Share Your Table Featuring Oriana

“I want everyone to see how easy it is to bring the outdoors inside for your family to enjoy at the holidays,” Oriana says. “We can gain so much inspiration from what we find around us, in nature or at the local farmer’s market.”

When you are good at something, people have a way of finding out. That is what happened to Oriana Maki-Nelson, a Central Coast native who joined DAOU as a wine educator, but soon found herself in the role of DAOU floral designer.

For our holiday dinner party, Oriana decked out our table and showed us the ropes.

“I want everyone to see how easy it is to bring the outdoors inside for your family to enjoy at the holidays,” Oriana says. “We can gain so much inspiration from what we find around us, in nature or at the local farmer’s market.”

She encourages you to not overlook things like vines, olive tree branches or eucalyptus cuttings that might be right under your nose.

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“Use what's fresh, what's in season, and what brings you joy,” Oriana says. “I love doing winter whites, antique hydrangeas, China mums and old-fashioned roses with a lot of textural greens. I tend to be more monochromatic with my design and then let the greens fall where they may.”

She also recommends thinking ahead about a container or vase for the table. “You may have a teacup or vintage bowl that makes an ideal vase,” Oriana says. “I have some really great birch-wrapped glass that I love to use. The important thing is to change your container water frequently to keep your flowers and greens fresh.”

“There’s really no recipe or exact formula,” Oriana says. “I just like to build up my layers and textures, from tablecloth to runner, and then have my arrangement kiss the corners and sides of the container, first, and fill it in so that it has a billowy effect. Do what feels right to you. You are just crafting and designing with different elements. That’s what I love about it.”

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Share Your Table Featuring Raquel