Lifestyle guru Katie Armour is an arbiter of understated style. Along with founding the digital ‘zine sensation Matchbook Magazine, she also curates a collection of up and coming artists, runs her own blog The Neotraditionalist and lights up our Instagram and Pinterest feeds on the regular. We also share her obsession with pugs!
A recent relocation to Chicago and an engagement(!), means Katie is going to be hosting her first Thanksgiving in a brand new home and for some very special people in her life. She turned to Pottery Barn to set a chic timeless table, but we couldn’t let her go without getting her tips & tricks for effortless holiday entertaining.
What are some of your top tips to hosting Thanksgiving in a small home?
Stay organized and prepare in advance! We prep the majority of the meal before our guests arrive so my fiancé and I aren’t fighting for kitchen space. The cocktail ingredients are on our bar cart and the side dishes ready to serve. Embrace the coziness of your small space. Light candles and keep the meal simple, but scrumptious.
What’s your favorite Thanksgiving cocktail to serve?
This time of year I love to serve a Maple Bourbon Smash. They’re easy to make for your guests and taste delicious. We use 2 oz. Bulliet Bourbon, 1 oz. Vermont maple syrup, and 1 oz. fresh lemon juice. Combine everything in a ice-filled cocktail shaker and stir for 15 seconds. Strain the drink into an old-fashioned glass with ice (I prefer one big cube) and you’re done! I usually add a lemon twist for garnish.
What are your favorite Thanksgiving side dishes?
How to choose?! This year we’ll be serving balsamic-roasted brussels sprouts, garlic mashed potatoes, and corn bread. We may also add some sweet potato casserole to the mix–not ideal for the waist-line, but mouth-watering good.
Any tips for hosting a Thanksgiving with pets?
We keep our pug Alfred entertained (and out from underfoot!) with a new bone and his bed in a far corner. I like to think his monogrammed, plaid dog bed adds to the autumnal ambiance.
What are your favorite, easy, affordable tips to spicing up your home for the holidays?
1. Add greenery! I love fresh blooms in autumnal hues and a few well-placed pumpkins. White pumpkins or gold-painted pumpkins are my favorite.
2. Set the mood with tunes. We have a fun playlist for Thanksgiving and later Christmas that will be on regular rotation throughout the holiday season.
3. Swap out your everyday accessories for cozy, festive pieces. I love cable knit, plaid, or cashmere throws, velvet pillows in rich, fall colors, and colorful table linens that speak to the occasion.
You can shop some of Katie’s holiday must-haves RIGHT HERE!