Designers Kerry Delrose and Jennifer Gresinger Brought a Fresh Take to the Red & White Ball Tablescapes

At Kerry Delrose’s table, trees from Mariani Gardens provide a lush backdrop. Textured dinnerware from Ralph Lauren (leather chargers, china, wood bowls, horn napkin rings) sits atop a Pony Skin “tablecloth.”Interior designers Kerry Delrose and Jennifer Gresinger brought a unique spin to CTC&G ’s tablescapes for the 2014 Red & White Ball, benefitting the Metro New York North Chapter of the American Red Cross. Here, we ask the designers to share their inspiration and design process.

Designer Kerry Delrose at the Red & White Ball

What was your inspiration for this elegant, layered tablescape?

Kerry Delrose: With the longest winter behind us, I wanted to celebrate spring and the return to the outdoors. So the table was very natural—simple with an outdoor feel, like eating under the trees.

Explain how to keep a table looking sophisticated with unexpected textural pairings.

I think you just said it, spot on! With unexpected facets. We have all seen tablecloths, flowers and vases at beautiful restaurants, but I wanted this to be natural and organic. The flatware, china, leather chargers, glassware, wood bowls, horn napkin rings and hurricanes came from Ralph Lauren’s new collection, Point Dume—not fussy and overdone, but clean, simple and chic. And the white Pony skin really became a conversation piece!

You opted for large votives for the centerpiece. Why not flowers?

I’m not a big floral guy for the centers of tables. I entertain often and prefer easy, so I am always grabbing things that are at hand rather than ordering flowers. It’s all about the friends and the food, and the wine. 

Your design played with scale. Are there any rules to follow?

In table setting, the only rule is to make certain guests can still see one another. Other than that, have fun with it! At our design firm, we are known for our scale, which is often exaggerated. People remember something over the top.

A cotton cloud and handmade red cross make a statement on Jennifer Gresinger’s tablescape. Lillian August vases complement pewter Simon Pearce chargers.

Designer Jennifer Gresinger at the Red & White Ball

What was your inspiration for this ethereal tablescape?

Jennifer Gresinger: The theme for this year’s event was Designs for Hope, so I wanted to convey a sense of heavenly optimism and a dreamlike atmosphere. My favorite piece is the red cross centerpiece I made, because it added an element of play and maintained the focus on the meaningful event and the cause it represents.

How did you add interest and layers to the design without using pattern?

By using various tones and textures of white and introducing the red framework of the cross with its angular sense of space, the overall design portrayed its own pattern. I knew the cloud would stand out, tying in with my celestial theme. The lighting also played really well off its height and texture.

Why did you choose to use white flowers in silver vases?

I didn’t want any distractions to the red cross centerpiece. By using white flowers, I was able to continue the cloudlike feeling on the table, and the silver votives were a great way to pick up light.

Do you prefer a rectangular or round table?

I prefer a round table. It lends itself better to conversation and has a softer look.

A version of this article appeared in the June 2014 issue of Connecticut Cottages & Gardens with the headline: Table Service.