Shelly Tolo shares the genius behind her winter tablescape with NWM+E

NWM+E: What was your inspiration for the tablescape?

TOLO: First, I love plaid, so any time I can use it, that’s great. The overall vision [for the design] is about layering and bringing nature to the table. Having different and unique elements helps to keep a table interesting for the guests. It’s great to do this detail at an event by mixing in different styles of votive candles or multiple size floral, but also at home by including little elements to make your winter-themed table special like silver birds and any element that matches your special occasion.

I also love including natural elements, such as birch, wood slabs, berries or holly from your backyard. Using items to create tiers for a smaller vessel of florals to sit on enhance the overall design so elements sit at various levels down the length of the table. 

Tin Can Alley, a repurposed 100-year-old former tin can factory in Tacoma, Washington, offered the perfect backdrop for a “Parts Unknown”–themed event. The affair was honored with the prestigious “Meeting of the Year” award at the national NACE convention.


Shelly Tolo’s clients are a loyal bunch, with good reason.


Every single piece in Ashley Choate’s collection tells a story.