Monday, April 15, 2013

More On Monday: Entertaining Excellence

I was planning to write about some legends of design who are no longer with us, but before I turn my thoughts to the past (and share some of my decorating wins and losses with you!), there is one more lifestyle expert you must know about...if you don't already!

If you have this month's Veranda magazine, you are already familiar with her house.  Perhaps you've been in one of the cities on the tour for her new book, Soiree (see Amazon side bar)!  If not, please allow me to introduce you to the dynamic Danielle Rollins!  And there's no better way to get to know someone than through her own words:

All photos courtesy
I love the “lights, camera, action” of a party! I enjoy every second of entertaining from the initial spark of inspiration, to the preparation logistics, to the final zip of my dress, the greeting of friends, and the sound of tinkling glasses blending with the hum of the music. Through the atmospheres I create, celebrations allow me not only to express myself but also express my love for family and friends. Entertaining enables suspension from the real world and escape from the near-constant digital onslaught; it gives loved ones a chance to truly connect in the moment and create lasting memories.
Soirée Entertaining with Style evolved during a low point in my life. My middle child suffered a life-threatening accident and spent over a year recovering in the hospital and at home. Entertaining at home was easier than going out, and I began to actually enjoy making all the decisions that involve creating a special celebration.
As a child, I adored spending hours reading cookbooks as if they were novels. I poured over these books not only for their recipes but also for the drama that a well-executed and creative meal can create. I have never taken a course on flower arranging; I am not trained as a decorator; I have had minimal cooking lessons. While I am not formally trained in any area of entertaining, I am a great observer. I have learned through watching, trial and error, and educational mistakes!
Nothing else relaxes me quite like making order out of disorder. I don’t believe in a right or wrong way to entertain—or in any rigid, hard-and-fast rules. Instead, I believe that if you focus on the essence of entertaining (what is important and what is not important), you can figure out a way to pull off a scintillating and memorable soirée with aplomb! With a little effort and imagination, simple ingredients used abundantly, and a sense of humor and humility, I believe that entertaining can have a truly transformative effect.
Join me in stepping back and looking at the world through the eyes of Monet instead of Renoir! Let the details blend together to create an overall picture that is maybe not always perfect…but perfectly fine! Life is short: take risks and try something different, make mistakes and learn from them, enjoy the process as much as the results, and make everyday a soirée!

If you are going to the LA Children's Hospital event tomorrow, you'll be meeting Danielle in person....and then she's off to Washington, DC to speak at The Sulgrave Club.  She's a busy lady....especially considering how young she is!  You'll enjoy spending time on her website, reading about her family and the elegant (and yet often quite simple) entertaining she does at home.  Danielle is definitely a "classic" in the making!! Click on the video for Danielle's recent event in Pittsburgh!

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