Halloween Entertaining

Halloween is by far my most favorite holiday. So much in fact, that I don’t do the traditional crazy decorating… I don’t want to “work” on Halloween, I want to go out and ENJOY it! However, I must admit to loving fall entertaining with a hint of Halloween. Here you will find this years “tablescape” and “entry bar”, with a little info on how to achieve the look.

Start with anything black & white, as it sets a great foundation. As you may already know, I love to mix metals; so don’t be afraid to use both silver AND gold. Most people associate spooky Halloween as cold and dark- black, white, and silver. But I’m a “more is more” person, and adding gold or bronze, as well as the definitive orange, really add a gleaming glow in the candlelight. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns- its all about texture: it creates depth! Here you can see the place settings are strictly black, white, silver; and a hint of gold with the silverware. Black wineglasses finish the moody look. I used both gold and black candlestick holders, with white and bronze candles, as well as gold glass pumpkin vases- as pillar holders. Use tapers to bring height to a table; but remember to not block any diners views!

Low and long flower groupings provide the fall warmth, and a scattering of mini pumpkins make it festive. Being adults, my favorite “spirit” to celebrate Halloween with is Champagne; and what better brand than Veuve Clicquot? They are already known for their infamous Yelloween Parties, so why not continue at home? Here I happen to have a Veuve bucket, but using a large skull bucket at the end of the table keeps the bottles close by!

I always like to start dinner guests off with drinks, while still getting into the theme of the party. If you have an area to create a “bar”, go for it. Set before the table, it provides guests with a party kickoff. My go-to Bar stand is the one from West Elm, as its collapsible, storable, and interchangeable with different colored trays. Adding lanterns throughout the home- on floors, in windowsills- not only help bring a spooky atmosphere, but bring flickering light to unsuspecting corners.

Here is another option- more of a long display area, to create an actual “bar” feel. Bucket set up can hold many bottles, an area for glassware, and a highlighted area to drop off the always appreciated guest bottle! (Find some fun Halloween towels to keep on hand- as you don’t want ice water dripping everywhere).

Lastly, there is a fun wine I think is definitely appropriate for Halloween. Its called “Poizin”, and it’s actually from my hometown of Healdsburg, in Sonoma County! Not only are the bottles so cool with the etched skulls and dripping wax seal, but they come in a coffin..! How perfect is that? (also to note- the bottle’s theme colors can be chosen to your preference! Here I chose a neutral Silver).

Happy Halloween!


Green with Envy: St. Patrick’s Day

One of the most overlooked “holidays”, St. Patrick’s day is mostly known for green beer, corned beef and cabbage. Gone are the college days of the pub crawl; yet every year almost everyone participates in some way or another, usually by wearing something green (or getting pinched if you’re not!).  I happen to be partly Irish, and it’s also the day of my parent’s wedding anniversary- plenty of reasons to celebrate!

Either way, decorating the home or having a fun themed dinner is always a pleasant way to celebrate this month, whether you’re Irish or not! Who turns down good food and beer?


Start by getting your hands on as much green as you can- It’s hard to miss at all the stores.  Most often, it’s a monotonous sea of garish Kelley Green; but here I’ll show you how to break it up, and make it have an elegant feel. Green wrapped candies, mints, and chocolates are great treats; mini Leprechaun hats and 4-leaf clovers make fun party favors; and of course: flowers.



Choosing different tones of green, as well as different heights, create depth and bring a dramatic element to your flowers. Break it up with a classic white filler flower; and you have full, vibrant arrangement. I love the way the bright fluffy green hydrangeas fill out the vase, leaving the tall bell stalks to bring volume. Place around the house to bring a fresh, green glowing flow.


For the “fun stuff” (i.e.: guest treats), display in different shaped vases, bowls, and canisters. Filled with candy, and favors is a great way to not only bring green into the room; but your guests as well!


And last, but definitely not least…  the dinner table. A place to gather with friends and family, enjoy hearty food, and drink ’til content!


Starting with linens, choosing different shades of green will bring depth and layers. When choosing china and glassware, break out anything with gold trim… Gold is a huge part of the Irish day! These plates and champagne glasses both have gold trim, and bring a gleam and warmness to the table. Keep it simple with low flowers. Here I used continuing hydrangeas to continue the flow, and give a great pop of an unusual green. Lastly, white candles keep it classic: however a combination of green tapers or pillars with gold candleholders would be a great way to bring a richer feel to the table.


All you need to add is the friends, food, and drink! For the non- beer drinkers (or wine lovers), most bottles are made of green glass, so it makes a welcome addition to the table!

Cheers- to hopes of finding your pot o’ gold!

Creating Romance: Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home

The second month of the year is upon us, and that means seeing RED! Of course, that could mean 2 things: you are in love and want to share this month with your significant other; or you are single and don’t want to be alone. Well, luckily I have dinner decor solutions for both! (Even for you guys out there- pay attention! The ladies want to be pampered!)

If you are in a relationship, make the evening special by making it intimate. If you can, start by setting up in a cozy nook of the house, against a window with a view, or possibly in bed? Of course you can use the obvious dining room table, but make it feel like date night in a different part of the house- create something unexpected. Next, layer on the red! Red, burgundy, pink, maybe even purples, so that the impact really gives it a wow factor. If you have any dish ware, bowls, china, glasses, etc. that have those colors, don’t be afraid to overload it. In this case, it can never be too much!

Polish it up with nice stemware- making sure to have BOTH champagne and wine glasses- after all, you will be celebrating, and not want to have to leave the table 🙂 Add fresh flowers (roses, tulips, something exotic like red ginger), candles, tea lights, (scented or not), and make sure when placing them to keep it low and out of the view line- you want to be glancing in each others eyes all night!


Now for all you single ladies who don’t want to be alone, (or if you just want to host a Vday dinner) throw a “single ladies dinner party”! Dress up the table with your best; same ideas as above, but now take it to the “fun” level. Placing glass jars filled with different candies and chocolates make it fun to sneak some treats. Use of glittery or silver/metallic reflective pieces creating a fun, dancing glow against candlelight. Again, load up on the flowers- not only do they look beautiful and inviting to touch, they fill the house with such a wonderful scent! Make sure to have plenty of champagne and wine (at both ends of the table!) to either celebrate your freedom, or help drown your sorrows! After all, it can’t be that bad if you’re surrounded by fabulous decor and friends!

Setting a New Year’s Eve Table

Oh, the big New Year’s decision: go out and party like a rockstar, or stay in and throw a fabulous dinner party? Depending on your situation, a dinner party is always a good idea- not being out amongst drunk drivers, not eating from an overpriced preset menu you cannot change, not dealing with belligerent party goers- I’d say a dinner party sounds great!

You know everyone wants to drink champagne, dance, and enjoy good food; so creating an equally exciting ambience for your guests is the fun part of getting your home ready. Setting the perfect table will bring that “going out” experience to the home!


Start with an empty table, pulling away any extra chairs, and giving you a clear way to view the overall layout, deciding how your guests will be situated, and making sure everyone has enough room (no one wants to be elbowing each other!)

Start the layering process. Adding textured metallic, and mix matching metals will really bring out the traditional colors of New Year’s: black, silver, white, and gold. Here I have silver and black woven placemats with silver chargers, and then gold-rimmed white dinner and salad plates.


Add stemware and silverware. Depending on what you’re serving, (and what your courses are), make sure you have enough. Here I’m mixing a clear water glass with black wine goblets, and gold trimmed champagne glasses. Your guests will definitely not be confused as to which glass contains what, and the color scheme is continuing.


This is also the time to break out the fancy silverware you’ve been holding on to. If you have wedding china, grandparents heirlooms, or anything else decorative- this is the reason to use it! After all, you’re setting a table for the last night of the year, and the start of a new one- make it special!


Add flowers and candles. This is where the first step (clearing the table completely) really helps. You can get an overview of exactly how the finishing touches are going to be, and make sure they don’t interfere with the guest’s eye-line and conversation. There is nothing more difficult than trying to hold a conversation over a too-tall floral arrangement, or dodging candles in the way of a face. Low flowers (white fluffy hydrangeas) spread down the table give fullness and bring softness, while mixed metal candles and tapers (again, white, silver, black and gold) complete the continuity. Adding place cards finishes the layout and clears confusion for guests.


For the after-dinner festivities, have a table ready with party favors. Guest can have fun and dress up in spirit, and ring in the New Year with props to make all the photos you’re going to take- New Year’s Eve festively perfect!

Cheers, and Happy New Year!