Category Archives: Parties

A Magical Party Guide: Ken Fulk’s Expert Entertaining Tips

Entertaining, Parties | | | Leave a comment

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(Photo via Douglas Friedman)

Although beautiful design is his bread and butter, Ken Fulk is just as well-known for throwing one fabulous fête. From Moroccan-themed penthouse soirées, to Sunday suppers with mashed potatoes and roast chicken, Ken knows how to put together the perfect get-together from start to finish.

(There’s more than one reason we decided to launch our exclusive collaboration with him. See the Ken Fulk and Pottery Barn collection here. )

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 4.39.11 PM (Photo via @lonnymag on Instagram

“Whenever I plan a party, I imagine it unfolding like a beautiful movie inside my mind. There are establishing shots of the space, scenes of guests arriving, close-ups of late-night silliness; there is always the perfect song playing in the background,” says Ken.

Read on to get in the party-planning mood with Ken’s favorite tips, tricks and incredibly inspirational ideas — plus, some of our favorite photos from our #KenFulkxPB events.

Ken’s Top Magical Party Tips:

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  • The invitation is more important than you think! It sets the stage for your party from the get-go. Going formal? Consider a handwritten invitation with a flower. If your party is more casual, go digital — but skip the pre-made template. “I prefer to make my own email invitations by layering some fun copy over an evocative snapshot,” says Ken.
  • Throw a few wild cards into your guest list. “When crafting your guest list, remember: The magic happens when you mix it up. Don’t be afraid to invite your favorite grande dame and your punk rock neighbor to the same dinner,” says Ken.
  • “Don’t give party favors no one wants. A goodie bag filled with freebies isn’t really a gift,” says Ken. Want to do something practical that everyone will love? Box up desserts or leftovers in cute boxes or mason jars with ribbon, or give out a copy of your playlist to guests as they leave.
  • Fresh cut flowers are a must for any party — whether you’re entertaining in a grand ballroom or a tiny apartment, there’s no better way to bring life to a space. Go big, but keep it simple — even with a limited budget, you can go cheap and cheerful with sunflowers and daffodils.

Ingredients to the perfect party:

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  1. A magical atmosphere.
  • Dim the lights: everything and everyone will look better.
  1. Some seriously delicious bites.
  • “Don’t be shy about serving take-out presented in beautiful serving dishes,” says Ken. “It takes the stress out of entertaining, which will make you a happier host.”
  • Keep it simple. “First and foremost, the meal should be delicious. For the Sunday suppers I host at my home, I’ll serve roast chicken and mashed potatoes. No one leaves disappointed.”
  • Want something a little fancier? Have one of your favorite restaurants provide a few small bites. Ken’s particularly fond of these three:
    Jon & Vinny’s (Los Angeles)
    Marlowe (San Francisco)
    Carbone (NYC)

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  1. Plenty of cocktails & mocktails.
  • Have a tray of drinks ready when guests arrive — both you and your guests will be grateful!
  • Don’t forget mocktails and spritzers for those guests that prefer their drinks non-alcoholic.

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 4.41.03 PM (Photo via @kenfulk on Instagram

  1. A groovy playlist.
  • “Make three different playlists: one to set the mood for arrival, a second more ambient mix to allow for conversation, and a third that gets everyone up and dancing,” says Ken.
  • Keep the stereo remote within arm’s reach. “Party volume tends to ebb and flow, and you don’t want to be frantically looking for the controller,” says Ken.
  • “A DJ for a dance party is a must — even if the DJ is you,” says Ken. Who’s Ken’s favorite DJ? The gorgeous and talented DJ Kiss is a must-have at his more festive get-togethers. Keep reading to get her playlist that’s ready to go for your next party!

Want to learn more about Ken Fulk? Click here to see his full collection, get the behind the scenes scoop and watch some of our favorite videos.

Simple & Rustic Dinner Party with Sunday Suppers

Entertaining, Parties | | | Leave a comment

A great dinner party doesn’t require many ingredients. Good food, delicious drinks, a perfect playlist and a comfortable atmosphere are all you really need to ensure a successful night. Karen Mordechai, founder of Sunday Suppers, is an expert on simple living and entertaining. That’s why we worked with her to host a rustic and food-focused dinner party with some of our favorite dinnerware and serveware.
DIY Herb Bundle 2

karen headshotKaren’s love for fresh ingredients is reflected throughout her work, including her book, Sunday Suppers: Recipes + Gatherings. We love how she serves bold, seasonal ingredients on our favorite white dinnerware so the color of each grape, papaya and piece of prosciutto truly pops.
Simple Rustic Beautiful Fall Dinner PartyFall Dinner Party Cocktail

Rustic White Fall DinnerBlack Radish Salad 2Ready to host your own simple and rustic dinner party? We have everything you need to get started. Read on for Karen’s favorite decor, music, and more:

1. Karen’s Dinner Decor Must-Haves: Keep it simple. White dinnerware never goes out of style!

TIP: Choose something colorful for your main dish — white dishes will make brightly colored recipes extra Instagram-worthy.

• Caterer’s 12-Piece Dinnerware Set
• Rhodes Ceramic Drink Dispenser Stand
• Rhodes Ceramic Crock
• PB Classic Belgian Flax Linen Tablecloth
• Salerno Stemless Wine Glass
• Great White Oval Platter
• Great White Coupe Serving Bowls
• Marble Cheese Board
• Tivoli Flatware
• Great White Cake Stand
• Colorful Cafe Glassware
• Blonde Wood Paddle Pedestal
• PB Classic Drink Dispenser

Sunday Suppers Pottery Barn Dinner Party 4

Cheese Platter Party Fall

TIP: Searching for cheese platter perfection? Choose a variety of flavor profiles and textures so there’s something for everyone — sweet, soft, salty, savory.
Branzino Dinner for FallMood-Setting Party Playlist: Your playlist will do wonders to help set the tone for the evening!

TIP: Choose music that’s upbeat, but is best suited for background noise rather than an all-out dance party (at least until you’ve cleared the dishes).

Sunday Suppers Pottery Barn Dinner Party 1

Want the recipes? Stay tuned! We’ll share Karen’s cocktail and dinner recipes from this beautiful dinner later this week.

DIY Herb Bundle: Rather than go with traditional flowers, Karen composed a simple bundle of seasonal greens and herbs for a fresh, fragrant addition to the table setting. As the meal prepared was Mediterranean in theme, she chose to include the following: Eucalyptus branches, olive branches, and rosemary sprigs

TIP: Don’t be afraid to forage in a nearby field or forest should either be accessible to you. The beauty of this bundle is its malleability to the seasons and environment.

To assemble, simple arrange the leaves and branches as you would like, so that there is a balance amidst the assortment, and cinch the base of the branches together in your hand. Then, using fishing wire or strong twine, tie this base together tightly so that the base is secure but the leaves still have room to breathe at the top. Then, using a thick white rope, tie a tight double noose knot around the base of the bundle, leaving plenty of lax rope available for hanging. Finally, using a ladder, find an appropriate hook or fixture from which to hang the bundle, the height of which can be adjusted to your preferences.

Sunday Suppers Pottery Barn DIY Herb Bundle

Simple and Beautiful Fall Dinner Setting

Rustic and Linen Fall Dinner Party

Ready for more? We’ll share Karen’s Mediterranean-themed entree and fresh citrus cocktail recipes later this week. For now, see more of Karen’s work at Sunday Suppers.

See more of our collaborations: 
Justina Blakeney
Lonny Magazine
Kiel James Patrick

5 Easy 4th of July Party Ideas

Entertaining, Holiday, Parties | | | 1 Reply

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Are you ready for the 4th of July? This year, we’re hitting the beach with an all-American celebration. Kiel James Patrick and Sarah Vickers helped us put together one seriously amazing beach bash to celebrate Independence Day. It’s hard to pick out a favorite part in this beautiful shoot, but if we had to, we’d gush over all of the easy trips, tricks and ideas that can be put into use at any 4th of July party! Read on to get some of our favorites.

Plus, see the full party here. 

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1. Keep your food light, fresh and easy. When you’re in the midst of July heat, there’s no need to overdo it on food. Stick to something simple — fresh fruit, grilled veggies and sausages are a great place to start.

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2. Come up with a playful cocktail. Summer fruit provides all the cocktail inspiration you need. We love this Watermelon Mojito recipe — use this to add flavor, color and fun to your spread.

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3. Don’t go overboard with decor. There’s no need to do the full red-white-and-blue treatment on everything in sight. Blue and white (or red and white) flowers in a beautiful basket will bring a fresh breath of summer air to your set up.

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4. Make sure your bar’s fully stocked. Have something for everyone! We love how KJP and Sarah made sure that every guest had an alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink of choice at their party.

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5. Keep it casual. The best part of summer entertaining is that it’s no fuss, no muss. That’s what makes a 4th of July picnic so perfect — finger foods, an easy-to-wash table linen and bottled drinks (no cups to wash!) make for less clean up and more time to enjoy the sunshine.

Ready for your own 4th of July party? Enter for a chance to win some of our summer party favorites, here.

Don’t forget to check out the full 4th of July party from KJP and Sarah here. 

Cinco de Mayo Nacho Party with Camille Styles

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

View More: http://katezimmermanpictures.pass.us/nacho-bar

Okay, so we don’t really need an excuse to eat nachos — but we’ll take it! This year, we’re planning on celebrating Cinco de Mayo with a surprisingly elegant upgrade on the standard cheesy chip, thanks to this beautiful spread from Camille Styles.

View More: http://katezimmermanpictures.pass.us/nacho-bar

We love how Camille used our Striped Tassel Table Throw as a colorful backdrop for this eclectic spread. What makes this casual party stand out? Camille’s creative toppings take nachos to an entirely new level. Elevate this bar-style food with some seriously stylish ingredients. Try roasting your chicken with a subtle hint of cumin, make your own guacamole, add pomegranate seeds, buy fresh queso fresco from your local store, or use watermelon radishes to brighten things up.

A fiesta like this deserves a festive atmosphere, too. Camille got super colorful with mix & match serving dishes and plenty of pattern.

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“A fiesta is the perfect time to pull out an eclectic mix of dishes,” she says. “I stuck to a color palette in hot shades of orange, pink, and coral to tie it together, then went crazy with pattern. The striped Mexican throw with fringe-y tassels was the perfect impromptu tablecloth.”

See the rest of Camille’s Nacho Party here.

Need a margarita recipe for Cinco de Mayo? This one’s our favorite.

Lonny Magazine’s Colorful Summer Brunch

Entertaining, Parties | | | Leave a comment

Viva la brunch! Weekend brunch is our favorite meal anytime of year — especially during the summer. Produce is at its peak, the sun is shining, and bubbly cocktails feel at home on any menu. Plus, it’s the perfect entertaining opportunity — with a little overnight prep, you can whip together a casual brunch in no time.

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(Photos by Davide Luciano)

We’re kind of obsessed with how the talented team of Lonny Magazine put together this fresh take on a summer brunch with our new Mediterranean-style outdoor product. Lonny editor Kaylei McGaw hosted this shindig at a Brooklyn loft, using our colorful dishes and table linens as a base for a playful, lively and delicious group brunch.

Read on to get Kaylei and the Lonny team’s decorating ideas & entertaining tips so you can host your own festive summer brunch! Stay tuned for recipes & more later this week.

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DIY Decor:

To set the mood for this casual Sunday brunch, McGaw arranged cushion seats on the floor for her guests and served the meal on a low coffee table. Our rainbow-stripe tablecloth created a graphic backdrop to the saturated mix of ceramic serving platters, glass stemware, and patterned melamine.

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Blue-and-white dice, a nod to the party’s retro inspiration and a perfect match to the Ocean Blue margarita glasses, were repurposed to create cheeky coasters for the midcentury bar.

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TIPS:

Pick your battles in the kitchen. To cut down on meal prep, concentrate your cooking efforts on one or two standout dishes and supplement your spread with prepared foods you can shop for:
Dress up store-bought fruit salad with a drizzle of fresh honey and chopped basil.
 Amp up a basic bagel and cream cheese bar with fresh lox, herbs and chopped veggies from your local store.
Order any pastries, breads or muffins beforehand to save yourself time and stress.

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Consider your menu while choosing your dishes. A cleverly edited amount of bold color around the table — be it bright yellow dishes, a striped table runner, or red ceramic appetizer plates — will bring out the meal’s aesthetic appeal.

Play with varying heights. Add interest to your buffet table or sideboard by using tiered trays and footed bowls. If you don’t have any taller platters, stack a few books on your tabletop and cover everything with a tablecloth.

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Set everything out in advance the night before. Set the table, put out dishes and stock your bar and buffet the evening before your big brunch to cut down on morning chaos right before the guests arrive.

See Lonny’s full feature on PotteryBarn.com here, and read more about their fabulous brunch at Lonny.com here.

Hop to It! A DIY Colorful Easter Dinner Party Setting

Entertaining, Holiday, Parties | | | 1 Reply

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/pottery-barn

Written exclusively for Pottery Barn by Juli Vaughn

Whether it’s your first time hosting Easter Brunch or your 30th time, everyone can use some fresh inspiration. I find that as a color lover, I long for holiday decor that involves bright hues and surprising elements. I want to repurpose things in my home and give my guests something to talk about when the conversation about who got which candy in their Easter basket wanes.

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The first thing to keep in mind when you’re putting together your ideal tabletop is to ask yourself, “What is going to fill it up?” Is family-style food your thing? Is a killer flower arrangement? Are cute signs and place cards? You can have it all if you follow these tips.

Styling & concept: Juli Vaughn
Photography: Tulle and Grace
Hand Painted Easter Eggs: Ashley Pepitone

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/pottery-barn

1. Start with basics like the Linen Hemstitch Table Runner. It’s a piece you can use for any holiday but it provides a neutral start to any decor. I also used the Sketch Bunny Napkins which are playful, a neutral tone, and totally worth a splurge.

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/pottery-barn

2. Stick with one type of flower in medium sized modern glass vases. I used Parrot Tulips because they’re in season and very easy to find at a farmer’s market. An alternative to flowers is to fill a vase with organic carrots. The greenery at the top can serve as your floral element and you can eat them after Easter! If you use something like Aegean Clear Glass Vases you’ll have plenty of room to place food items around on the table as well.

View More: http://tulleandgrace.pass.us/pottery-barn

3. Repurpose home items and fresh produce for signage. I used the Serafina Vanity Mirror for an unexpected “Happy Easter” sign. I also used spray-painted carrots for place cards. Simply tape off the top of the carrot with painter’s tape, cover with 2 coats of metallic spray paint, and attach a piece of card stock paper for the place card. Voila! Instant conversation piece!

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4. Add pops of color by using Pressed Milk Glass Votives, Robin Eggs, or hand painted wooden eggs like these from my friend Ashley Pepitone.

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5. Embrace change. We all long for a picturesque table scape with perfectly placed napkins, shiny silverware, and calligraphy place cards. But, let’s be honest, we ALL place our cell phone right next to all that lovely as soon as we sit down. I say embrace the change and incorporate it into your decor by providing a cell pocket. I put this one together with color-coordinated scrapbook paper, scissors, and hot glue. The phone immediately has a home to sit in for easy access for all that Instagram-ing you might need to do, and yet it fits in with the table decor perfectly.

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Tell us: How are you going to decorate for Easter this year?

See more of our favorite Easter decorating ideas & items here.

Party Perfect: Three Flavorful and Festive Recipes for a Summer Party

Entertaining, Parties, Recipes | | | 2 Replies

Spicy Margarita Don Julio Justina Blakeney

When the weather’s hot (Summer’s coming, we promise!) it’s hard not to crave something simple, refreshing and thirst quenching. We love how Justina Blakeney‘s menu for her fabulous Summer party for Pottery Barn does just that. Smoky and spicy margaritas, cool and crisp watermelon agua frescas and easy crab guacamole and chips are all it takes to quiet an appetite on a hot summer day.

Take a look at Justina’s delicious recipes below, and see her full Pottery Barn feature (plus all the dinner/glassware in the photos) here.

Turquoise Summer Party

Photography by Danae Horst

Smoky Serrano Infused Margarita
Serves 6

For the Serrano-Infused Tequila:
1 medium sized serrano pepper
10 oz tequila (we used Don Julio Anejo)

Slice pepper in half lengthwise, leaving veins and seeds intact. Place pepper and tequila in a jar or bottle with a lid and let sit 24 hours (or longer, depending upon how spicy you like it).

For the Margarita:
1.5 cups fresh lime juice
1 orange, juiced
1/2 c simple syrup
1 c serrano infused tequila
1/2 c orange liqueur (Grand Marnier, triple sec, etc)
1 c soda water
Smoked sea salt
Lime wedges
Ice

In a pitcher, combine lime juice, orange juice and simple syrup- stir. Add tequila, triple sec, and soda water.

DIY Margarita Recipe

To prepare glasses, make a small slit in the lime wedges and place salt on a small plate or bowl. Run lime wedge around the rim of each glass, then dip glass into salt, turning until rim is coated.

Add ice to each glass and fill.

Summer Cocktail Recipe Justina Blakeney

Watermelon Lime Agua Fresca
Serves 6

4 cups watermelon, cubed, seeds removed
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
4 T sugar
Lime slices for garnish

Summer Spritzer Justina Blakeney

Add watermelon, lime juice, and sugar to blender pitcher. Puree until smooth. Serve over ice and garnish with lime slices.

Crab Guacamole Recipe on Pottery Barn Tray

Guacamole con Cangrejo: Crab Guacamole
Serves 6

2 perfectly ripe large avocados (or 3-4 small ones)
1/2 large white onion
1-2 roma tomatoes (depending on size)
1 bunch cilantro, washed and trimmed
1 lime
6 oz crab meat
Salt

Dice the tomato and onion and rough chop the cilantro- mix together in a small bowl. Set aside.

To prep the avocados, slice them in half lengthwise and remove the pits. Now make 4 lengthwise cuts to each half, without cutting through the skin, essentially scoring each half. This makes it easy to remove the flesh with a spoon. Once you’ve scored all your avocado, scoop the flesh out with a spoon into a large bowl. With a pastry blender or potato masher, mash the avocado slightly- there should still be chunks of avocado visible.

Crab Guacamole Recipe

Now, gently fold the tomato-onion mixture and the crab meat into the avocado, careful not to over mix or break up the crab meat too much. Add the juice of one lime, and salt, to taste. Serve with tortillas chips.

*Safety note: Because of the crab meat, be sure to keep this guacamole on ice during your party. 

See the rest of Justina’s summer party & tips here.

Party Perfect: Justina Blakeney’s Eclectic and Colorful Summer Party

Entertaining, Parties | | | 2 Replies

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Color, creativity and just a hint of craziness — Justina Blakeney’s eclectic style encompasses everything we believe about decorating your home: It should feel fun, free and fulfilling.

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(Photos by Danae Horst)

Even if you’re still seeing snow outside, summer will be here before you know it (it’s true!) — which is why we just couldn’t wait to show you Justina’s backyard summer shindig using our Under the Sea Party supplies.

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Click here to see & print Justina’s shopping list for this party.

PLUS, listen to Justina’s party perfect playlist below:

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Inspired by tropical ecosystems, Justina put her own special twist on some of our classic & new outdoor party serveware. Sculptural floral details like Bird of Paradise and cacti almost look like pieces of coral littered around the tabletop. A simple menu of spicy margaritas (with a smoked salt rim that looks just like sand) and fresh crab guacamole, this party feels warm, lively, unexpected and fun.

What do we love about Justina’s party? (Besides the fact that it’s seriously beautiful of course.) It’s incredibly easy to pull this off in any space, with any budget. Take a look at more of Justina’s party tips below, and stay tuned for her party DIYs and recipes later this week!

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TIP: “Centerpieces should be tall enough to talk under or short enough to talk over.”

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TIP: “Think of an overarching color palette for your party. If you’re stumped on what colors to choose try using analogous colors: different colors of the same shade. Or try complementary colors — meaning colors opposite each other on the color-wheel.”

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TIP: “Create a functional and balanced tabletop by making sure your place-settings are symmetrical. Layer in patterned and textured elements, and arrange table elements around a focal point.”

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TIP: “Look in your linen closet for even more inspiration — quilts, hand-towels, and even scarves can be used as tablecloths and table runners. Have fun and mix things up!”

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TIP: “Add plenty of metallic items to your table to elevate the tablescape and make it feel extra special.”

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TIP: “Flowers and plants breath life into any space, to be sure to include botanical elements to keep your table looking fresh and lively.”

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TIP: “Mark guests’ glasses with personalized nametags so that even when schmoozing with guests they don’t lose their vessels.”

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TIP: “Create at least two signature cocktails — one with alcohol and one without, so all guests can join in on the fun.”

Don’t forget to check out Justina’s full feature on PotteryBarn.com! 

Get her recipes for this party here.

Guide to the Perfect Dinner Party: A Warm Winter Gathering

Entertaining, Parties | | | 5 Replies

After the holidays are over, it’s easy to quickly lose your entertaining gusto. Whether you’re burnt out or just can’t think of a good excuse to get everyone together, post-holiday winter entertaining is hard to envision — that is, until we saw this gorgeous winter dinner party.

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Everything from the warm, cozy setting to the abundance of winter produce makes this dinner party feel perfectly suited for the season. Who needs an excuse when the party is as fun and gorgeous as this?

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Keep reading to take a look at this party from the talented team of Wanderlust Catering, Edyta Szyszlo PhotographyAlexandra Phelps EventsStudio Mondine and Cheree Berry Paper — plus their expert tips to throwing a classy dinner party with ease and style.

0028Invitations:

Are paper invitations outdated? Hardly! We’ve loved seeing them come back with a force — Cheree Berry’s beautiful invitations are lovely enough for everything from a simple affair to a formal event.

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“An email/phone RSVP works great for a casual affair, such as a backyard BBQ, kid’s birthday, even ancillary wedding events,” says Cheree. “Today, we recommend an email RSVP vs. a phone RSVP as not to interrupt work or family time.”

“Know your audience too.  A more senior crowd may not handle an electronic invite as well as a printed one,” says Cheree.

0049Hostess Tips:

“The perfect dinner party should have at least these three things: good food, tasty drinks, and great conversation,” says Simi Hansen of Wanderlust Catering. “There’s nothing worse than a party where guests are too shy to get to know each other.

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  “Interesting food and drinks are the easiest way to get the conversation started,” says Simi. “Soft lighting and an appropriate soundtrack can also help set the mood.”

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  “So many tasks can be done the day before your party. Food prep, table setting, decorating, choosing music, flowers,” Simi says. “If you can get these things done early, all you’ll need to do day-of is put ice on the bar, open wine, heat and assemble food, and get yourself ready. Doesn’t that sound totally stress-free?”

0055Decorating Tips:

“Be creative when choosing your bar location. It can be a buffet, a cart, a table, your countertop. Just be sure to choose a surface that’s large enough to hold beverages, ice, glassware, and any accouterments,” says Simi. “If you serve beer in bottles, you can eliminate pint glasses, which is one less thing to set up and clean up. If you’re serving a signature cocktail, make a pitcher for the bar so guests can help themselves.”

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“Building a solid collection of basic items like runners, vases, napkins and service platters is a smart investment,” says Allie of Alexandra Phelps Studios. “Plus, it’s fun to challenge yourself to find new ways to utilize them again and again.”

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  “Just like produce, flowers are seasonal too,” says Amanda of Studio Mondine. “Save money by buying in season. For this table, we mixed the wintry amaryllis with local camellia and some early-blooming quince.”

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Pottery Barn items used: Napoli Dinnerware, Tava Chargers, Harrison Wine Pull, Harrison Multiple Bottle Cooler, Harrison Bottle Coaster, Blonde Wood Paddle Pedestals, Metallic Snack Bowls.

See more of our entertaining tips and recipes to help you throw the perfect dinner party here.

 

#PBwithaTwist: Stephanie Sterjovski’s Parisian Christmas Party

Entertaining, Holiday, Parties | | | 1 Reply

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There’s something effortlessly beautiful about the way the French do just about everything — don’t you think? And that’s really what we’re all about at Pottery Barn — helping you make your home beautiful, effortlessly.

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That’s just one of many reasons why we love Stephanie Sterjovski‘s twist on our holiday decor — #PBwithaTwist! This talented gal took some of our favorite cocktail and bar decor staples and gave them an elegant, Parisian-style twist for one classy Christmas party.

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POTTERY-BARN-TWISTYou can get the look for your own holiday cocktail party with our Antique Silver Wine Cooler, Cocktail Shaker and Faceted Jewel Christmas Tree.

PS: Want to see more? See the full post, plus her delicious cocktail recipe: “The French Blonde” here.