If you’re familiar with our Party in Five series, in which we share clever ideas for themed and everyday-occasion parties that can be pulled off with just five essential “ingredients,” then you know the woman behind the celebrations: Camille Styles. Together with her talented editorial team, Camille produces these fun, funky and functional affairs, and she shares her tips for entertaining with ease. Some of our faves? A football game-day fete, a fabulous fiesta, a DIY dim sum party, a pizza grilling gathering and the OG: a beer-tasting bash.
On her website, Camille further demonstrates her hostessing prowess with recipes, beautiful photos, and tips written by both herself and a network of contributors. And now, five years after launching her site, Camille has written a brand-new book (on sale this week), Camille Styles Entertaining, in which she shares ideas for dining, decorating, cooking and generally dominating life, season by season.
As we approach Thanksgiving or consider hunkering down with bowls of butternut squash soup at cozy fall dinners, I asked Camille to share with us her top tips for setting a fall table, so your environment will look as good as your food tastes.
For fall’s table setting, Camille was inspired by the jewel tones and mix of rustic textures and ornate detailing you might find in wine country. Here she breaks down each element:
• Color Palette: Turning leaves, plaid scarves, and an abundance of squash and eggplant get me in the mood for a rich palette in shades of amethyst and pumpkin.
• Linens: This pale gray linen tablecloth inscribed with trailing vines, flowers and birds has a vintage, family heirloom quality that feels just right for fall.
• Flowers: We filled a low wooden bowl with flowers in every shade of purple, ranging from burgundy to pink. Oak leaf hydrangeas make a beautiful focal flower with their unique conical shape, and clematis, jasmine vines, scabiosa, astrantia and ranunculus completed the design.
• Centerpiece: When creating a low, wide arrangement, always start by balling up chicken wire and attaching it to the inside of the vase using floral tape to create a stable base structure.
• Place Settings: Mismatched ceramics and organic plates are all the rage these days. Here I’ve paired the plates with vintage silverware and delicate etched glassware that was passed down from my great-grandmother.
• The Details: I tied a rich velvet ribbon around each set of vintage flatware for a modern touch and attached a calligraphied place card to each setting. I cut a bolt of amethyst linen to size to create napkins and left them unhemmed. To tie together the wine country theme, I placed an oversize wood-topped decanter on the table for a piece that’s as beautiful as it is functional.
Want even more of Camille’s entertaining advice? We’re giving away three copies of Camille Styles Entertaining (one book to each of three winners). All you have to do to enter is look through our ideas for hosting Thanksgiving — from decor to appetizers — and tell us which element you’d most like to incorporate into your festive feast.
So tell us, how will you ace hosting Thanksgiving this year? You must include your email address in the “Email” field when submitting your comment so we can communicate back with you if you’re a winner. (But do not post your email address into the actual body of the comment.) We’re giving three very lucky, randomly selected commenters each a copy of Camille Styles Entertaining. No purchase necessary. Open to legal residents of the 48 contiguous United States and D.C., age 21 or older. Void in Alaska, Hawaii and where prohibited. Odds of winning depend on number of entries received. Sweepstakes ends at 6:00 p.m. ET on November 5, 2014. For full official rules, visit http://blog.cookingchanneltv.com/camille-styles-entertaining-cookbook-giveaway-rules/. Sponsored by Cooking Channel, LLC, 75 9th Ave, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011.