According to Kris: The Art of Entertaining

By Kris James

Happy Wednesday Stylers! I wanted to talk about a different topic this week. I’m sure I’m not the only one who loves to entertain friends, but has had to learn host etiquette the hard way. I’ll never forget a dinner gathering where the dress attire was all white. Never serve red wine when guests will be moving around. You never know what can happen and it may leave you with a bloody mess on your hand. I learned from experience. I know hosting friends can sometimes come off stressful and overwhelming. Here are a few things to consider to entertain stylishly and Pinterest worthy.

There are no rules in entertaining, but keep it simple and do it well. I love a good fancy appetizer but that’s not everyone’s thing and that’s okay. Do what’s best for you and your style. If pizza and wine, or tacos and margaritas are what you’re best at making, that’s your thing. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to prepare food that you’ve never cooked before.

Set a neutral table. People panic when it comes to colors and tend to throw too many colors on top of the situation. Simplify and stick to your basic tones like tan and white, or pale tones. For a more dramatic mood try black, navy and dark grays.

Create the ambience. Turn on some music. Candles are personally my thing, so I use them all the time and lower the lights to create the perfect “mood.” As for music, you can listen to whatever you like, but never set the music so loud you can’t converse with your guest/s.

Keep it Glassy. Nothing says stylish party like stylish stemware but it can get expensive. My go-to spot is a dollar store where they sell long-stemmed glasses that cost less but look great. I order by the case!

Wine is in. It’s a must for any type of gathering. I didn’t know much about wine etiquette, so I took a class and learned the basics. Some wines should just be chilled. Most reds are better-served at room temperature. You don’t want to drop cubes of ice in your wine to get it cool. It will end up diluted and flat. For alternative ideas freeze fruit, or freeze wine in ice trays and add them to your wine. Box wine is being embraced more. If you’re lucky enough to have found a really good wine, but hate the packaging, pour it into a carafe or a decanter. This gives it a clean sophisticated look.

Being the host, we always tend to forget to take care of ourselves. But in reality, nobody wants to see a miserable host. I like to smudge my home with sage before I have friends over. It relaxes me and creates a positive vibe. Also, it never hurts to dress up for your guests. It shows them that you respect them. Keep it true to you, of course. We’re not all fashion trendsetters but keeping it casual and chill never hurts either. It’s not hard to dress up your favorite pair of jeans with a dressy top and set it off with a pair of casual shoes.

Style sometimes transcends past clothes. It becomes a part of your lifestyle. In a world where the average person connects with a human through an app, the art of entertaining is dying. People are not having these face-to-face moments. Conversations aren’t being sparked and memories are not being made. So the next time you’re scrolling on Facebook or Instagram, lurking or watching funny videos, text a group of friends and create an open invite. You’ll thank me later.

“You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Oscar Wilde

6 thoughts on “According to Kris: The Art of Entertaining

  1. Agree about the volume of the music. It should only be background music and not make it impossible to use “your inside voice” to carry on conversations. Used to have neighbors that thought their outside parties should sound like a rock concert. I attended one of theirs, once, but got a headache from the loud music and listening to people have to shout at each other just to talk. Of course the police showed up and the music was turned way down.

    Restaurants are often guilty of this too. Combined with poor acoustics they play loud music and it’s impossible to carry on a conversation. There is at least one establishment like that in town I no longer go to. Love their menu, their service, I just don’t enjoy the experience…too loud.

    The art of conversation is being lost. Some of it is due to smart phones, true. But our whole society has grown more “individualistic” and it’s like we aren’t interested in what others have to say. “Shoot me a text, okay!”

    • Good sensible advice from Kris. Conversation? I fear it’s becoming a thing of the past. We should urge our children and friends to converse with each other— personal communication! Do it together, live, and not merely on the phone.
      So many NSU students sit on the floor in the hallways between classes, looking at their phones and smiling, and they should or could be sitting at a table in the Student Union and talking and meeting new friends, people from all over the country! This also helps one learn “the art of entertaining
      ” and communicating.
      Parents, where are you? Teach etiquette, charm and entertaining to your children. Teachers can’t do it all– spending much of their time testing. Thanks, Kris, for your moments of wisdom.

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