Building drama, setting a mood, making disparate elements work together so the end result looks effortless: Throwing a successful party sounds a lot like great interior design. To celebrate the season, Luxe rounded up top talents to share their ideas for welcoming spaces, memorable hosting and pitch-perfect event planning. Whether it’s seating an expert conversationalist next to a known wallflower or pairing patterned dishes with opulent linens, such as these vintage-inspired ones from La Double J, it’s all about mastering the mix.
For the dining room in his historic Greek Revival home in Madison, Georgia, Jimmy Stanton, proprietor of Atlanta’s Stanton Home Furnishings, created a festive mood with lush, fresh greenery and elegantly casual table settings. A custom pecky cypress and hammered-zinc table is company-ready with a blend of antique black-and-white transferware, green Ralph Lauren plates, brown-glass stemware and heirloom pewter pieces. A blown-glass ball chandelier and Cole & Son’s Nuvolette wallpaper make for a dreamy backdrop. It’s an inviting tableau even Stanton’s rescue Chihuahua, Chance, can’t resist.
PHOTO COURTESY JEFF ROFFMAN
A quiet cocktail corner with a petite bar table takes a dressy turn for the dramatic when a rich peacock-teal hue colors the space. Chicago-based designer Alisa Bloom used a custom high-gloss blue from Fine Paints of Europe to lacquer the walls of this Gold Coast dining room. It’s a laborious process that delivers unparalleled shine, reflecting even the subtlest candlelight for the ultimate atmospheric glow.
PHOTO: ISABEL PARRA
A plush and supportive perch should be mandatory for lengthy holiday meals. On that front, the velvet Caron chair delivers, bringing both softness and style to the table. Playfully patterned fabric inserts and brass nail trim add a note of whimsy, and the shapely design hugs your back so you can stay seated comfortably until the last bite of dessert is gone. ottiu.com
PHOTO COURTESY: OTTIU
When San Francisco-based designer Holly Hollenbeck set out to design the dining room of her 1901 Edwardian home, her goal was to preserve its vintage heritage while integrating modern touches. “Visualizing how the space was originally used was key in bringing the room back to its former life,” she says. An 11-foot-long antique English table centers the space and provides a refined setting for entertaining friends and family. To contrast with the original details such as the herringbone-patterned floor and oak wainscoting, Hollenbeck added graphic wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler for Lee Jofa, a custom-designed chandelier and Milo Baughman chairs. The result is an inviting combination of history and personality.
PHOTO: SUZANNA SCOTT PHOTOGRAPHY
Artisans Zelouf & Bell describe their furniture as “poetic pieces with resonance, mystery and secrets, evoking wild cocktail parties past.” Judging from the bubblegum-pink-and-brass Stones in a Pond liquor cabinet, seen here, that description seems apt–the doors open to reveal pale-blond sycamore storage with leather-lined drawers and an ivory shagreen bar top. Much of the duo’s work is one-of-a-kind, featuring luxe design details such as reflective lacquer finishes, aged brass, detailed marquetry and mother-of-pearl inlay, just to name a few. Pieces are made by hand in their workshop in Ireland, where they helm the creative process from inception to finished product.
PHOTO COURTESY: ZELOUF & BELL
Designing a stunning tablescape begins with settings that convey not only the spirit of the gathering, but also the essence of the host. Los Angeles-based Casa de Perrin knows this and has spent years curating a jaw-dropping collection of vintage china, flatware and glassware, available for purchase or rental. You can peruse options by color palette for inspiration or by specific item type, so finding the right rose-hued wine glass or patterned plate is just a click away.
PHOTO COURTESY: CASA DE PERRIN
French designer Dominique Imbert believes fireplaces shouldn’t be fixed to the ground, so he has devoted most of his life to creating ones that are suspended in mid-air (as in the Ergofocus, seen here). Form and function meet in this wood-burning model, which features appealing midcentury lines and an open hearth that rotates 360 degrees. Handcrafted in the South of France, Imbert’s designs have elegant shapes that actually maximize heat efficiency for chilly winter nights. focus-fireplaces.com
PHOTO COURTESY FOCUS FIREPLACES
Luxe caught up with Christine Traulich, founder and creative director of Red Bliss Design, to get her tips for throwing a successful soiree.
What qualities should every tabletop have? Lingerability–my friends love to hang out and tell stories over meals, so I always think about how to dress the table in a way that will stay beautiful long after the plates are cleared. I love using flat, hard-finish place mats, like the ones shown below, for this reason. And comfort is a must: Invest in great chairs.
The secret to a great party is: Always use place cards. Pairing up people is key to maximizing the energy of a gathering.
Any specific tricks to share? Learn one clever napkin fold or use a stunning napkin ring–it will elevate your table.
PHOTO COURTESY RED BLISS DESIGN
Ferry drinks in style with this art deco-inspired oval-shaped serving piece. Featuring a brass-and-black pen-shell-inlay design accented with hints of emerald green, the tray has built-in handles making it easy to carry from bar to tabletop. bluecarreonhome.com