Named as one of the top hostesses in Los Angeles, Stephanie Booth Shafran understands casual and stylish cool. In fact, she wrote a book called, “You’re Invited” which gives her secrets to classic elegant entertaining.
“I adore creating exquisite memories for my family and friends to share,” she says.
Parties, she reminds us, are not about perfection but joy. Follow some of her tips and it will take the stress out of entertaining.
Choose a Color Palette
“I see the world in color. I like to carry a color palette throughout, from the flowers to the food to my outfit. When guests walk in, I want them to be wowed. Not by the extravagance but by the setting.”
Create a Theme
“For a garden theme party, capitalize on it with repetition. Here I did that with the blue and white tablecloths and chinoiserie vases. I used pink lilacs, tulips sweet peas, roses and green viburnum.” The varying heights of flowers reflect a garden as well.
Invites set up the mood and get people excited. Also, have special place cards for each guest. We love these watercolor floral ones she used.
Lots of Flowers
“Abundance and repetition. Sometimes a steady row of blooms is more impactful than one big bouquet in the middle of the table.”
Always Be Ready 15 minutes Early
If you are relaxed, your guests will be as well. Leave time to get excited about the party.
Have a Cocktail in hand and a Smile to Greet Guests
“It’s always fun to have a signature cocktail at the beginning of the night that nods to the theme of the evening.”
Find Details that String the Decor Together
If you have grandma’s china with gold trim and silverware of different shades, consider getting mercury votives to pull it all together. You can mix and match but find items that complement each other.
Have Extra Sweaters or Wraps for Cooler Weather
“If you are hosting outdoors, place pashminas on women’s chairs in colors that coordinate with the party’s theme.” It’s all about the details and this shows that you are not only thoughtful but ensuring that the party will last longer in case a chill comes in.
Start Collecting Linens
Napkins are the easiest way to update a look. For monogrammed napkins, it’s worth the investment. Booth Shafran recommends resources such as Talmaris in Paris, Julia B. Deborah Sharpe, New Orleans-based Leontine Linens and Halo Home by KSW. If you have a hobby or passion, find cocktail napkins that echo that interest too since it personalizes the event. Also have a good collection of tablecloths that add dimension to the table.
Invite People Who are also Good Guests
Here’s one tip we couldn’t agree more with. To be a good guest, remember to write a thank you note, consider arriving 10 minutes late, and leave when the party is winding down. Also, make an effort to talk to the person on your left and right so everyone feels included while surrounded in the cocoon of love the hostess created.
Whatever your plans this summer, try to eat outdoors. It could be a decorated table or even put a blanket on the grass with a basket and some wine and cheese. Make everything special and it will be. That is Stephanie Booth Shafran’s mantra and should be yours too.
Photos courtesy of The Ingalls.
A version of this story originally appeared on FlowerPowerDaily.com.
Jill Brooke is a former CNN correspondent, Post columnist and editor-in-chief of Avenue and Travel Savvy magazine. She is an author and the editorial director of FPD, and a contributing digital editor of aspire design and home magazine.
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