We entertained like crazy during the holidays (a couple of dinners a week) and have taken a bit of time off to recover... I'm starting to get anxious for some Spring entertaining - I'm itching to host a party. I know many of you are hosting Shower and Parties this Spring are are in need of inspiration, too! So to put my party day dreaming to good use, I thought it would be fun to put together a few inspiration boards using items from my Color Collection to show you how I go about planning a scheme for entertaining.
The Occasion :
If you don't have an occasion to celebrate, do what I do and make one up : ) I love hosting - anything. I plan parties 'just because' all of the time. Maybe the only thing in your entertaining future is a dinner with a couple of couples and all of their kids? Do what my friend Courtney does and greet the parents at the door with champagne 'just because' while the kids go play - that is a great hostess. You can even serve pizza or takeout if you want. There is always a reason (or excuse) to celebrate. Don't be afraid to do it in your own style. You might be celebrating a new engagement, or just a Friday night. It is such a treat to be able to host friends and help them escape into a space of hospitality and comfort to enjoy each other and celebrate milestones of life - big or small. The point is, entertaining is fun - you should do it more often. Right?!
Always a Celebration :
When I host a party, I want my guests to come in and feel like they're enveloped in celebrating (which is why I love the champagne greeting!). I want it to feel easy, comfortable and special, all at the same time. It could be dinner party for 6, or a cocktail party for 50 - I still want them to be embraced by a feeling of celebration and ease when they walk through the door.
Hospitality Rules :
A Mother of the Bride I once worked with said, "I want them to walk in and think 'What a treat - this is special!' not, 'Oh my, how much did they spend?!' I always think about this. For me, entertaining isn't about impressing my guests with fanciness, but more about treating them to an experience that seems comfortable and enriching. With simple items and ideas, I am able transform our home into a welcoming space that feels spruced up and special to celebrate any occasion.
Creating the Feeling :
Colors : I like to choose 2-3 colors. The flowers are usually the most vibrant (or the white element), then I pick a neutral and a complimentary tone. While you can get all matching elements for a party (pink ribbon, pink candles and pink stationery, for example) like I showed in my post yesterday, I also like to mix and match the coordinating elements to create a more grounded look.
Favors : For special occasions like a baby or bridal shower, I always incorporate a favor - usually edible and packaged in a Cello Bag, tied with a ribbon and a tag. I like to display them by the door in a basket. Even for small gatherings, sending your guests home with a bag of salted caramels or muffins for the next morning never hurts : )
Decor : I'll use the same Ribbon (from the favors) to tie around a simple white napkin, and the coordinating Place Card at each setting. If there is a buffet or food display table, I'll use the Place Cards to label the food or desserts. I'll also tie the ribbon around the Flower Vase or Hanging Willow Basket filled with Flowers - this is just another way to incorporate the coordinating elements and really create a feeling for your party.
Here are 5 boards I put together based on this philosophy that feature elements from various Color Collections and show how they can go together to make a casually elegant (and celebratory!) look.
This is certainly my favorite board of the moment. I'm craving fresh yellows and pale blues of spring. For me, this is board is very much inspired by nature. In a month, I'll be looking out my window at a very soft pale blue sky, barren trees with pops of fresh yellow daffodils. I'm thinking of hosting a dinner with all of my girlfriends to put this scheme to use. Any excuse!
Color Collections : Chatham Slate Grey Collection | Lemon Curd Collection | Navajo Cream | Edgartown Sand Collection
Navajo Cream Ribbon | Checked Linen Tea Towels | Chatham Slate Grey Candles | Navajo Cream Candles | Chatham Cards & Tags | Lemon Curd Candles
Everything about this board reminds me of Mother's Day. It is a little early to be thinking about it now, but if you are planning a special occasion shower or party for May or June, now is the time to start dreaming about it.
Chatham Cards & Tags | Privet Berry Blue Taper Candles | Mom's Hydrangea Candles | Navajo Cream Ribbon | Seaside Aqua Candles | Hydrangea Cupcakes with Seaside Celebration Candles
I like to call this "Blush & Bashful." : ) This scheme is based on a Baby Shower I hosted a couple of years ago at our house. These peonies were the softest powdered pink - just amazing. It was a brunch for about 10 girls on a May morning for a dear friend expecting twin girls!
Color Collections : Emma's Room Pink Collection | Navajo Cream Collection | Edgartown Sand Collection
Emma's Pink Tags & Cards | Navajo Cream Candles | Ivory Candles | Emma's Pink Candles | Laurel Wreath Tags | Navajo Cream Ribbon
Fresh, fresh, fresh. Doesn't this just remind you of the lush late Spring and early Summer?! It is making me crave a Lemon Layer Cake and a very green yard : )
Color Collections : East Hampton Hedge Collection | Lemon Curd Collection | Concord Green Collection
East Hampton Hedge Ribbon | Concord Green Tags & Cards | East Hampton Hedge Candles | Hanging Willow Basket | Lemon Curd Candles
Deep Navy is my all time favorite classic color. It goes with everything. This board is an example of how you can use the same soft pink peonies and add luxurious Privet Berry Blue satin ribbon and stationery to change the entire feeling of the occasion.
Shop the Collection : Emma's Room Pink Collection | Privet Berry Blue Collection
Privet Berry Blue Ribbon | Pale Pink Floral Tags | Privet Berry Blue Tags & Cards | Emma's Pink Candles
What are your current favorite color combinations? I have many more I want to share - hopefully I'll be making this a reoccurring seasonal post. It is so fun to day dream about hosting parties : )