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Dishing It Up With Sharon Insul — When Is A Tassle Worth The Hassle? Always…

Posted Monday, Aug. 11 – 4:29 PM

When is a tassel worth the hassle? As far as I’m concerned, almost always. Yes, you heard me, almost always. So now you want clarification; fair enough. With rare exception, tassels represent softness, movement, a surprise pop that gives a room, a piece of furniture, pillow, clothing, and yes even a tablescape flights of fancy. Now hold on—before you get hung up on a few chosen words, such as “flights of fancy,” give me a second to explain.

I liken a drawer full of tassels to a room full of shoes. Do I have your attention now? Excellent. Would you leave home completely dressed, without wearing a pair of shoes, or any accessory meant to pull your outfit together? I think not. As to the exception of when to not use a tassel—Hmmm—as soon as I come across an example I promise to let you know.

So far I say let everyone have tassels. Tassels for cabinet pulls, door knobs, lamp switches, displayed on a book, or coffee table, and yes, to be used as napkin rings—the list is endless. Phew, I could go on, and on, but in deference to you, my list stops here. Instead, this is step-out-of-the-box time. Oh please, this is not your first dance —think, create and reinvent.

Over the years I have created the strictest of formal settings for clients, who wanted sterling, crystal, the finest of china, only—and positively no flashy splashy bling—yet I still managed to throw in a tassel or two. Okay, so maybe it was three or so…lol.

Before I go any further, let me answer your thoughts—yes my formal table was a complete success, and I continue to tablescape for these same clients. What they say when I am done is “bravissimo.”

How and why did I add tassels ? The why is really simple. I was hired to create, and create is what I did; call it artistic interpretation. As to the how—let’s call it ingenuity. With the addition of three silver/crystal tassels I took the most formal of settings, and created a subtle air of  soft elegance. No heavy bling, catchy little doodads , just soft shimmer mixed with polished sophistication.

Where you ask? The where took a bit of doing, but mission was accomplished with a substantial-sized sterling silver-footed bowl, brimming with both large rock crystal and Swarovski crystal prisms. The tassels were fastened to the top of silver swizzle sticks, (held in place with florist putty on the bottom of the bowl) allowing them to dangle freely. Although in reality they weren’t going to be doing much swinging; not if I wanted a return engagement.

Remember—no flashy splashy bling.What did the freedom of the tassels accomplish? It gave the dinner table its final touch of shine, without losing the much-called-for elegance and refinement. The  shimmer of the chandeliers subtly ignited the crystals as though a fire were simmering inside this gorgeous silver bowl. With the almost imperceptible movement of the silver tassel strands, floating above the bowl of crystals, and the candlelight strategically placed about the massive table, this tablescape clearly fell within the category of  quiet brilliance.

The delicate placement of candles played an integral hand in pulling this adventure off without guest sight lines being broken. Now that is a whole other discussion, which you need to stay tuned for.

Sharon Insul is the former owner of the popular Beverly Hills boutique Candle light and…

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