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Dinner at the Versace Mansion in Miami

 

Could there be a better location than the Villa of Gianni Versace to host a beautiful dinner party in Miami? The answer is clearly NO!It’s simply a fabulous backdrop for any party.

I wanted to share some photos from my most recent time in Miami for Art Basel and our time spent at the mansion…plus a little fact list on the property. You will be blown away. Enjoy!

Did you know?

1. Versace bought Casa Casuarina the 1930s Villa in 1992 for $2.9 million as well as an art deco hotel next door for $4 million.

2. Two years after Versace’s death, the mansion was purchased for $19 million unfurnished.

3. The 23,000 square foot villa has 10 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms, 54 foot long pool with 24k gold.

4. Bruce Weber shot the house and the Versaces for a 1993 “Vogue” shoot

5. Casa Casuarina is the only private residence on Ocean Drive

I was fascinated by the Italian inspired charm, mosaic details and Terra-cotta colored walls. The pool was apparently made in bella Italia and then broken down and shipped to Miami to be build up again by a team of 75. The Mansion has more than 100 million Italian mosaic tiles. After spending 33 million in renovation, Gianni did what we would do….start throwing beautiful dinners and parties!

art basel 2015 dream design discover tables scape design

 

xoxolisa

 

 

ENTERTAINING Featured Garden

Favorite Florist in NYC

Flowers are an unexpected and chic way to add drama to any tablescape. I feel the need to share my New York Florist, so you too can experience what I had.

After having finalized all the details of the dinner party, I needed to make the choice on an amazing florist, that understands elegance, simplicity. Think contemporary with a touch of classic tradition. I discovered the amazing team at Van Vliet and Tramp.

They completely understood the creative direction of the evening!

dinner cipriani new york city , dream desing discover blog

Before calling any florist, pick your color palette according to the season and theme of the tablescape.
Of course they can make suggestions, however I think it’s best to have an idea of what you would like to do. Similar with clothing, you should have an idea of what you’re looking for….

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Director James Kerwin attends DuJour's Jason Binn and Dom Perignons Trent Fraser host an intimate dinner for Lionel Richies Home Collection at Harry Cipriani on October 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DuJour)

NEW YORK, NY – OCTOBER 27: Director James Kerwin attends DuJour’s Jason Binn and Dom Perignons Trent Fraser host an intimate dinner for Lionel Richies Home Collection at Harry Cipriani on October 27, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for DuJour)

The selection of flowers was a combination of:

  • Phalaenopsis Orchids
  • Dahlias
  • Calla Lilies
  • Green Hydrangea

orchids ddd

 

 

 

The evening was filled with such elegant and classic charm, breath taking tabletop with white and gold details…

 

How to splurge on a budget:

  • select season flowers
  • select flowers with a larger face
  • book a location that’s naturally pretty
  • add candles for decoration so you can use less flower arrangements

Hydrangea greens flowers ddd

Florists to follow:

@vanvlietTramp
@givelandeau
@jardinebotanic
@jeffleatham
@philiphammondflorist
@fleurinc
@theemptyvase
@mckenzie_powell
@sarah_winward
@nicamille

xoxolisa

 

 

DYI ENTERTAINING Featured

How to Set a Table for a Dinner Party

How do you set your table properly?

I assume you know how to set a table, but lets say you didn’t because some of you maybe rarely host a dinner… 🙂 I received an email with the question on how to set a table properly, so I thought I would answer it here!

Beautiful, you have made it this far, invitations are out and your guests are almost here.

Food is cooked, wine is chilled…  It’s time for a dinner party!

Remember the famous scene in  “Pretty Woman”, when Julia Roberts says “slippery little su@#%!” (watch it)
as the escargot flies from her plate… for some reason I just thought of that.

Anyway… so you’re ready to set the table. Take a look below for the perfect layout.

The graphic below is pretty self explanatory (oh, and the napkin goes on your left!) You could also place the napkin in the center of the plate with a napkin ring or just nicely folded. Try a fancy napkin fold to surprise and delight your guests. And of course, don’t forget your napkin etiquette during the party!

In case you want to print out: download here!

To add a special touch to your table, add flowers and candle. I personally don’t like large flower arrangements on the table during dinner, because it blocks the view to your guest and it’s sometime hard to have a conversation while looking through the plants :). However, simple flower arrangements are always and elegant way to add a touch of color to your table setting and highlight the theme of the evening.

setting-a-table

formal seIf your a perfectionist, can you spot the little mistake on the picture above…? Happy dining.

xoxolisa

DYI ENTERTAINING FOOD

DIY – Create Floral Ice Cubes

How to Create Floral Ice Cubes

flower ice cubes

berry_ice_cubes

Remember the post about Edible Flowers a couple weeks ago?

It’s #FlowerFriday again… and this time I thought we should use the edible flowers to create floral ice cubes as decoration for your summer juices.

  1. Select your edible flowers (you can go to your local market and find out which flowers are edible) or check out the previous post on edible flowers.
  2. Use and ice cube trey that is silicon base, which makes it easier to to pop out the ice cubes once you are ready to use them
  3. Wash your edible flowers and place them in the ice cube tray. (to make it more fun you can use really large cubes in addition to small ones to make it look more fun)
  4. Add some water to the flowers in the tray… just enough to cover the flowers HALF ways. –
  5. Place in the ice cube in the freezer for a couple of hours
  6. Add some more water to cover up the complete flower and place in the freezer again.

OPTIONS:

To switch it up you can replace the edible flower with strawberries, cherries or any fruit of your choice.

TIP – remember once the ice melts in your beverage, it will likely flavor your beverly with the iced fruit or edible flower (so ensure the flowers are edible before serving your guest)

berries_ice_cube_frozen_

 

ice cube flowers

 

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DYI ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD

Let’s Talk Melon

How to Create Melon Balls

I am on this strange diet where you eat a lot of fruits and “obviously” its not really working well. 🙂

But since its been so hot lately I have been trying to find different ways to cool down.

So my latest obsession is Melons…

  1. Wash your melons, cut in half and remove the seeds.
  2. Take the melon baller and cut out little balls. Try to make them as round and pretty as possible.
  3. Use a Tupperware container or a baking sheet to place the melon balls on to.
  4. Make sure the melon balls don’t touch teacher other, otherwise the will freeze attached to each other.
  5. Place the container or the baking sheet with the melon balls in the freezer for a couple of hours.
  6. After all the melon balls are frozen you can place them all in a zip log bag until you are ready to create you drinks on the “rocks” (once they are frozen the won’t stick together anymore)

How to Use:

You can use the melon balls to chill all your beverages or add ons to any dessert.

If you decide not to freeze all of your melon balls you can just use them as a beautiful decoration and flavor addition to your salads.melon_balls_ice_balls

melone_cut_half

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ENTERTAINING Featured

The Difference between China and Porcelain

chinavsporcelain

So what is the difference between China and Porcelain? Not much! In fact, these different terms are used to describe the same product: “porcelain” is more popular in Europe while “china” is more commonly used in America.

So what is china?

China is typically crafted from a combination of clay, kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. Unlike stoneware, china becomes very white and translucent when fired. Due to its delicate beauty, china is at the top of the list of ceramic products.

When describing dinnerware, the words porcelain and china are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between bone china and porcelain china.

Villeroy & Boch Old Luxembourg

 

Bone China

is made using translucent white ceramic clay and is known for a more delicate and refined look. In England, the percentage of bone ash must be at least 50% for a piece to be considered bone china.

Bone china is usually thinner with smoother glaze than porcelain china. Bone ash gives the body  a unique milky white color and adds a translucent quality to the body of the dinnerware.

To quickly test to see if your plate is porcelain or bone china, hold the plate up to the light or sunlight. You should be able to see the shadow of your hand behind the plate if it is true bone china.

Hermes MosaiqueMy Favorite China Brands

Popular brands known for high-quality china include Villeroy & Boch, Rosental, Hutschenreuther, Rosental meets Versace.

China patterns have even made their way to the runway. Valentio, Roberto Cavalli and Naeem Khan’s Pre-fall Collection include gowns reminiscent of blue-and-white porcelain patterns of classic china.

China for All Occassions

BONE CHINA: is the strongest, most sophisticated of all china materials. Slightly translucent, milky white tone. A blend of bone ashes and porcelain. Use this for fancy dinner parties, important guests, and holidays.

PORCELAIN: High firing temperatures give this opulent favorite durability and a glowing, non-porous surface. Sometimes decorated or hand painted with gold or silver accents. Porcelain is perfect to elevate everyday uses, dinner parties, and luncheons.

IRONSTONE: This is a highly durable alternative to porcelain. While sharing many of the characteristics of porcelain, ironstone is more casual and reasonable and in some cases a better alternative for everyday dining, breakfast, and lunch.

How to Care for Your China

While Porcelain and Bone China are generally safe to use in the dishwasher, consult the manufacturer before running them through. Gentle hand-washing and drying is often recommended.

Be careful near the microwave! Metallic details including gold or silver rims are never microwave safe and will cause a mini lighting scenario in your kitchen. Heat up and prepare food on a different platter than you serve them to be safe.

Pictured: Valentino Dress, Hermes Mosaic Collection Presentation plate, Rosental mets Versace The Butterfly Garden.

Versace jardin

blue-white-ginger-jars-framed-prints-wall-decor-gilded-chandelier-dining-room-decorating-ideas-veranda

What is your favorite China Collection? Comment below!

ENTERTAINING FOOD

Napkin Etiquette

Napkin Etiquette is an actual thing… Yes..!

Let’s talk about some Napkins Basics. Typically in a formal setting, your napkin will be located on the left side of your plate, or sometime in your plate.

There are many informal setting when you will find your napkin folded in your water glass, wine glass, or under your plate or inside of your soup bowl.

Now lets move forward…

Placing:
Typically, place your napkin in your lap as soon as you sit down. If you find yourself at a very formal dinner setting or a black tie event, you will follow the lead of the hostess and place your napkin in your lap when the hostess does.

You will leave your napkin in your lap during the entire meal.

Napkin Rings:
Napkin rings are not used for formal dining, you will find the napkin rings in more casual dining setting, where the napkin ring is a decorative accessory, used to add fun or highlight the theme of the table. I personally love napkin rings just to give the table setting more color.

Do not shake or pop out your napkin out of control. It looks really bad and makes you look bad. If the napkin is napkin etiquette blog post ddda dinner napkin, it should be remain folded in half lengthwise. Now on the other hand if your napkin is a lunch or breakfast size napkin, unfold it completely and place it in your lap.

Color:
In a formal setting, the napkins should match the color of the tablecloth, which typically would be off-white, ivory or beige. Fun colors and patterns are used for informal dinners. If you are wearing black attired it will be proposed to you if you would like a black napkin

Leaving the table:

If you leave the table during dinner it’s a faux pas and a sign of bad etiquette.

Do not leave the table during the meal unless absolutely necessary.

Now if you still decide to leave the table (hopefully for a good reason) You should place your napkin on your chair, or leave the napkin face down on the left side of your dinner plate.

In some fine establishments they might have replaced your napkin while you left the table.

Sometimes it’s hard to tell “are we still eating or is it time to leave?” The hostess will signal the end of the meal by placing her napkin on the left side of her dinner plate.

In that event the dinner is officially over and you can place your napkin in the center of your setting. But obviously never place your napkin in your plate.

Don’t Do:

  • Never tuck a napkin to your shirt (that’s probably the worst thing ever) or waistband.
  • And most importantly don’t wipe your mouth with your napkin! You might think that’s the strangest thing ever.
  • Blot your mouth but don’t wipe it.
  • Don’t dip your napkin or your fingers in your water glass! Obviously…!!
  • Ultimately you can do what you want of course, but if you want to make a good impression, you should probably at least follow some of these tips …

xoxolisa

ENTERTAINING Featured FOOD

9 Do’s & Dont’s for Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Taking part in the tea time tradition is a lovely pastime to share with friends and family to relax at near the end of the day. Now that you know the difference between high tea and afternoon tea, I will share my 9 etiquette tips for afternoon tea:

  1. After sitting down, don’t put your purse on the table. Rather, place your purse on your lap or behind you against your chair back to keep it out of the way.
  2. Be aware of proper napkin placement: unfold napkin on your lap upon sitting. If you must leave your seat temporarily, place your napkin on your chair or soiled side down to the left of your plate.
  3. When preparing your tea, place sugar in the cup first, then add thinly sliced lemon. Remember,  never mix milk and lemon together!
  4. If you take milk in your tea, add it in last. The habit of pouring milk into tea came from the French. As the superstition goes, “To put milk in your tea before sugar is to cross the path of love, perhaps never to marry.”
  5. When eating on a tea tray,  enjoy the scones first while they are hot. Once finished, move to savories, then to sweets last.
  6. Split your scone horizontally with a knife. Curd and cream is placed on plate. Use your knife to put cream/curd onto each bite, eating neatly with your fingers.
  7. The spoon always goes behind your teacup on its saucer. Never leave your spoon in the cup.
  8. When drinking from your teacup, look into the teacup rather than looking over it.
  9. As for your finger, don’t put your pinky “up”! It’s not correct.
ENTERTAINING Featured Tutorial

5 Simple Ways to Fold Napkins

Summer time is here! Long, warm nights are the perfect excuse to have friends and family over for garden parties, luncheons, and dinners on the patio.

When preparing for guests, I always like my table to have a special touch. Napkins are small details that can perfectly tie together your place settings for a fun, sophisticated, and unique tablescape.

Here are 5 simple ways to fold napkins for your next gathering.

1. The Baguette

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2. The Roll Up

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3. Rose Garden

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4. Versaille

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5. The “Basic”

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Table tip: Don’t be afraid to use bright or patterned napkins to add spark your summer table. Accessorizing your table with colorful elements adds visual interest, especially if your porcelain or china set is very simple. (Similar to your clothing wardrobe: if you wear all black you can make a statement with a fun clutch and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous stilettos).

Napkins pictured above are from Pottery Barn:

ISA IKAT NAPKIN, SET OF 4

WINNIE NAPKIN, SET OF 4

EVERYDAY COLORFUL BELGIAN FLAX LINEN NAPKIN, SET OF 4

 

Napkin Pottery Barn

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ENTERTAINING Featured

Burn Notice : Tips to Burn Your Favorite Candle Properly

Lighting a candle is the perfect way to create a warm and inviting home for guests or wind down your day and relax. Now that you have found your favorite home fragrance to give your space the perfect touch, you want to make sure you get the most out of your scented candle.

Have you ever experienced a candle that had its own personality and just burned sideways or unevenly? You’re not alone. While most high-quality candles are perfectly designed for a proper, clean burn, our user errors can leave the tops smokey and uneven.

candle

With a few steps and proper care on your side, you can ensure a safe and long-lasting burn. Follow these tips to make the most of your candle so it burns clean and bright for hours.

Candle Care Tips:
  1. Trim your wix to 1/8” at all times.
  2.  The first burn is your most important burn: don’t burn your candle less than 2 hours the first time you light it.
  3. Make sure the wax gets liquid to the rim of the glass
  4. Don’t burn your candle for more than 4 hours at a time
Candle Safety Tips:
  1. Always burn your candles away from drafts and anything flammable
  2. Make sure burning candles are out of reach of children and pets
  3. Never leave a burning candle unattended!
Some of my favorite candles are:
How do you burn your favorite candle?
Candle lovers, share your tips with us….

xoxolisa