Look for My Christmas Table at Cranbrook Holiday Tables Event!


I’m over the (table) top excited about being a guest designer at the longstanding Cranbrook Holiday Tables event, held Nov. 21-24 at Cranbrook House, part of the Cranbrook complex in Bloomfield Hills. This year’s theme is “A Season for Elegance.”

A bit about this fascinating house: It was built by Ellen Scripps Booth (newspaper family) and George Booth (George was in iron works in Canada but eventually joined Ellen’s family newspaper business). At the time of building Cranbrook House, the two lived in a beautiful home in Detroit, raising several children. Yet they longed to establish themselves in the country. In 1904, they purchased a run-down 174-acre farm in Bloomfield Hills, named it Cranbrook after the English town the Booth family hailed from, and immediately began improving the property.

The home itself was designed by noted Detroit architect Albert Kahn, who created an English Arts and Crafts-inspired design. Ground was broken for Cranbrook House in January 1907 and the Booths moved in in 1908, not long after celebrating their 21st wedding anniversary. It’s been said that the Booths were the first family of means to live year-round in Bloomfield Hills!

And now I am one lucky designer who gets to put my design thinking cap on to create an inviting table setting. I wonder what Ellen would say about my tabletop musings thus far.

I’ll be one of several who will showcase my talents for the special holiday event, which has been held here for years and is a huge tradition. Patrons and guests can reserve a spot at a special tea before or after viewing all the pretty tables. Or eventgoers can just stop in and view the tables. I know a lot of people who make the event an annual tradition with friends, heading to lunch after touring the tables and of course discussing how they will transform their home for the holidays for special dinners, tea, lunches, wine tastings, you name it. Holiday Tables is a great event at which one can pick up a few tips on holiday decorating, to be sure.

Today, I’m contemplating just how I’ll fashion my table. First idea: White Christmas — table with classic style, crisp elegant look with light gold accents, crisp long taffeta silk tablecloth all the way to the floor; stiff enough so it drapes nicely; beautifully arranged greens; maybe in those two long white vases, one tall the other smaller, with golden ropes.

Lights are super important to create ambience, a magical Christmas atmosphere. Hmmmm. Another color scheme idea: Peacock blue silk tablecloth and gold accents; a more traditional approach with rich colors would look great with the tapestry that I’ll be working with (it’s part of the Cranbrook House).

GrenneryOne thing’s for certain —I will pay close attention to the greenery. When entertaining during the holidays, my table centerpiece and greenery are never last-minute pull-togethers. I believe it’s important to give creative thought to greens, wreaths and blooms and how they will add to the ambiance. The photos shown here convey my love of detail, and yet, simplicity, at once! These were some of what I used last year during the holidays, around my home.

But back to Cranbrook! I met with the program director, Randy Forester, the other day. He showed me the space where my table will be and shared with me the theme, etc.

Stay tuned! Of course, I won’t share exactly what I plan to do (it’s a secret!), but I’ll give you a few insights along my way as I scheme and design for what surely will be one of the most exciting events in which I’ve ever been asked to participate!

Have you ever attended Cranbrook’s Holiday Tables? What did you like about the event? Please share!



  1. I love the idea of the use of the greenery and it being incorporated with every place setting. I can’t wait to see the completed table. I am sure it will be stunning!

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