Dinner Party 101

Hey !

I just got home from Nashville .  Went to meet the contractor at the home of a favorite client of mine to finalize some things so we can hurry up and finish this so amazing install to be . . .

But one of the main reason I went out was to go to a dinner party.  The host - a pair of the sweetest clients I know.  They threw a party to include the architect, builder (of her amazing dining table) and moi - oh, and the banker, and respective partners.  It was nothing short of delightful.  The house looking so pretty and the smells coming from the kitchen, so divine.  She engaged the services of Chris, a chef at Nashville's Etch Restaurant.    Wow - so amazing, from the two appetizers of steamed dumplings and seared tuna to a Thia inspired salad, coconut miso soup, skirt steak with purple potatoes, all with an Asian infusion theme.  Um... so good.   I'm bringing on the chef from now on so I can actually socialize and not have to cleanup.  Brilliant.

But one thing I particularly loved was the table setting.  Just a simple thing, but so personal.  We needed to find our seats based on the printed word definitions at each place setting...  mine - Adorn.

Cindy also had such beautiful flowers all about the house, one of her favorite things to do.  Got me thinking about centerpieces and just how much I love them as well. Keeping fresh flowers on my dining table at all times is a goal of mine.

Where's definitely a knack to it.  Height and looseness.  I tend to like a tone on tone arrangement, but it really all depends on the overall look and type of food, seriously yes.. type of food.  Keep a few things in mind, either very tall of low as not to block the cross table conversation.

Take a peek at a few of my favorite looks.

Mix in fruits and veggies as well, it's easy and can add a little more color and texture.  Artichokes, pomegranates, and even beets and brussle sprouts are great.  Also try herbs to add a subtle fragrance.  A big no-no are scented candles, who wants their turkey to sell like "sea breeze."

All these arrangements are simple in color and when mixed with a neutral place setting lets the food do the talking, as it should.  Very nature inspired, very clean and easy with most of the floral coming from most of our yards even the Anemone, my favorite and quite easy to grow.  It's a look that can stay on the table all of the time which is also a goal of mine.

I love white china.  I cannot wait to load up a new - old pine cabinet I got for the mountain house with new pieces I have collected, all white.

Love these as well.

Fell in love recently with this Lindsay Rogers (here) from right in my back yard - Western North Carolina.  I'll take one of each.

Another favorite from Koromiko (here

I love a pretty table.

Happy Friday


Fresh and Springy . . . Florals, Interior, Fashion, Food . . .


I love forsythia.  I remember growing up in Connecticut and having our entire driveway flanked with these sunny, fresh blossoms.  It was always a sure sign Spring was on the way.  I used these blossoms just a few days ago in my Philly install and was reminded just how much I love Springy Yellows and Delicate Greens.

Perfect for centerpieces - tall and vibrant, but delicate.

Caldwell Snyder Gallery - San Francisco

What else do I love ? - Yellow doors.

Yellow is the accent color at my house . . .

photos by mekenzie loli

I am a vintage lover.  Always shopping at 1st Dibs for something unique.

Rugs available from ABC Home (here)
Vintage 1970's Leon Rosen Swivel Chair (pair) $4,800 (here)
Manola Blahnik Yellow Strappy Sandal Size 37 $200 (here
Mary Didoardo Oil on Panel 2014 $700 (here)

What else do I love? - lemons. 

A bowl full in a room, when my fabulous cleaning family finishes on Fridays and it's all lemony, mixed in my water, and in these two recipes, two of my favorites.



  • 1/4 c white or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  •  fresh cracked pepper


  1. Combine vinegar, olive oil & lemon juice.
  2. Shake well!
  3. Top with fresh cracked pepper

Lemon CheesecaKe Mousse



3/4 cup crushed graham crackers (6 full sheets)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 Tbsp salted butter, melted


2 1/2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup powdered sugar, divided
Yellow food coloring
12 oz cream cheese, softened
1 jar lemon curd
Sweetened whipped cram, lemon wedges
Blueberries and mint for garnish


  1. In a mixing bowl whisk together graham cracker crumbs and sugar.  Pour in butter and stir until evenly moistened.  Divide mixture among 8-10 dessert cups and lightly press into an even layer, set aside
  2. Pour lemon juice and water into a small bowl.  Sprinkle gelatin evenly over top, let rest 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, whip heavy cram in a medium mixing bowl until soft peaks form.  add in 1/3 cups of powdered sugar, tint with yellow food coloring if desired and whip until stiff (but not lumpy) peaks form (shake cream from beaters, no need to clean).  In a separate large mixing bowl whip cream cheese until smooth and fluffy.  Mix lemon curd and remaining 2/3 cups powdered sugar into cram cheese mixture.
  3.   Heat rested gelatin mixture in the microwave on high power for 30 seconds.  Whisk for 1 minute to thoroughly dissolve gelatin, then let cool 3 mins (no longer or it may stat to set then you could end up with lumps in the mousse).  While mixing cream cheese mixture with hand mixer, slowly pour in gelatin mixture then blend until thoroughly combined.  Gently fold 1/3 of the whipped cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture to lighten, then add remaining whipped cream and gently fold in until combined.  Spoon or pipe mixture into dessert cups over graham cracker layer.  Cover and refrigerate 2 hours (or up to 1 day ahead if desired) to set. 
  4.  Garnish as desired and serve cold.  

What else do I love?  Spring green.

I was thrilled to see a room I recently finished on the this month's cover of QC Magazine (here).  I love this space for two reasons, it's casual and deliberate in it's color palate.  I chose white and grey but popped it with a fresh, tall palm an this gorgeous piece from Shain Gallery by artist Saliha Staib  This space screams fresh to me an you almost feel like you are on vacation when the light is streaming in.  

Green does that.  It's natural, it goes with anything. 

With a few doses of fresh green mixed with whites it always feels like Spring.

I have always loved green and I love vintage . . . on this early, Sunny Sunday morning I am playing on the laptop looking for various things and got side tracked over to 1st Dibs, look at these fun pieces!

Vintage Versace Puffer Coat $8,500 (here)
Dior Green Plaid Shoes $220  (here)
Chanel Vintage Studded Earrings $754.00 (here)
Chandelier $1,950.00 (here)

I can eat avocado's every day, always looking for a way to mix in.  Here's one of my favorites

Green Goddess Spring Socca


1 cup chickpea flour
1/4 tsp fine salt
4 tsp olive oil
1 cup water
1 heaping cup baby greens like arugula, mizuna or microgreens
2 ounces hass avocado, thinly slices
1 batch green goddess dressing


  1. Whisk together the chickpea flour, salt, 2 teaspoons olive oil, and water, until no clumps remain.  Allow the socca batter to rest and thicken for at least 30 minutes, and up to 2 hours.  In the meantime, preheat your oven to 450F and place a 10 or 12-inch skillet into the oven.
  2. Add one teaspoon oil to the skillet and swirl or brush it around to coat.  Pour the socca batter into the hot skillet (it'll sizzle so be careful).  Transfer the sillet to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the socca has set and the top is golden.  For a crispy top, you can bake for 10 minutes, raise the oven heat to a broil, and put the socca in the broiler for the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  3. While the socca bakes, top with the greens and avocado slices, then drizzle with the green goddess dressing, serve.

Happy Sunday !


Hot off the Press !

Wow, made the cover !  Thanks so much for such a great image Mekenzie and to QC for the press !  I am one of your biggest fans.  This is such a good issue filled with all sorts of inspiration and talent.  Get you copy today !

Check it out in full (here).