Merry & Bright

Bountiful and beautiful, this skirted round table beckons guests with a mix of cottage charm and holiday happiness

It’s all about the mix for designer Lauren DeLoach, whether she’s dreaming up a color scheme for a full-house renovation or entertaining friends for a holiday lunch. DeLoach’s time-tested approach: to seamlessly blend the old with the new; the formal with the casual; and pretty patterns with luscious neutrals.

In her own home—a Tudor residence she and her husband, Greg, a contractor, have lovingly designed and built for their family of five—that approachable elegance is on full display. In the dining room, shiplap walls are dressed up with paneled boxes; draperies shine with a scalloped edge; and a box-pleated table skirt “adds a layer of warmth and character you can’t always get in furniture,” she says. More importantly, the pattern, a neutral damask, works year-round, allowing the red accents from this year’s holiday tabletop to strike a balance between celebratory and inviting.

For this particular feast, miniature boxwood wreaths are tied to the backs of worn leather chairs with luscious silk ribbon; longleaf pinecones culled from the family farm in South Georgia hold placecards; and individually wrapped presents are topped with acorns and cedar sprigs. Floral designer Marie-Laure Coste Dujols of Le Jardin Français fashioned the showstopping centerpiece, and it’s encircled by magnolia leaves.

What makes the setting most comfortable, though, says DeLoach, is the mix. Each place setting is a mix of wedding china and estate-sale finds, while three different sets of silver, as well as a set of horn steak knives, contribute to the casual feel. “Using what you have, even if it’s not a completely perfect match,” says DeLoach, “is important and says a lot about you and your style.”

“Mixing it up makes it feel more collected and whimsical.” —Designer Lauren DeLoach

INTERIOR DESIGN Lauren DeLoach, Lauren DeLoach, Lauren DeLoach Interiors;