Melveen and Irma Malabanan know a thing or two about luxe entertaining. For more than 20 years, the couple worked aboard mega yachts, catering to celebrities and moguls. “Our designs are based on our travels,” Irma says. “We’re always working to make something fun and beautiful to please our guests.”
Now the founders of Fort Lauderdale–based Le Tablescape, the Malabanans craft memorable entertaining scenes, inclusive of fresh flowers, candles, linens, and even bespoke Spotify playlists. They’ve curated Instaworthy tablescapes for rent—for parties of 8 or 28—and take care of everything from set up to clean up.
When it comes to setting a holiday table, Irma encourages folks to think outside the expected norms and be inspired by things they love, like travel or nature. “I don’t recommend sticking with the traditional holiday colors,” she advises. “Go crazy, follow your heart, even mismatch; let people see you’re creating art on the table.”
Here, we spotlight two table trends, and Irma offers tips for how to curate your own special spread.
Go with the Flow
Settings inspired by the Laudy lifestyle
Irma says she loves the blue and green watery feel of these plates, which she offset with an elegant geometric napkin fold. The runner is a simple piece of cheesecloth, which she added for layering interest beneath arranged greenery. Re-create the look with cuts from your own garden.
Try a Texture
Raffia and rattan give boho-chic vibes
Irma says this setting was inspired by the couple’s travels to Tulum. The textured runner and placemats give the scape an earthy, beachy feel, with a pop of pale ocean-blue in the plates and napkins. The handblown Mexican glassware finishes the look.
Take a page from Le Tablescape for the key components needed to assemble your own chic table settings, for the holidays and beyond.
Home Plate: “White plates are always classic, but don’t be afraid to go with colorful plates.”
Layered Love: “Layers like runners, placemats, linens, and greenery make it all pop and look very strong and chic. You can’t have enough layers!”
Light it Up: “Candles always add that drama. Try them at different heights, like some candlesticks and some votives, for an elegant look.”
In Bloom: “When using fresh flowers, go for what’s in season. It’s less expensive and easier to source. White roses are always a good choice because they go with most any look.”
Get Creative: “Work with what you have at home. Try using some books. Put those in the middle of your table in stacks and see how they look. Then you’ve got a beautiful book theme. The more creative you are, the better. It gives people something to talk about when they gather, and that’s really what it’s all about at the end of the day.”