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Holiday Trends……the Eclectic Designs of 2013

By on November 13, 2013

The wonderful season of fall is upon us, with crackling leaves underfoot and seeing our breath in the air – both signalling that winter is not far away. All of us in the special events industry have been inundated with calls regarding the holiday season 2013, and many companies have closed dates for holiday parties or client appreciation festivities. The 2013 season promises to be an exciting one with amazing trends surfacing – “Rustically Elegant”, “Bring on the Bling”, “Out on the Edge” and “Eastern Exotica” emerging as the front runners.

The Rustically Elegant theme is the unique pairing of crystal candlesticks with birch bark containers, or birch pole dividers. Here, pine cones, berries and branches are nestled in to full blown roses and are treated with a soft kiss of gold wash “gliss”, set against the seasonal aromas of cedar and pine wafting in the air.   

In this setting, lace is married to gorgeous wool throws on furniture in the cocktail space, with myriad candles upon gold gilded mirrors captivating the blending of aesthetics. In this genre, specialty warm toddies or mulled cider are served with hearty mini lamb chops, or venison skewers, or post dinner beside the playful gingerbread or mini plum pudding station with custom sauces.   The blending of the two re-creates the mood of bringing out the best silver, crystal, china, and luscious florals to set upon gorgeous linens as if at the family estate on the lake in upscale cottage country….

it is the best of the best of rustic beauty of the season, married with traditional upscale elegance – a great look for those who will style their corporate events in the city and look for a little escapism.

We will never lose the incredible interest in the “Bring on the Bling” theme with the large ice dripping crystal beaded chandeliers, or lush centrepieces in white tone on tone or even designed in ice containers, with large ice pieces around the room or at the entry.

Texture, texture and more texture – from the elegance of cool satin and reflective tabletop designs, to the texture of chenille and even faux fur and flokati, carpets as accent pieces in pre-function lounges, the entire space is tactile.  If budget allows, white draping or even artistically stretched

Spandex… The white cocoon is the perfect canvas for the Artistic Director’s paint brush of light to change the room, like a chameleon, into shades of blue, lavender, purple and soft pinks – creating different nuances with each course that is served.

 Taken a step further, you can do the afterglow in a club lounge setting with shades of reds, golds and oranges, with candles everywhere for a true “Fire & Ice” feel.

Seldom does neon play a major role in the holiday season….but, for 2013 it does.   From wildly coloured neon trees, ornaments, cloths, and chargers, it may seem an assault to the senses when all these strong, bold colours are coming at you.   But the look is stellar and will be seen by those bold enough and confident enough to always be a step ahead of the rest of the crowd.  The look can be even more playful with “Surf’s Up Santa” for an edgy media or marketing crowd corporate event where all the reindeer are really flamingos – one with a red beak, pulling a tropically clad Santa on a surfboard. This is truly for the edgy crowd…a totally off the wall event but bound to bring on lots of tweeting and posted photos.

The emergence of more of the Middle Eastern influences have brought on the return to gold and bronze as the metallics of the year.  The exotic appeal of layers of gold and jewel toned gems taking centre stage, with accents from the peacock feather is the perfect pairing. Inspired by the gilding of turrets, designs and patterns – this ethnic inspiration brings old world charm and wealth together for a rich look with dulcet tones.


This look is begging for those who want an over the top elegant event. For the tamer crowd, you can just use the gold with the holiday gems of emeralds and rubies, staying safe and traditional.

For those who want to do something a little more tongue in cheek, how about the “Ugly Christmas Sweater” luncheon for perhaps an office style event? Tree trimming works well in a low key environment where the entertainment is really background to the connection and laughter for those who want something a little low key.

One thing we are sure about for the holiday/winter season of 2013: corporate events are back with a vengeance. They’re bigger, bolder, and edgier than in the past, with no apologies for opulent looks or excessive layering as if to make up for years of being low key.  Go big or go home is the mantra, and creativity in design and execution is key to a successful event.  In 2013, it is all in the details; the subtle and not so subtle nuances that take a good party…to great.

Regardless of what, and how, you celebrate, may this approaching holiday season be one of peace and joy, and the gift of family and friends all around.  


Leslee Bell, Partner \ Consultant, Decor & More Inc.



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