always have good music and drinks!

AH&L: Entertaining season can be stressful. What are some of your best tips for hosting during the holidays?

CB: Outsource when you can. I love to decorate for Christmas, but it is always such a busy time for me getting my clients’ homes ready that I can feel overwhelmed trying to do my own. I have used M. Delia Designs the last three years to help me and it is the best gift I give myself. She executes my vision to a T and always has beautiful and creative ideas of her own to add.

AH&L: What’s on your Christmas dinner menu? Don’t forget to tell us how you’re stocking the bar!

CB: On Christmas Eve we always go to the 4 p.m. Christmas Pageant service at the Cathedral of St. Philip. In order to have dinner ready at a reasonable time, we do as many things in advance as possible. Last Christmas I really got my menu right—lobster flown in from Maine, pear-and-blue cheese arugula salad, asparagus, and my dad makes the OK Cafe mac-and-cheese recipe. And for dessert: peppermint ice cream and cookies. We served martinis and white wine, and to top it off, had espresso martinis ready to help us play Santa into the night.

AH&L: What holiday tradition holds a special place with you?

CB: It has been really special combining the traditions of my husband’s family and my family and creating our own now that we have children. We always attend the Christmas Pageant service on Christmas Eve and have a decadent Christmas dinner. clarybosbyshelldesign.com