When the opportunity arose to host an event in Paris during Deco Off and Maison et Objet, I thought what could be better than to have a celebration of creativity surrounded by the most talented people I know? In searching for a theme for the evening, I decided to take a cue from two of the most fascinating figures in design…Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette. Gay Gassman of Architectural Digest captured the magic of the evening in the lovely article below…
The table setting for Cathy Austin’s Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette-themed dinner party in Paris. Photo: Kelly Marshall
Design has taken over Paris this week with the 10th anniversary of Paris Deco Off and the opening of global trade fair Maison + Objet. Besides the massive fair, this means more than 100 fabric and furniture showroom open houses, countless pop-ups and special events, and streets festooned with oversize lampshades swinging from the buildings in the City of Light. It also means every night is jam-packed with cocktails and dinners hosted by the big industry showrooms, but there are also smaller private events. One of the most intriguing invitations of the season was the beautifully designed one for “An Unforgettable Romp in Paris: An Evening Inspired by Elsie de Wolfe and Tony Duquette,” hosted last night by Charlotte, North Carolina–based interior designer Cathy Austin of Catherine M. Austin Interior Design at the Paris home of AD 100 designer Frank de Biasi and designer Gene Meyer.
Please join me one week from today to kick off the inaugural Fall Design Week featuring Atlanta Gourmet and Gift at AmericasMart in Atlanta! I am thrilled to be moderating a panel with today’s top taste makers, designers, and stylists who will be sharing their secrets on entertaining with style.
Foodie culture and entertaining have risen to an art form. Weekend warriors are effortlessly whipping up gourmet spreads, swoon-worthy scenes and decorative tablescapes to fill our Instagram feeds. So, what’s the secret sauce? Take a cue from Bunny Williams’ playbook, who believes there’s nothing more rewarding than having friends and family gather in your home, and makes entertaining seem effortless. Top interior designers, lifestyle experts and photo stylists dish out advice you need to know to be a masterful host—from setting the right environment, designing the menu and table, and even offer styling tips to capture the moment for social media. Learn some of their favorite go-to resources and advice on everything entertaining, dining and tabletop.
Enjoy lunch and a panel discussion with New York-based interior designer Young Huh, who’s work has been featured in Vogue, Wall Street Journal, In Style and countless national interior magazines, Audrey Margarite, vice president of design and product development for Bunny Williams Home, who helps create fabrics, decorative accessories, and furniture for the company’s private and licensed collections, Annette Joseph, author of Picture Perfect Parties and entertaining expert, editor, producer, and magazine photo stylist for Architectural Digest, The Today Show, Goop and others, and designer and lifestyle expert Danielle Rollins, author of Soiree Entertaining with Style.
The inaugural Fall Design Week Featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift will offer hundreds of showrooms and lines, designer-focused programming, CEU courses, networking, parties and more:
Recently I wrote about my first job in Charlotte at Circa Interiors & Antiques. While I was finishing my design degree, I was thrilled to land an internship working for Cindy Smith and Jane Schwab. I will be forever indebted to these two ladies for taking me under their wing and teaching me the ins and outs of the Charlotte design community. In addition to being incredibly talented, these ladies are the perfect embodiment of the art of living graciously.
Jane Schwab is the quintessential hostess. She not only makes everything look effortless, but she also makes every event unique and fun beyond imagination whether it is a poolside seated dinner or a lively Easter Egg Hunt. I learned so many helpful entertaining tips from Jane…from creating beautiful tablescapes and arranging flowers to enjoying the details that enhance the event and making everyone feel welcome. I was delighted to interview her about her secrets to gracious living. Her interiors are an extension of how she lives her everyday life…They are welcoming, attainable, beautiful and incredibly charming.
I would rearrange furniture constantly as a little girl growing up in Ridge Springs, SC….not just at my own house but at friends’ houses as well!
I majored in Political Science at Converse College went on to get a Fine Art degree and Interior Design minor at the University of South Carolina. I took Continuing Education courses at Parsons School of Design while working for Marshall Schul in New York.
I had always loved Charlotte when I was traveling for work and when the opportunity arose to work at Circa, I was thrilled.
Most of my creative work takes place early in the morning or on weekends. I am always reading design and architecture books looking for the spark of an idea to ignite the creative vision.
As a combination of pretty collected pieces with comfortable and traditional furnishings updated with an element of “now” through accessories and artwork.
I have always been a neutralist, but lately I have been incorporating more color into my work and have loved it!
Our book The Welcoming Home has really had an impact on our business. The friendly, attainable design has attracted many new clients that desire the same lifestyle. Our book tour and lectures across the country have brought us to a new audience. It has been a delight to connect with so many lovely people city to city.
I am working on a 1920s Tudor home in Connecticut, a waterside cottage in Maine, and a house in Jackson, Wyoming by architect Jonathan Foote who also designed our Jackson residence.
That the experience was a positive one, no matter what it was.
Love what you do, be passionate, and connect with your niche.
Bunny Williams…Her ability to effortlessly combine styles and period and always create interiors that look and feel different. She is also unbelievably generous with her time , friendship, talent, and support.
One that you have a trusting relationship with that gives you the freedom to create, is open to new ideas, and is willing to get out of their comfort zone.
Saint Barths surrounded by dear friends and family.
Objects made out of natural materials that also serve a purpose….white horn bowls and antler boxes.
Robins’ egg blue
Decide on a color and repeating it through the room for maximum impact.
Be sure to check out the Circa design blog for upcoming events in Charlotte and Birmingham as well as the launch of their upcoming Catbird Collection.
With just 24 days left until Christmas, I need all the help I can get! The Holiday Issue of Peachy is now live filled with an abundance of inspiration including decorating ideas, recipes, favorite traditions, and gift guides from our talented editors. Be sure to read the issue by clicking here.
Please contact the studio if you are interested in any of our design services.
When my friends at Set, Sip Serve invited me to share an event, I thought it was a perfect excuse to celebrate with my favorite ladies from my tennis team. Set, Sip, Serve, is a delightful entertaining site where you can find everything you need to create the perfect gathering. Founders Benton Jordan Weinstock and Annie Berlanger Wehrle have researched and brought you the best style experts, taste makers, and chefs in the home entertaining industry. Click here to read more about this wonderful resource.
It is no secret how much I love tennis and my team…It is the one activity I do completely for myself that brings me a ridiculous amount of joy. We celebrated our winning season with a round robin and lunch on the lawn. They even indulged me by wearing tennis whites with a touch of pink for the photo shoot. Lucky for me they even chose the right shade of pink!
I wanted to select a color palette that would pop against the glorious green backdrop. The hot pink ballroom chairs and the navy geometric tablecloth were the starting point for the design. Dizzy Daisy Designs helped me with a customized invitation, menu and place cards that also tied in the color scheme. Floral designer extraordinaire John Lupton worked his magic with spectacular flowers of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and orchids in a variety of pink shades. Pink hand blown glasses from Branca,Inc, bamboo flatware, pink chargers, and blue and white porcelain monkeys from Furbish added to the whimsy of the table. See below for more images from our photo shoot and recipes from our luncheon…
2 oz. Strawberry Infused vodka
2 oz. Simple Syrup
2 oz. fresh lemon juice or pink lemonade
Fresh mint to garnish
3 ripe avocados
2 cups low fat buttermilk
1/3 cup walnut halves
1/3 cup fresh dill springs
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Garnish with edible flower or diced avocado
Halve and pit 2 avocados. With a spoon, scoop out flesh and transfer to a blender. Add buttermilk, walnuts, dill, red onion, vinegar, salt and 1 cup water and puree until smooth. Cover the blender and refrigerate until the soup is well chilled, at least one hour.
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup of butter softened
1 tsp grated lemon peel
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablepoons lemon juice
NOTE: You will need about 2 lemons for the juice/peel in this recipe. If you don’t have enough lemon juice left for the glaze, use water for the right consistency.
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat flour, sugar, butter and peel on low speed until crumbly. Press mixture in bottom of ungreased 13 by 9 pan. Bake 20-30 min until golden brown.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl with wire whisk, lightly beat eggs. Beat in remaining filling ingredients except lemon juice and lemon peel until well blended. Finally, beat in ¼ cup of lemon juice and peel.
3. Remove partially baked base from oven. Pour filling evenly over warm base.
4. Return to oven; bake 25-30 min. until top is golden brown. Cool completely (1 hour)
5. In small bowl, mix 1 cup powdered sugar and enough lemon juice for desired spreading consistency until smooth. Spread glaze over cooled bars. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator, but allow bars to come to room temperature before serving.
|Table Setting by Set, Sip, Serve|
There is nothing better than reconnecting with old friends and picking up right where you left off. Thirty years ago (yikes…am I really that old?), I met the delightful Benton Jordan at summer camp. Benton always made everyone feel a little less homesick with her graciousness and hospitality. It is absolutely no surprise that she has channeled this charm into a fabulous new entertaining resource called Set, Sip Serve.
Set Sip Serve is a“go-to” at home entertaining site that showcases home entertainers, chefs,
|Table setting by Sip, Set, Serve|
|Annie Belanger Wehrle and Benton Jordan Weinstock|
|Table setting by Sugar Paper|
|Table setting by Danielle Rollins|
|Table Setting by Ruthie Sommers|