Entertaining the easy way

As I open my house up to scrutiny it got me to thinking how many other people this holiday season might be going through the same worries and concerns. Does the house look good enough for entertaining in, will the Jones's sneer at the tattered chair in the corner, and you know the snort of thing? How do I even make the space look like a glamour den of adorableness? That part is pretty easy I must say (the worst part is going around on hands and knees searching out  scratches and knocks on the paint work and bits of old bone that the dogs have left about). In order to create the perfect entertaining space first up use the type of restaurants, bars and cafes you regularly go to as a point of reference. Do you like small intimate settings, that are laid back, glam or rustic? Observe the layout of the furniture the kind of decoration that is used, colours, textures and so forth and then  try and emulate  at home. You don't have to encompass the whole vibe just use it as inspiration. I am more of a small gathering type - one long huge table in a dining room with a load of chairs plonked round sends a shiver down my spine. I'm way more informal and prefer tables that are smaller, round or oval. If a whole ton of people are coming over then I'll bring in a table from another room but my day-to-day table is small. Positioned near the fireplace it doubles up as an impromptu desk when I need a change of scene as well as a meeting place. The trick about entertaining is to create an environment that entices guests to linger, so lighting should always be on dimmers where possible and there should be lots of it. I kind of ignore all the rules about serving wine in such and such a glass and instead use little recycled tumblers from Morocco for almost any drink. Tableware is hand thrown in the colours of the English countryside - candles abound and there are flowers everywhere. Intimate little seating areas are all over the house; hell there is even a chair outside the bathroom in case you just happen to want to sit a while. The key she says (freaking out) is not to freak out, be relaxed, dim the lights, add oodles of candles, some seasonal flowers and you’ve pretty much nailed it. Will let you know if that theory works after the weekend when the feedback is in! Kate and Andy Spade's apartment in uptown New York pretty much nails for me how I like a space to look. Chairs everywhere - stuff everywhere it feels lived in and loved, cosy and warm. If you happen to be a guest its the kind of place where you automatically feel at home, and don't have to take your shoes off? Do people do that anymore by the way ask visitors to take off their shoes?

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