May 21, 2013
I am a big fan and noticed that you set up a lot of dinners in rooms other than a dining room - a library or sitting room, media room, even a bathroom! What are your thoughts on how to entertain in a home, but not the usual eating areas? When do you stick with the dining room and when do you switch it up? I'd love to get your take on this.
And lastly - I love the Ikat fabric I've seen you use for tablecloths. The pink colorway in your Valentine's dinner post, and blue in your book for the France dinner...would you please let me know who makes it? I love how it looks on a table! Thanks so much!
Can't wait to see more from you!
Dear Kara -
I have a low threshold for things being the same. Coupled with being diagnosed with ADD and a bit too much creative energy, I love mixing up dining experiences! As a general rule of thumb, my decisions on WHERE to serve dinner are largely influenced by how many people I have coming to dinner as well as holiday predominant color schemes I want to highlight.
For instance my dining room and breakfast room are both predominantly turquoise and ivory shades so when I wanted a cozy, deep red romantic vibe for Valentine's Day, I didn't hesitate to move my dinner to the intimate crimson lacquered library!
I can comfortably accommodate 6-8 in my breakfast room and 14-20 in my dining room, but what to do for smaller numbers or in between sizes? 'Darling, do pass the Grey Poupon and slice a tender morsel from the tenderloin,' said in my loudest voice, reminds me of the 'Ritchie Rich' cartoons and makes me feel like I'm sitting at the unpopular table in high school. Adjusting for the number of guests is much easier when you take to a new location while creating a sense of adventure (not to mention less expensive than redecorating!!).
Spring, Summer and sometimes Fall, the outdoors is an option but remember never invite more guests for an outside event than you can accommodate comfortably somewhere indoors in case of a Plan B or a 'Plan for Disaster!' Hence, the dinner party in Miles Redd ever-so-chic-mirrored bathroom due to a VERY incorrect weather forecast prediction!
I also sometimes want something to feel more casual than my dining room surroundings for a larger group and for that I love a dinner in my kitchen. Plus everyone congregates there anyway so it is the 'if you can't beat them, join them' approach!
Another key tip when dining off the beaten path, plan your logistics accordingly. Allow for the extra steps & distance from the kitchen to the dining areas! And as always, preparation and doing as much as you can ahead of time are the biggest factors in pulling off a successful party.
I hope you're inspired for a little entertaining caravan now. Please let me know what you do, and even better send photos.
PS - With regards to your Ikat fabric question, the fabric is by Schumacher and the design is Kerala Ikat.