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The season of gracious entertaining is here. It’s time to open our (hopefully spotless, chic, and cozy) homes to family, friends, and neighbors and make everybody comfortable.
Entertaining may make you feel like the pressure is on, especially if you follow all the conventional “rules” for inviting guests, planning menus, setting tables, serving drinks, and decorating guest rooms. To all that we say: Relax. Remember that hospitality is a sincere show of welcome—not a competition to prove you’re the next lifestyle maven. Relax. Relax your standards, your expectations, your shoulders—and most importantly, your home.
CREATE A PLACE TO PAUSE
We love an elegantly appointed entryway but also believe that a warm welcome trumps an overly styled space. A hardworking but good-looking entry sets the mood for your entire home; think of it as a transition space (especially in winter). Clutter-free and simply furnished with our practical Logan Hall Tree, this inviting entry provides ample room for removing coats and boots, setting down a handbag or hostess gift, or just saying an unhurried hello. A plus: being able to take a last look in the mirror before joining the party.
LIGHT THE NIGHT IN SUBTLE WAYS
Clear, flattering, and unobtrusive lighting is one of the best-kept secrets of fine interior design—and one of the best ways to make visitors to your home feel welcome. Good lighting puts everyone at ease in subliminal ways, and it enhances your furnishings, no matter your style. We love clear glass lamps of all kinds (including candlesticks and hurricanes) because they’re versatile and sophisticated, and they provide quiet illumination, without vying for attention.
SIT IN THE COMFORT ZONE
When hosting a dinner with friends or family, the objective is to eat and drink well, to talk, laugh—and be comfortable while you’re doing it. If you’ve ever shifted around in a stiff dining chair, you know that it can ruin a perfectly lovely evening. For relaxed dining (and memorable meals), we recommend seating that invites settling in and staying awhile. Our Parsons-style Sebago dining chairs do all that and more. Choose your own gorgeous custom upholstery; it doesn’t get any better, more beautiful, or comfy than this.
DRESS A ROOM IN LAYERS
Sure, you can always turn up the thermostat, but there are more cost-effective ways to warm up your home when the weather outside is frightful. Add texture; you can cozy up a room in seconds by adding layers of textures everywhere—from the ground up (think: ikat art silk rug). The possibilities are endless; here are just a few: our diamond-tufted Chadwick sofa, Paloma chair in supple leather, and our delicately woven mohair throw with fringe trim. Who knew fashionable rooms could be so relaxing? (We did.)
REDISCOVER THE LOST ART OF CONVERSATION
Want to create a warm environment in which friends feel free to sit, stay, and chat away? Plan a room around conversation. Arrange seating with balance and harmony in mind, give sofa and chairs equal time, and encourage face-to-face-to-face interaction—without disrupting traffic flow around the area. Note how nothing blocks the line of vision between our comfortable, slipcovered Lynn sofa, pair of stately Petra chairs, Miles leather ottoman, and deep Brant chair (smartly floated in the space).