the well appointed hostess part 1

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I love putting together parties, showers and weddings centered around a palette or repeating motif that have a tied together, cohesive feel. I love it when the food, the décor and the ‘extras’ all coordinate and when the central colors or patterns show up again and again.

Here’s the thing though- on the spectrum of pack rat to minimalist, I fall firmly in the minimalist camp. I hate having extra ‘stuff’ around my house, don’t feel an attachment to keep things ‘just in case’ and try not to buy things that don’t serve more than one function.

How, then, to balance my desire for coordinated hostessing and my need for streamlined closets and cabinets? Over the course of putting together many parties and showers (and after falling into the trap of buying occasion specific items more than I care to admit), I’ve found that there are some items that seem to transcend the confines of particular palettes and motifs and find a place in almost every party.

Here’s my list for the well-appointed hostess:

-hurricane lamps

-apothecary jars

-candy jars (or just large wide mouthed jars)

-plate stand or tiered cake stand

-galvanized buckets

-ice bucket

-silver or white platters (I also have a copper platter that seems to coordinate with almost any palette and has been pulled out for every party we’ve hosted this summer)

-platform boxes

-a folding table (or 2 or 3)

-basic linens to fit your folding table

-set of plastic plates that can go through the dishwasher

-mason jars (these have been used as lemonade jars, as candle holders and as vases on various occasions)

-glass pitchers

-neutral candles

-twinkle lights or café lights

I’ve found many of these items at flea markets, estate sales or thrift stores for pennies on the dollar and am always on the lookout for similarly neutral and multipurpose items.

Also, many of them have worked their way into my regular home décor (my collection of hurricane lamps, for example). I currently use a folding table as a ‘desk’ in my craft room as well. This way, throwing parties and showers is less expensive and my closets and cabinets aren’t overflowing with platters in every color of the rainbow.

Even better, since each occasion repurposes many of the same items, my planning is simplified. Each time, I know I should find something in my palette to fill the hurricane lamps and mason jars, which saves me the hassle of starting from scratch with the décor for each occasion.

Happy hostess closet stocking!

ps- There are some basics that I collect in various colors palettes… more on that to come.

***sorry to those of you who’ve already read this (minus the pictures) last week… that was a clerical error on my part! 🙂

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