Make yourself at ho-ho-home, doll. We were just whipping up some Bloody Marys with Bronson van Wyck, event planner to chi-chi revelers like Martha Stewart and President Obama and chic brands like Chanel, Christie’s, and Barneys New York. His holiday fêtes are particularly legendary, with one-of-a-kind festive details like breakdancing elves, falling snow, and stilt walkers pouring champers. With Christmas around the corner, now’s the perfect time to listen in as Bronson reveals everything from which Christmas tree to buy to the best way to lux up old ornaments.
So we can learn a trick or tow, how do you go about creating a holiday design concept for a client?
It’s important to understand what the holidays mean to the client. Is it all about the children? Is it important to incorporate an annual tradition? Should the tree blend with the home décor? After learning a bit more, I weave those memories or themes into something new for the client. Maybe a country home in the mountains demands a tree covered with woodland creatures, hand crafted birch balls and gilded pine cones.
What about those of us who are a bit more do-it-yourself? How can we create a fresh look rather than pulling out the same stuff every year?
Gold leaf can transform any object. It’s my favorite way to lux up something tired. Gilded objects make beautiful ornaments or table decorations. One of my favorite tricks for adding some chic seasonal sparkle to a room is gold-leaf sheets called Sepp Leaf, which can be found at most art stores.
How do you choose the right tree for a space? Do you have a favorite type?
Measure your ceiling and have your tree cut to fit just shy of the ceiling. The tree should truly fill your space. My favorite is a blue spruce. We walk through the tree farms early in the year to reserve the best ones. That might seem overkill but it’s worth it. Ask your nursery to call you as soon as the spruces arrive!
You’ve said that tartans are the ultimate way to create a sense of warmth when it’s cold outside. What are some of your other favorite holiday signatures?
I love decorating with magnolia leaves. When it dries, it looks even better and lasts well through the season. The leaves are also particularly beautiful when you gild them.
Should someone take a different approach if they’re in a warm climate? Can we pull off red tartan in, say, Miami?
Of course! It warms up any space to give it a cocooning and cozy effect. Use tartan in napkins and table runners without feeling too heavy.
Let’s play favorites. What’s your favorite…
Holiday candle? Cire Trudon Nazareth
Holiday cocktail? Spiced brandy punch
Holiday flower? Red amaryllis
Holiday party snack? Candied bacon!
And your favorite host or hostess gift to give?
I love to give the host a Bloody Mary basket complete with everything you need to whip up a strong one the morning after. Don’t forget to include your favorite vodka and pickled garnishes with a bottle of your favorite mix. Mine is Arrowhead Farms Hellfire Bloody Mary, naturally. There is no better way to start Christmas.
We’ll drink to that. Thanks for stopping by, Bronson.