LIGHT THE WAY: While it might initially get overlooked, lighting is an easy way to dramatically alters the vibe of any space. Used effectively, it evokes mood and sets the pace in terms of elegance and glamour. From candles to dimmer switches or a roaring fireplace, a warm glow adds an inviting allure to the mix. Everything and everyone (from appetizer pairings to the guests) looks better in great light. Try to avoid harsh down lighting that creates unwanted shadows. If you don’t have dimmers switches, you can switch out your light bulbs for a warmer, softer hue. Even adding touches of exterior lighting in the garden helps to extend the inside out and make your spaces feel connected to nature. Luxury is a perfectly lit party.
SPICE IT UP: Mix and match tableware for a graphic feel. The soulful juxtapositions of metallic and winter whites is my go-to holiday palette. Pattern mixing captures a sense of easy elegance and infuses even the most refined setting with an effortlessly chic spirit, keeping the mood fun and spontaneous. This especially applies to fine china. If you don’t have enough of a particular place setting to accommodate the full guest list, break the rules! Mix and match family china patterns from your wedding or grandparents for a look that is meaningful, artful and eclectic. Use complementary colors and a hierarchy of scale and texture that is vibrant, yet harmonious. It can then be tied together with your linens and florals. My go-to floral is Phillips Flowers Hinsdale, they can do anything.
FESTIVE FRAGRANCE: Scent your home with holiday cheer. Before an event, try choosing a single scent to place about your space in entryways, powder rooms, and gathering areas. I always start cooking before the guests arrive so that the house smells inviting. Stick to unscented candles around catering and bar set-ups to allow the food to shine on its own. Candles can bathe the environment in rich, soothing tones. Holiday aromas in wood, cinnamon or sage add a festive touch.
CONCEPT COCKTAILS: Ingredient-focused mixology. A cleverly named beverage cultivates a vibe that is thoughtful and special, such as: Fruits of Labor Margarita, Magic Hour Moscow Mule, or Harvest Moon Mojito from cocktailcourier.com. Choosing an easy, signature cocktail for the evening can simultaneously streamline the bar menu, add a collective holiday spirit and a whimsical welcome. Even with a full bar, cocktails pre-prepped and served upon arrival keep bar lines abbreviated while receiving guests in style. Colorful drink garnishes like flowers, fruit or mint add a pop of color.
ARTFUL ACCESSORIES: Guests will remember the little things that make an event stand out. Elevated barware is one of my favorite places to splurge. It adds so much to the party experience and is fun for me to curate! It is all about the art of entertaining. From patterned straws to brass bottle stoppers, setting the scene with spirited accents and soulful accessories channels an unexpected, distinct voice. Add an extra special touch with personalized cocktail napkins that are cheeky and fun.