With more than one million followers, Jeff Leatham’s Instagram feed is the stuff of floral fantasy. His distinctive style is immediately recognizable for its sculptural design, breathtaking scale and monochromatic color schemes. Here, the artistic director at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia spills his secrets to celebrating 2020 in style. Fourseasonsphiladelphia.com; jeffleathamflowers.com
What was the inspiration behind the decor at Four Seasons Hotel Philadelphia?
This year is all about sparkle; it's all about happiness; it's all about giving good energy. Last year, we mixed a lot of black and gold. This year, everything is gold and silver and bright and happy and sparkly and magical because we all need that in our lives right now.
Talk to me about festive home decor trends for this year.
We're using a lot of olive branches and rosemary. Things that you can repurpose, like succulents, on Thanksgiving tables that can kind of roll into Christmas. I think it's all about the senses and things that make you feel good, like smells and touches. We're going big and simple, as well. A lot of my clients this year are doing trees twice the size, but with no ornaments on them, just beautiful, twinkly, magical lights.
Share your secrets on how to achieve a picture-perfect holiday tablescape.
For me, I always start with candles. Candles are super important to me—taper candles and low candles. I'm really all about keeping themes to colors, like whites and golds, deep reds and greens and color schemes like that.
Multiple trees: Yes or No?
Oh yeah! I have seven trees: one by the pool, one in the living room, one in the entrance, and one in my bedroom—some are real, some are fake. I use real trees in the rooms where I spend most of my time. In rooms where it's just kind of like a little decoration, I use artificial.
With weddings in 2020 moving outdoors, what florals work well in a natural landscape?
I think it's all about natural tones. Not a lot of people are using big colors at the moment because I feel like not a lot of people want to. Big color is about big celebration and there are not a lot of big celebrations happening. So, I think a lot of brides and people who are having events and parties are keeping it very simple and clean with whites, nudes and naturals. That's what's been so great about this whole quarantine. People are doing simple and beautiful things. They're doing little flowers that are beautiful and have a lovely aroma. It's not all about the show and the competition.
How will you be spending the holidays?
Working for the Kardashians. They're my best clients and they're my good friends. So, that's my whole month of December: decorating their homes and doing fun parties and events for them.
Photography by: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel, Philadelphia