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Style Secrets from an Entertaining Guru’s Stunning Soiree

Style Secrets from an Entertaining Guru’s Stunning Soiree
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One Kings Lane co-founder Susan Feldman loves to throw a party. So when House Beautiful magazine announced that long-time design-world writer Sophie Donelson would be its new editor-in-chief, Susan got straight to work planning a special event for Sophie full of gorgeous details. Learn her style secrets below and glimpse all the dreamy details of this dinner to remember.

 

Organic elements and simplicity influenced the entire look—a departure from Susan’s more classic table settings.

Organic elements and simplicity influenced the entire look—a departure from Susan’s more classic table settings.

For this event, Susan left the napkin rings and stemmed glasses in the cupboards in favor a more relaxed, summery style that embraced all things nature. It was a change of pace from her more traditional entertaining looks. “Sometimes you just need to shake things up,” she says. “It felt like this gathering was the perfect place to do it. The guests were editors from the best shelter magazines and extraordinary designers. The table needed to be simple and open to encourage interaction amongst new and old friends.” Susan even tailored the colors to match her guest list. “I think the subdued palette was a great balance to the big personalities and high energy of those around the table,” she says.

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“I wanted the flowers to be simple and look as if we picked them from our garden,” says Susan.

“I wanted the flowers to be simple and look as if we picked them from our garden,” says Susan.

Recycled-glass bottles, spotted at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, inspired the party’s easy, natural vibe.

Recycled-glass bottles, spotted at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, inspired the party’s easy, natural vibe.

When I saw these bottles I thought that each one was more gorgeous than the next. I started to envision the table with their colors, shapes, and dimensions.

— Susan Feldman
Place cards were tied to decorative river stones with twine. The imperfect shapes and serene hues of the oversize plates by Vietri added to the earthy look.

Place cards were tied to decorative river stones with twine. The imperfect shapes and serene hues of the oversize plates by Vietri added to the earthy look.

“The goal was to think about each element as being additive to that overall organic feel,” Susan says. A natural linen tablecloth was the perfect base for a clean, white linen runner, adding layers yet maintaining the light and airy style. “You don’t want things to feel too matchy-matchy. It’s important everything weighs in together to create a mood.”

Burlap ribbon tied in bows and embellished with olive branches upgraded the classic Chiavari rental chairs, adding a hit of femininity without sacrificing ease.

Burlap ribbon tied in bows and embellished with olive branches upgraded the classic Chiavari rental chairs, adding a hit of femininity without sacrificing ease.

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Susan commissioned artist Wayne Pate to create small prints for each guest, which she displayed in a basket on her entry console to hand out to everyone as they said good-bye.

Susan commissioned artist Wayne Pate to create small prints for each guest, which she displayed in a basket on her entry console to hand out to everyone as they said good-bye.

The framed artwork favors were wrapped in kraft paper, tied with twine, and embellished with fragrant eucalyptus. A handwritten note made the gift feel truly thoughtful.

The framed artwork favors were wrapped in kraft paper, tied with twine, and embellished with fragrant eucalyptus. A handwritten note made the gift feel truly thoughtful.

I love sending my guests off with a parting gift. It is a great way to remember a fun evening. For this party, I wanted to do something that was both special and about the home.

— Susan Feldman
Interior decorator Nathan Turner and style icon Kelly Wearstler catch up postmeal at Susan’s table.

Interior decorator Nathan Turner and style icon Kelly Wearstler catch up postmeal at Susan’s table.

Although the details are what we’re swooning over, according to Susan, as much as attendees loved the table, they had more to say about their fellow guests. “I got so many comments about how fabulous the people were and how much fun everyone had,” she says. “It was a big success.”

Another A-list decorator in attendance: Los Angeles-based Molly Luetkemeyer (enjoying a laugh here with Susan).

Another A-list decorator in attendance: Los Angeles-based Molly Luetkemeyer (enjoying a laugh here with Susan).

Designer and television personality Emily Henderson cozies up to the guest of honor, House Beautiful editor-in-chief Sophie Donelson.

Designer and television personality Emily Henderson cozies up to the guest of honor, House Beautiful editor-in-chief Sophie Donelson.

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One Response to “Style Secrets from an Entertaining Guru’s Stunning Soiree”

  1. Lindsay Meyer says:

    Another elegant affair… something only Susan could do! Beautiful evening, S!

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