Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Design to Dine

The Americasmart in Atlanta does an excellent job of offering events for Interior Designers. Every other month, on the first Wednesday, they have a Market
Wednesday. The August event was a special treat with well known interior designers, Kathryn Greeley and Tobi Fairley. These two talented ladies offered us an hour long, crash course in home entertaining. They both agree that inviting family and friends to your home is one of those special gifts that you can share. It is the perfect way to show
off your home, style and hospitality.

Tobi and Kathryn

Here are their tips for entertaining like a Pro!

Think of your table like an interior and use the same approach to pull
everything together. (Kathryn)

When you entertain be organized, so you can relax and enjoy your
party too! (Tobi)

Make your party reflect your own personal style, by using what you
already have: your collections! (Kathryn) She loves to use her Blue
Willow to entertain and calls it the "Blue Plate Special!"

Make a great first impression and set the tone for your party by
having a big WOW factor at your front door or entry. (Tobi)

Invitations set the tone for your party, so choose wisely and creatively.
                                          Kathryn has a new line of invitations.

Don't undecorate your home for a party. Use your party to enhance what
you already have and keep your decor intact, so guest can enjoy seeing
it the way you normally have it arranged. (Tobi)

Tobi collects Jadite*. In the above picture she has used it in a grouping
with a white lacquered mirror.
Below she has used the Jadite on her table.

*Jadeite glassware was originally produced during the 1920s and '30s and popularized by the Jeanette Glass Co. in the 1930s as inexpensive Depression Era glassware. Jadeite decorative glassware was made for a variety of uses -- plates, sugar and creamer sets, salt and pepper sets, mixing and serving bowls to name a few. They are still American made and hand pressed from the original molds.

Music creates an atmosphere to remember. Choose music that accentuates
the theme of your party. It helps to bring all of your senses into play!
You might recruit students from the local college music department for
your entertainment. (Kathryn)

Embellish plain fabric napkins with fusible trim tape, pom pom fringe or
grosgrain ribbon. For a bit of whimsy use burlap! (Tobi)

Menu choices should reflect the overall theme of the party. A printed
menu card adds style.

Create a signature cocktail for your party. It is festive and can cut down
on the cost of a full bar. You don't have to always cook. It is perfectly fine to
buy Mexican or Chinese food and put in your serving dishes! (Tobi)

Creative place cards show thought went into the planning of an event.

Remember colored plates look best for white food and starches.(Tobi)

Select your flowers with thought. They really add that WOW factor. 
Look to your yard for flowers and greenery.

Give your dining chairs a new look with cushions or slipcovers. You can
co-ordinate them with a new tablecloth. (Tobi)

When entertaining, share your home by serving courses in several areas.
This helps encourage conversations. (Kathryn)
Small embellishments go a long way, not just in looks, but also
in communication. Think decorative labels for your food
dishes and beverages. (Tobi)
For a big party, keep guests from crowding around the bar or buffet,
by passing trays of drinks or appetizers. It is worth keeping
your stress level down, to hire a bartender or wait staff. Check
with a local restaurant, their staff may want the work on their
days off.

Consider the lighting at your next party. What sources of light do you want and
where do they need to be placed.
Only use unscented candles on your dining table. You don't want to compete
with the aroma of your food! (Tobi)

Cake stands make everything look important! Use them to
elevate the height and presence of your food
display. Look for unusual serving pieces on eBay. (Kathryn)
*See Tobi's table above with her Jadeite cake stands.

If you re having an outdoor event, moving pieces of your furniture
outside is a great way to create a special area for entertaining. (Tobi)

Give a small meaningful gift at each place setting to make guest feel
welcome. Candles, soaps, a music CD that you make of special tunes
you enjoyed that evening. (Kathryn)

It is fun to co-ordinate your favors with the theme of your party.
This leaves guest with a nice lasting impression. (Tobi)

Traditional Home Magazine predicts “Tobi will be like Cher or Oprah- of those women for whom
one name says it all”. Selected as one of Traditional Home’s Top 20 Young Designers in America,
Tobi Fairley has a signature look that is fresh and simple combining colorful, large-scale prints
with classic furniture styles for a beautiful and functional result. To find out more about Tobi,
visit her website: Tobi Fairley
Known for her gracious entertaining and expert knowledge of tabletop collections,
Kathryn was primed to create her first book, The Collected Tabletop.
“There is something lovely to collect and use for every event and when you
know how to use them, these collections combined with principals of design and
grace, make for very elegant entertaining” ~Kathryn
Find out more about Kathryn Greeley visit her website: Kathryn Greeley Designs
If you are an interior design addict, love beautiful table settings and enjoy
unique recipes, you need a copy of Kathryn's new book.
I hope you enjoyed the tips from these two extremely talented ladies!
It was a long post, but they shared so much with us that Wednesday,
I could not decide what to leave out!

source: Kathryn Greeley Designs, Tobi Fairley, Pinterest

No comments:

Post a Comment