‘Gentle provocation’ is how founder John Lim describes his work at luxury botanical studio This Humid House. With a deep affinity for the language of plants and flowers, Lim and his team push the boundaries of what most usually think of as floral arrangements, incorporating a wide range of surprising flora—think fruits, vegetables or even moss—to craft one-of-a-kind creations that are veritable works of art.
Lim’s newest venture, Senang Supperclub, combines his love for design with his fascination with local food culture. Held at This Humid House’s gorgeous new office space, the project invites guest chefs to prepare a menu, which Lim and his team then work to transform into a culinary experience like no other. Hospitality and community are key here, with each session evoking both the cosiness of a home gathering and the splendour of an extravagant feast.
“Beyond having guests feel taken care of, the highest end goal is for them to feel seen,” shares Lim. “This is very much in line with how we try to incorporate a lot of recognisable elements in the experience. We cook with a lot of familiar flavours, and style with many plants that are common in people’s gardens. It’s done in a way that’s unexpected, but just delightful at the same time.”
As Christmas approaches and we find ourselves hosting holiday dinners of our own, there is, perhaps, no better person to share their advice on how we can elevate our own parties at home. Beyond creating a beautiful space, his tips stems from a thoughtful consideration of guests’ dining experiences—taking into account little things like their interactions across the table and ways to spark conversation. Below, Lim shares his best table-styling know-hows for a festive party like no other.
1 / 5
Abundance over variety
“Having fewer impactful elements rather than many small things gives clarity to what you are creating. Try working with three ingredients maximum but have an abundance of each. We love using bundles of local dendrobium orchids in clusters as a starting point and selecting complementary ingredients around them.”
2 / 5
Make a trip to the market
“Fruit and vegetables are a delight and sure to spark conversation. They’re also a way of adding colours to the table that you may not find easily with flowers. Globe eggplants are a favourite of ours for their size and waxy darkness.”
3 / 5
Go low to invite conversation
“Don’t be afraid to go low on the table. You never want your conversations to be inhibited by the décor, so it is okay to snip your stems really short. Bundling flowers and leaning them against the edge of a bowl is an elegant way of keeping things low.”
4 / 5
Leave room to breathe
“Not every gap needs filling. Strategic spaces within an arrangement allow the ingredients to breathe, literally and visually. Spaces between arrangements, even small ones, help ease the eye across the table so no one feels like they are talking over a wall.”
5 / 5
Look to a colour wheel
“It’s helpful to base at least one colour from your ingredient selection on something dominant in the immediate vicinity, such as the table finish or the colour of a wall or upholstery. Consult a colour wheel and consider using adjacent shades for a monochromatic look or opposing ones for complementary contrast.”
The December ‘Carouse’ issue of Vogue Singapore is available for sale online now and in-store from 14 December.