Game Time

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers. Hope everyone had a safe and celebratory 4th of July weekend. Growing up, my mother told me that my great-grandmother always said that summer was over after the 4th of July. Despite that seeming extremely negative, somehow I always feel like after the 4th the summer just blows right by. So in an effort to seize the summer! I plan on getting outside and acting like a kid as much as possible. Cue the yard games. GamesToday is the last day of Terrain’s summer tag sale, and you don’t want to miss it – especially with all of the extremely chic, vintage inspired yard games that are available. Get your whites pressed for a badminton themed cocktail party. Below are all the games that I plan on purchasing and taking full advantage of this summer. Games 2Paddle Ball. We’re all familiar with the Kadima racquets we have been playing with since we were kids, but this design makes us all the more likely to get out of the lounge chair and start a tourney. Games 3Badminton. Definitely a favorite. But who needs those ugly metallic racquets when you can play with wooden ones like these … and real feather shuttlecocks. Yes, shuttlecocks.Games 4Croquet. Another amazing yard game that is great for a themed party. White dresses, pimms cups, tea sandwiches … sound like an afternoon you would love to have? Get on it! Games 5Horseshoes. My dad always used to say, “Almost doesn’t count except in horseshoes and hand grenades.” Kind of a strange turn of phrase, but hey, he was right, “almost” does count in horseshoes, so who doesn’t love a game when you get credit even when you don’t get it over the pin. I’m in!

Bunny Williams Drops In

“Southern Hospitality” is a phrase that is familiar to you whether you are from the south, live in the south, or love visiting the south. The welcoming nature of the southern hostess has for hundreds of years been an  elemental part of Southern culture, and I was lucky enough to speak with famed decorator and Virginia native Bunny Williams on the subject. As the designer for the 2015 Southern Living Idea House, Ms. Williams knows how to put together a welcoming space, and she and I talked about what “southern hospitality” actually means, and how to be ready when people decide to drop in unannounced. Hint: it includes a really well stocked bar. For more on my interview with Bunny, you can stop by The Daily South hereIMG_9686This chat with Ms. Williams couldn’t be more timely. For the first time, I have been experiencing, with some frequency, the southern tradition of dropping in. Mr. B and I just moved from Church Street to New Street – a whole six blocks – and new neighbors and friends have been dropping by with bottles of wine, flowers, and food. And let’s be honest, everybody wants a peek at the new digs. With some help from Bunny, I am now completely prepared for all the people who have been dropping by of late. Her tips, which include Virginia peanuts, cheese sticks/straws, and a well stocked bar have all been put into effect here at New Street … so come on by! IMG_9685cocktail napkins//julep cups//cutting board//rattan tray//glassware//fun straws

Below are a few more questions from my conversation with Bunny. To catch the rest of my interview, head on over to The Daily South.

1. When you set up your bar, what alcohol do you always want to include? What alcohol do you never want to run out of? 

Stock your bar with bourbon, gin, rum, scotch, vermouth, and vodka. Try to find mini bottles of sodas and tonic.

2. Do you have a drink of choice or favorite cocktail? And what cocktails do you see as distinctly southern? 

I’m partial to Jack Daniels on the rocks. Other distinctly southern cocktails are milk punch mint juleps and the perfect glass of sweet tea.

3. You mentioned an easy hors d’oeuvres made with green olives and cheese (sounds delicious). What are some of your other favorite hors d’oeuvres? 

Those are a favorite of mine, and so easy to prepare. Other great passed hors d’oeuvres include shrimp cocktail, small biscuits with ham, crackers with a little bit of pepper jelly and cream cheese, cheese straws (made in advance and kept in the refrigerator), and cans of the best Virginia roasted, salted peanuts.IMG_9884

4. As a hostess, do you expect people to bring something when they come over? If so, what do you see as a great hostess gift? 

A hostess gift is always a good idea – but don’t overthink it. The best gifts are the most practical, like a box of candles, white linen napkins, cut flowers, or a box of homemade cookies.

5. How should a southern hostess graciously deal with guests or drop-ins who have overstayed their welcome? 

A southern hostess is always prepared for drop-ins. When you’re baking lasagna, make two and store the extra in the freezer. And always have a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix that you can quickly prepare. However, be honest with your guests and politely let them know when they should leave.

6. As a southerner who has spent most of her life living in the north, what are the things you miss most about the southern way of life? 

I love the vibrancy of New York City, but miss the manners in the south. In the south, everyone seems more polite. Everyone is a bit more personal with each other.

Thank you Bunny!

Cocktail Hour on East 66th Street

IMG_9557Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Rabbit Rabbit. Last week I was up north doing some work for clients, and before I left for the airport I had a quick moment to pop into the Kips Bay Decorator Show House. What a great house this year, on 66th between Park and Madison, and what a wonderful group of designers. It was a real treat. And clearly, all the designers are ready to have a good time. There seemed to be a preponderance of bar set ups at the Show House … oh don’t worry, I was thrilled because we know how I love a good cocktail, so I thought I would share some of the bar vignettes with you. Happy Monday! IMG_9565 IMG_9571 IMG_9600 IMG_9606