Jay Johnson -- Summer is the perfect time to entertain. The weather's wonderful, so outdoor dining is an added option, but indoor festivities become much more casual and relaxed (just the way I like it).
With all the planning that goes into a small dinner, a luncheon served for friends, or any impromptu gathering, don't forget to add your own personality to the mix.
Come again? What I mean by "personality," is allowing little bits of the host and/or hostess to shine through in the presentation. One surefire way to do this is to inject your quirky collections and special objects into the table that you set and the way you serve your dishes.
Case in point: we love to pick up quirky things from flea markets and antique stores. One of the ugliest and coolest things we own is a ceramic frog wearing capri pants, sitting on a lily pad, and holding onto a large Carmen Miranda hat on his head. Hideous beyond speech, but we love it and he adds a campy accent to a tabletop arrangement. Likewise, our collections of mismatched and pretty-fabulous Victorian serving pieces adds drama and visual interest to our eclectic assortment of services trays and dishes. What's the good in collecting decor pieces if you can't use them when you entertain, no matter how casual the occasion?
So that's what I mean about adding personality to your event. I wanted to share a great example of how friends of ours included pieces from their great pottery collection into a brunch we attended recently in their Philadelphia home. Very special.