joy of nesting

joy of nesting
California designer Shiree Hanson Segerstrom's weekly tips for decorating, gardening, and stylish living

Tried and True Tips for Summer Entertaining



























above via LOVE THIS PIC
 
I’m not sure why, but interior design and entertaining often go hand and hand. People become close with their designers and often ask us to help with their weddings and important dinner parties. Table settings, flower arranging and decorating for parties often come with the job.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
TOM SCHEERER above
 

The most important thing to remember when entertaining is that your guests’ comfort and enjoyment comes first. If your home (particularly your kitchen) is small, planning ahead is a must. I like the house to be shiny clean and to smell fantastic. On the day or evening of the event, everything should come together smoothly. The flowers are done, the table is set, the sofa cushions and pillows are plumped, music is playing softly in the background, the windows are open, and as much food prep is done in advance as possible.

 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


above via PINEAPPLE AND COCONUT BLOG
 
 
There are a many “styles” of entertaining. Some are formal, and some are casual. My sister-in-law Sarah gives the best dinner parties. Her style is relaxed, the food is phenomenal, the décor avant garde yet comfortable. Sometimes dinner is a big pot of soup, rustic bread and a great salad. Other times it’s a crab feed. The wine and music are sophisticated yet the overall effect is relaxed. And so is she.

My other sister-in-law Sharon does great gatherings with husband Donald and they give guests personalized attention. Sharon often does grilled dinners with a delicious salad and guests dine outdoors in her garden. She does fresh flowers too and always there are candles and great music and wine. Both women are fantastic cooks and their focus is first and foremost on guests and their enjoyment.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via DIGAISM
 
My entertaining style is casual with buffet menus and lots of ingredients. I do a variety of fresh vegetables, special salad combinations, a homemade dessert and usually roasted or grilled chicken or salmon. I  don’t like being stressed on the day of the party so I do menus that are familiar. I never do anything that requires elaborate, last minute preparations. Nothing ruins a party quicker than a harried host. Obviously, you can do smaller parties without much planning but here are my easy guidelines for an intimate Saturday evening dinner for six to eight guests.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via SKINNY MOM

 
Blue Print for Success
 
Monday- menu, table settings, and flower planning.
 
Tuesday- table linens washed and ironed. Place in a convenient place till the day before the party.
 
Wednesday- shopping for groceries, flowers and wine.
 
Thursday- have the house cleaned and do the “do-ahead” food prep. Pull out the necessary serving pieces and put them in a convenient place till the day before the party.
 
On Friday- do any baking or dessert that needs to be done, flower arrangements, choose music, more food prep, chill the wine, and do the table settings.
 
That leaves Saturday morning for the remaining food, a little time to get dressed, clean the kitchen one last time, and make the final preparations for your guests’ arrival.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above JEFFREY WEISMAN via ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST
 
 
Because I don’t have a lot of counter space in my kitchen, I usually set up a buffet on the dining room table and let guests serve themselves. For large, formal occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving, I serve my guests while seated at the table. There is a swinging door separating our dining room from the kitchen. This means I can close off the kitchen when it’s time to sit down to dinner.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via ARTSYMPHONY BLOG
 
I like to get into a festive mood a couple of hours before guests arrive by turning on the music and pouring a glass of iced tea. Right before they arrive I assign the husband the jobs of lighting the candles, opening and placing the wine on ice, and pouring us a glass. If the weather is good, I like all the windows opened so we can catch the evening breezes and hear the fountains from outside.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above RALPH LAUREN via BELGIAN PEARLS BLOG
 
 
Once the noshing begins, take this bit of advice: make no excuses for the food. Friends and family are happy to be in your home enjoying your hospitality, and they really don’t care if the asparagus is a little undercooked. And don’t remind them. Put your perfectionisms away and enjoy yourself without explanations. People won’t remember the chilled salad fork, they’ll remember your relaxed, contented demeanor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via SUGAR PLUM INVITATIONS BLOG
 
 
Shiree’s Style File

For parties of more than eight guests, encourage them to move around by doing a table for wine, glasses and chilled water in one room and a table of hors d’oeuvres in another. Shrimp is a great way to get people to circulate too.

 
Keep last minute plans to a minimum to avoid stressful situations when guests start to arrive. Do menus that can be mostly done in advance.
 
If you entertain outdoors, remember to provide things for that area such as a few throws for guests if the night turns cool; a jug of flowers for the picnic table; and lanterns for candles so the wind won’t blow them out.

 
I like to use white, unscented candles for entertaining but have been known to cheat and mix in battery operated ones too. They’re especially nice for hard to reach places or if children are present.
 
Grab a guest to assist you and personally serve the dessert course and coffee as an intimate touch. Let guests pass the tray with sugar and creamer.
 
Never use paper plates, plastic cups, and plastic utensils. Use cloth napkins if possible. I like plain white, ten inch buffet plates (one of my caterer friends says they’re too big but I love them), vintage silverware, and simple, clear glass, high quality wine glasses so guests can appreciate the color of the wine.
 
 
below ANGIE SILVI PHOTOGRAPHY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via STYLE ME PRETTY
 
 
 
 

above via HABITUALLY CHIC
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

above via GREIGE DESIGN BLOG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via THE FRESH EXCHANGE
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
above via STYLE ME PRETTY
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

via FRESH FARM HOUSE
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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