Entertaining Photo Credit: Julia Dilworth

Get Jackie Kai Ellis’s Fashion-Inspired Tablescape

Inspired by the runway collections of Valentino, Vancouver’s bakery maven creates a trending table look overflowing with florals, warmth and texture.

jackie kai ellis
We caught up with Jackie Kai Ellis at her ultra cool studio in Vancouver (lots of concrete, floor-to-ceiling windows and a giant table for entertaining—priorities!).

After months of spotting her on Nordstrom fashion posters and bus stop ads, it should be no surprise that Beaucoup Bakery’s Jackie Kai Ellis is becoming as notable for her style as her sweet, delectable pastries.

When Kim Crawford wines asked her to create a fashion-inspired runway tablescape for Toronto Fashion Week, she jumped at the chance. (They must have seen her work styling a gorgeous “Rustic-Chic Brunch” for our Condo Fall/Winter issue just last year.)

As a special treat to WL readers, Ellis invited us over to her Vancouver studio where she recreated her fashion-inspired table look just for us and gave us top tips on how you can get this look at home.

Watch the Video:

How to Make a Fashion-Inspired Tablescape

Inspired by the Spring/Summer collection of Valentino, Ellis takes the rich colour palette, florals and texture from the runway and shows us how you can translate this into a glorious tablescape. Here’s how she did it:

1. Include a variety of heights on the tabletop. Using bursting florals as a centrepiece (these are from Garden Party Flowers in Vancouver), creates a ton of texture at all different heights—this keeps things looking wild, organic and interesting.

jackie kai ellis flowers
Rich flowers are the focal point of this Valentino-inspired tablescape.

2. Take inspiration from the world of fashion. In addition to the colour palette and florals, Ellis weaved in other fashion-inspired details: plates from the newest textile-inspired collection of Hermès in funky patterns of blues, burgundies and metals, along with a cross-hatched set from Raynaud, designed by a shoe designer and inspired by sari fabrics and Indian tapestries (both available at Atkinson’s of Vancouver).

jackie kai ellis table
Textile-inspired fashion plates, citrus on display in cloches and mixed metal flatware—what is not to love?

3. Keep drinks cool with freezable gems. Because a warm glass of white is never in style, she recommends chilling vino with wine gems: “You put them into your freezer, they get cold and they work very much like whiskey rocks, and they keep your sauvignon blanc or your whites chilled for just a little bit longer.”

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These Rablabs wine gems keep wine cool and even look like little grapes.

4. Use citrus fruits as tabletop decoration. “I got this idea of doing a cloche from wine touring in Beaune, France,” recounts Ellis. “They would do these cloches and inside the cloches would be all the different fruits and even tobacco and leather that you might find in a particular bottle of wine and when you actually lifted the cloche up, you get to smell all the aromatics. It’s a great talking point for your guests and something interactive for them to do.”

5. Try cream linens instead of white for a rustic look. Instead of the pure white linen, she went with something a little bit deeper in a cream, that was more natural and had a rustic feel to it, “to just create a little more depth.”

jackie kai ellis linens
Ellis adds depth with these woven table linens that are in the same wheat-cream colour family as the tablecloth, but have a different texture.

6. Provide a variety of textures at the table. “When you’re entertaining and people are sitting down to eat, it’s a very tactile, sensual experience,” says the frequent hostess. “And so you definitely want to create a lot of different textures—whether it’s in the florals or in everything that they touch—so the cutlery feels smooth, and the linens might feel a little rougher.” For a mix of tactile sensations, Ellis paired the tablecloth with napkin linens in the same colour, but with a slightly different texture. “You get texture on texture and you’re sort of layering those elements together. We found one with a slight gold fleck to it, which then ties all the types of metallics we have on the table as well.”

7. Try mixing metallics for an on-trend look. “The cutlery we actually chose is a very modern silhouette, but in different metals, tarnished brassy colours, a true gold brass colour, and I really like the idea that you can mix metals together.”

jackie kai ellis table
Don’t be afraid to mix metals in your flatware.

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