Create a sea fantasy

ART DE VIVRE - Ricky Toledo, Chito Vijandre - The Philippine Star
Create a sea fantasy
Even if you’re staying in the city for the holidays, you can dream about that tropical getaway and channel it in your table setting for the coming celebrations.
Photos by Ricky Toledo

With lockdowns this past year keeping us in the city, trips to the countryside are now welcome and some have even moved to their second homes by the seaside. But even if you’re staying in the city for the holidays, you can dream about that tropical getaway and channel it in your table setting for the coming celebrations. Just imagine the gentle waves turning into undulating clusters of hydrangeas and orchids in shades of sea foam touched by glints of gold then turning to orange and purple as the sun sets.

Relive walks by the shore with shells and porcelain fragments strewn about. Memories of your last plunge to the depths bring back images of the rich, awe-inspiring marine life — a spectacle of colors, forms and textures that can inspire you to create your own imagined underwater garden:  seahorse and shell candelabra, nautilus and dolphin vases, linen embroidered with coral branches, silver bowls and china embellished with the ocean’s bounty, a coral reef of mother of pearl and crystals. It’s a festive cornucopia of abundance that reflects the spirit of generosity and gets everyone into the holiday spirit.

1. Neptune bronze figure

The bronze figure of Neptune, the god of the sea, couldn’t be any more spot-on for the table centerpiece. It’s paired with nautilus vases on turned-wood bases with crystal balls that act as horns of plenty, an ideal leitmotif for the season of prosperity. Fill it up with flowers or palm berries that simulate seaweed or underwater creatures.

2. Nautilus and dolphin vase overflowing with flowers

A porcelain nautilus vase with an ormolu dolphin base also fits the theme perfectly. Have a profusion of flowers in joyous colors emanating from the shell in keeping with the “horn of plenty” motif. Fill the base with more flowers and shells of different sizes, colors and shapes to create a marine garden. Some of the shells can be the split type for a more unusual pattern. Certain flowers can mimic aspects of the sea like cock’s comb, which has the texture of grooved coral reefs and green palm berries that look like lato seaweed. Just be imaginative in sourcing flora, leaves and other materials to create your own unique underwater tableau. You can add loose pearls or small crystal beads scattered about, for example, to simulate water bubbles.

3.  A Galleon in a sea of flowers

You can also have a nautical explorer’s fantasy using a miniature galleon or boat together with shell vases on turned-wood bases for your dinner centerpiece. To simulate the sea it is sailing on, surround it with waves of flowers, fruits, shells and Murano coral branches that evoke the ocean and its bounty.

Sea horse and shell candlesticks

Candlesticks like this one in porcelain and ormolu with seahorses and shells are ideal for the table setting but you can always improvise by embellishing your existing candlesticks with shells or sea creatures at the base or as hangings. The candles are in dark blue to evoke the deep sea.

Sea-themed china and stemware

Choose sea-themed china like those with coral or shell patterns. This set mixes coral imagery with classical ornamentation. We used a plain fuchsia tablecloth here but you can use linen with classical embroidery to echo the florid designs on the dinnerware.  You can also mix and match with mother-of-pearl dishes to serve appetizers or dessert and use cutlery with mother-of-pearl handles. For the stemware, you can choose ocean motifs as well or keep it simpler by choosing pieces with colors of the sea’s bounty like the coral ones in this setting.

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Accent pieces and accessories from AC+632 at 2/F Greenbelt 5, IG @ac632 or FB AC Greenbelt.  Follow the authors on Instagram @rickytchitov; Twitter @RickyToledo23; Facebook - Ricky Toledo Chito Vijandre.


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