I love flowers, tulips especially. So when I decided to throw a spring dinner party earlier this month, I knew that flowers would be a major part of my decorating plan. But here's the thing: I'm not a floral designer, nor did I have a huge budget to spend on a fancy professional arrangement. So here's how I put together a few pretty arrangements for my table with only a bunch of lilacs and two bouquets of tulips.
You know that awkward gap of wall surface left between the tops of most kitchen cabinets and the ceiling? It's generally about twelve inches in depth and has long puzzled renters and homeowners alike when it comes to decorating, leading to such ideas as hanging rows of plates waaaaaay up high or squeezing in a few silk philodendrons (in the case of the ledge instead of the soffit). Here are some fresh ideas if you're bothered by the gap in your kitchen:
This week I've been sharing a spring dinner party for six I hosted in my small Brooklyn apartment. I bought a bunch of pretty lilacs and tulips, strung a few lights, and rearranged my living room to create an colorful indoor garden party where my friends could sip cocktails, snack on appetizers, and then sit down to a vegetarian meal over candlelight.
Today I'll show you the full party and how it all came together, from the pre-party prep to serving the food, from the table setup and decor to my makeshift cocktail lounge. It really was a delightful night, topped off with an impromptu jam session after dessert. (Roasted strawberries inspire singing, in case you didn't know.)
When it comes to cooking in the kitchen, there's nothing more fun to make than cake! If you really want to step up the creativity and excitement, try your hand at making a cake with fondant. Whether you make it for a friend's birthday, or just make it for yourself, it's a learning experience that may become a new hobby.
For a simple spring place setting at your next dinner, look to the farmers' market and a bunch of hot pink radishes! Tie two radishes — leaves intact! — with twine and place on top of a cloth napkin. I particularly like them paired with a pea green napkin; so lovely and fresh!
You know what automatically makes a sit-down dinner a little more fancy and fun? A printed menu of all the food to come! But you don't have to be a graphic design whiz to have a personalized menu at your next dinner party — we found five pretty, customizable templates you can download for free.
I love my Soda Stream and I love having sparkling water on the table at my dinner parties. What I don't love are the plastic Soda Stream bottles plunked down in the middle of my carefully arranged table. Our very own Faith Durand offered me the perfect (and perhaps obvious!) solution.
This week we're sharing the second party in our Gatherings from The Kitchn series, an elegant, make-ahead spring brunch I hosted for my book club. I often admire the intricately-styled table settings on design and wedding blogs, but they rarely seem realistic for my budget or styling capabilities. My goal for this party was to create a table that was inspirational, not just aspirational; in other words, a table that could move from Pinterest to reality without requiring a degree in design or hundreds of dollars. Here are four concrete tips for putting together a special, stylish table on a small budget.
Last month we launched a new monthly series, Gatherings from The Kitchn, showing you our own dinner parties, large and small. We started off with Faith's cozy and communal Italian polenta party, and this week I'll be sharing a brunch I hosted for my book club, a bright weekend gathering full of fresh spring flavors, make-ahead recipes, and a fun, book-themed table setting.
If you're ready to shake off the winter blues with a weekend brunch — whether in celebration of a new baby on the way, an upcoming wedding, or just a sunny day — follow along for tips and inspiration for organizing your own pretty, no-fuss daytime party.