Remember my frantic decorating in anticipation of the party I was hosting for my sister? Well, said party took place a few weeks ago, and it seemed a good time was had by all...including the hostess. (And believe it or not, my good time was had without any wine. You have to stay sharp while hostessing.) Before the party, there was the mad rush to get my powder room finished. My poor sister made that valance the week of the party. She's refusing to come home for Christmas unless I promise that I won't cook up another project for her.
Now I must admit that I had some anxiety before the party because my dining room really isn't finished yet. I don't yet have a rug in there because I'm looking for the perfect rug. There is one wall that is completely bare and will be until I find the perfect piece of art. So, while I'm waiting for perfection, the dining room remains a bit incomplete. I started to wonder what the guests would think about the bare floor, the bare wall. But then I thought about Dorothy Draper and what she might say about my dilemma. I feel confident that she would have said to get over the will to be dreary and have the party. And you know what? Once the guests were in place and the room was bathed in candlelight, I don't think anyone really noticed the bare spots!
When I entertain, I don't have a theme per se. This time, however, I chose a color theme for the party: fuchsia with hints of silver, black, and white. I covered the dining table in a hot pink tablecloth which was inspired by those gorgeous fuchsia table linens that Mathilde Agostinelli had in her Jacques Grange designed dining room. I stuck with silver trays for a dash of glimmer, and pink and white ikat votives added another punch of pink. Oh, and I went with bright pink hydrangeas for tight little arrangements in the center of the table.
That's me shortly before the party wringing my hands over the bare floor.
I hired Cafe Lapin to cater the party. Mattie Hines, the proprietor who also happens to be a major design devotee like the rest of us, did a fabulous job helping me come up with a menu which included:
Ham and Gruyère Biscuits
Fig, Prosciutto, and Arugula Crepes
Asparagus on Puffed Pastry
Parmesan Shortbread Stars with Caramelized Onion Marmalade
You know we like our bacon here in the South. The sugared bacon on skewers were a hit.
On the other side of the dining room, I set up a dessert table with macaroons in pink, brown, and cream (had they made black macaroons that would have been perfect!) and a tray of petits fours.
I kept with the color theme on the dessert table by using fuchsia cocktail napkins and pink butter mints. Yes, I realize that the mints were a rather old school touch, but they looked good on the table.
I made tiny arrangements of dark purple calla lilies and white fancy tulips. I love nothing more than a floral arrangement that looks black and white- so graphic.
And I couldn't neglect the balcony. The fuchsia lanterns looked great for all of five minutes, but then a thunderstorm hit and the wind ripped them down. And to think that my poor father was up on a ladder for half an hour before the party in the sweltering heat hanging the darn things!
What about the bar you say? I set that up in the living room, as seen in the top two photos. It's not easy trying to make room for the liquor, the wine, the beer, the mixers, and all of the other accoutrements. The lack of space on the bar, though, did not seem to deter anyone from partaking in the libations. One thing that really came in handy was my Dash and Albert outdoor rug (full disclosure: a number of bloggers were given the opportunity to select a small rug of their choosing from the Dash & Albert website). I was trying to figure out where to use it when I realized that it would be perfect under the temporary bar. It protected the hardwood floor from spills, which meant one less thing for this harried hostess to worry about!
So when is the next party? I'm thinking Christmas. And hopefully I will have a rug and some art by that time!
(To contact Mattie at Cafe Lapin, the telephone number is (404) 812-9171. I highly recommend them!)