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Lionel Richie Home Collection

ENTERTAINING Featured Lifestyle

Summer Sungazing: Hosting a Solar Eclipse Garden Party on August 21!

This summer sees one of the rarest and most beautiful gifts that nature has to offer: the total solar eclipse.

A solar eclipse happens when the sun is blocked off by the moon, creating what looks like a ring of fire in the sky. Full solar eclipses aren’t that common, especially ones that are as close to Earth as this August’s eclipse will be. The next eclipse that will be this close and full won’t take place until 2024!

This August 21st offers us a fabulous opportunity to gather with friends, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, and revel in the wonders of the sky and the celestial bodies above.

Make your garden party almost as memorable as the eclipse itself with these fun and classic solar eclipse viewing tips. Put on your sunglasses and invite everyone over for a once-in-a-decade party!

Tip #1: For Locations, There’s No Place Like Home 

In an ideal world, we’d all be able to jet our guests off to one of the country’s best eclipse viewing sites, such as those offered in the Midwestern United States. That said, there are plenty of options for viewing the eclipse from the comfort of our own homes.

For the best experience, I recommend complementing a low-key backyard viewing with the official NASA telecast on standby. Just make sure you check out this handy eclipse timing map to schedule your event around the time that the view of the eclipse will make its way to your home base.

Tip #2: Build on the Theme

While the first ideas that come to mind when planning a space-themed party might revolve around ten-year-olds’ birthdays, I find that if I focus on the beauty of the eclipse itself, I can create a fun and classy eclipse-themed party perfect for the outdoors.

Using the solar eclipse as my inspiration, this August 21st I plan to use reds and yellows against a gold and white backdrop for my color palette. I’ll bring in some fabulous gold elements from our highly matchable Lionel Richie Home Collection to represent stars,  and a few pops of color with red and yellow candles to symbolize the sun.

Let your imagination guide you—and remember that when it comes to decorations, a little color goes a long way. Plus, the sky will provide the perfect backdrop for your lovely summer gathering. Keep in mind that since most of us in the U.S. will be enjoying the event in the late morning or early afternoon, some daytime-friendly décor is in order! 

Tip #3: Bring in a Mix of Fun and Traditional Treats

Because an event like this is so rare, I like to take the opportunity to really splurge in terms of my meal planning. While I usually try to serve healthy meals, this time I plan to go decadent and offer an array of dessert and drink options.

For some fun space-themed cocktails, I’ll prepare a sweet tequila sunrise (tequila, orange juice, and grenadine) and the Sinatra-inspired Fly Me to the Moon (Bootlegger, egg white, grenadine, absinthe, and lemon juice).

In case it’s a bit too early for your guests to indulge, I always put together a mimosa bar for brunch and morning garden parties. This gives people the option to enjoy a light splash of champagne or to create their own fun mix of orange and other juices, sans the liquor.

For snacks, try some traditional Chinese mooncakes and Taiwanese suncakes. They’re easy to make and delicious—plus, they’re said to bring both love and luck to anyone who eats them! You can also bust out your Fourth of July cookie cutters to make some star-shaped cookies, Jell-O, or watermelon for other fun, simple treats.

 Tip #4: Stay Safe 

While many of us may have been a bit careless as kids, watching a solar eclipse without proper eye protection can be extremely damaging to our vision. I always take care to protect my eyes from the sun’s harsh rays on normal days, but looking straight up at the sun requires a whole other level of protection! The good news is that you can prepare some simple eclipse viewers to protect your eyes—check out these easy instructions for DIY card projectors.

A Once-a-Decade Event

With the next solar eclipse almost a decade away, an August 21st viewing party in the garden can be a great way to fully enjoy the event and share it with your loved ones. Celebrate this gorgeous natural sight with some of these fun tips and make the occasion one to remember for decades to come!

ENTERTAINING Featured

Enjoy the Sun With a Fun Summer Picnic

One of my favorite activities during the summer is enjoying a fabulous meal outdoors. There’s something so rustic and charming about spreading out a blanket, enjoying the sunshine, and dining with people I love.

That said, enjoying a gorgeous and memorable picnic can take some planning. After all, not all color palettes work well outdoors, and some foods don’t fare well under the hot summer rays. To help make it easier to throw your own park date or lawn-based dinner party, I’ve put together an overview of my own favorite “tablescape” for the summer.

Enjoy an elegant meal outdoors with these simple but elegant summer picnic tips.

Tip #1: Your blanket is your tablecloth

Rather than using a tablecloth as the background to the art piece that is your tablescape, the tone for your design is set by the blanket you use. So, while comfort is definitely important for a piece that you’ll sit or even lie on, you also want a blanket that contributes to your overall color scheme.

For my table setting, I went with a neutral hazelnut color, complementing it with pale dogwood pillows and some bright white flourishes. Because spring color trends are still in full effect, much of my inspiration drew from Pantone’s spring 2017 fashion color report. Many of the accent items were also inspired by these trends, including the kale color of the San Pellegrino bottles, the flame label of the champagne bottle, and even the pink yarrow of the flowers. Plus, all of these colors work great against the green grass and island paradise hue of the sky!

Tip #2: Stay hydrated

Whatever delicious cocktail or rosé you may be enjoying while lounging on the lawn, remember that it’s also important to stay hydrated in the summer heat—which means also including a few bottles of water that contribute as much to your design as your health. I love bringing in some simple glass bottles, a gorgeous pitcher, or even some sparkling water with a distinctly European flair.

Tip #3: Use some truly stunning china

While some picnickers prefer paper or plastic plates, I prefer using my favorite chinaware from our Lionel Richie Home Collection (my dishes were from the London and Riviera lines)—they mix and match so well that it’s easy to make a fun and sophisticated pairing.

Just don’t forget to pair that china with some equally gorgeous stemware, such as Manhattan champagne flutes, also from the Lionel Richie Home Collection.

Tip #4: Bring it all together

I love finishing my design with some deliciously natural elements, including small sprigs of flowers, a few candles from The Estate Collection, a wooden tray, and a simple wicker basket. I also brought a few crochet towels which serve both as cloth napkins and packaging protection for my china.

The most important part, however, is sharing your experience with people you love. After all, there’s nothing that brings an event together like laughter, great memories, and wonderful company.

 

 

ENTERTAINING Featured Lifestyle

Celebrating the Lionel Richie Home Collection

We were thrilled to host an event at the always fabulous GEARYS Beverly Hills to celebrate the many milestones of the Lionel Richie Home Collection . We had such a wonderful crowd at this momentous event and are truly grateful to all of the attendees.

The most captivating part was the table settings placed throughout the store highlighting the collection’s elegant international flair. Many of the pieces from this fabulous line were on display, including the London charger, Riviera dinner plate, and Manhattan red wine glass. The tablescapes perfectly showcased the adaptable, stunning, and classic nature of the collection, which elegantly blends traditional sophistication with innovative pairings and accents to deliver stunning home décor.

From sample table designs, to fresh flowers casting a subtle yet enticing fragrance, to delicious refreshments, to the gorgeous backdrop of GEARYS itself, the special evening delighted every one of the senses. It was such an honor to share this beloved brand with so many friends, old and new!

To glimpse more of the festivities yourself, check out the video below. And if you’re an L.A. local, don’t miss the opportunity to experience the collection in person at GEARYS!

ENTERTAINING Lifestyle

Chic Mother’s Day Gifts for the Leading Ladies in Your Life

Mother’s Day is the perfect occasion to celebrate the leading ladies in your life—whether it’s your mom, mother-in-law, significant other, best friend, or even the mom to your adorable pets! Honestly, I find myself taking any excuse to make the people in my life feel loved and pampered—meaning that May 14th offers the perfect opportunity to reconnect with family, friends, and other loved ones.

To help make those special mothers in your life feel especially valued, try one or more of the gift ideas below. Or take the day to celebrate yourself—after all, who wouldn’t love these amazing presents?!

The Fabulous Homemaker

Let’s get real—most “stay at home” moms tend to have more jobs than the rest of us, from taking care of the kids to cooking, cleaning, or even telecommuting. Whatever reason keeps her at home, chances are she could use something beautiful to make her feel appreciated.

Now’s the time to lay the groundwork—if you don’t yet know her favorite flowers, start asking some subtle questions to figure it out. Then find a fabulous local florist and place your order far in advance (just to be safe). Make the bouquet as fabulous as she is by asking them to deliver it in the gorgeous Lionel Richie Home Collection Manhattan Vase (most high-quality flower shops are happy to accommodate!). Add a set of LOVE plates, also from the LRH collection, and set a gorgeous table for a decadent brunch celebrating your favorite lady!

The Life of the Party

Many mamas also enjoy the night out, even if they do spend most of their days cooped up at home or stuck in an office. For the lady who loves to work hard and play harder, there’s nothing better than some gorgeous glassware, such as these hand-blown crystal Champagne Flutes from Tiffany and Co.

Pair this exquisite china with some Moet & Chandon Rose Imperial Sparkling Wine and a pitcher of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and this mom can enjoy her own “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” whenever she desires. After all, what’s better to recover from a night of partying than a light mimosa (or two) to take the edge off?

The Hostess Supreme

Whether planning showers, hosting dinner parties, or leading her ladies’ book club, the hostess supreme is always in need of some good stationery. So, why not gift her some extraordinary stationery that’s equally as beautiful as she is? I absolutely love this Engraved Koi Fish Heavyweight Card with Painted Edge stationery set from Crane. This set of cards is both sturdy and lovely, the perfect combination for a lady in charge.

Make writing all of those invitations by hand a little easier for her by adding an elegant Ivory Fountain Pen from Waterman Paris. The smooth flow will make it gentler on her hand, ensuring she can write all of those thank you letters effortlessly, while the stunning design will add even more beauty to her life.

The Garden Lover

For those ladies who can’t get enough of the beauty and tranquility of a gorgeous rose garden, what could be better than an exquisite, long-lasting Parisian-inspired floral arrangement from Venus et Fleur?! Their stunning Eternity roses can stay fresh for an entire year, and the Parisian-style keepsake hatbox they arrive in are perfect to store away beloved mementos for years to come.

 

The Career Woman

Offer the ultimate de-stressing experience to the dedicated career woman in your life with The Estate Collection’s Manhattan luxury candle. With hints of lemon, bergamot, jasmine, and orchid, you’ll be offering her not just a gorgeous decorative item, but a truly uplifting fragrance as well.

Complement her new spa experience with 12 months of Bellocq luxury tea and you may notice that she goes from overworked and exhausted to relaxed and serene!

Celebrate the Leading Ladies in Your Life

Make this May 14th the day you let the ladies in your life know how much you care for them. Happy Mother’s Day!

 

ENTERTAINING Featured Lifestyle

Designing A Festive Easter Table Setting

Spring is in full bloom, and I’m loving the fresh air, the scent of blossoming flowers, and the colorful foliage of this vibrant season. Another thing I love about this time of year is Easter—it’s the perfect opportunity to gather family and friends and celebrate.

As with any occasion, no celebration would be complete without a fabulous table setting to set the tone for the event. In anticipation of Easter Sunday this coming weekend, I’ve brought together a few of my favorite table elements to provide a little inspiration for those of you planning to entertain this Easter.

In keeping with the spring spirit, I designed a fun and youthful table for the enjoyment of adults and children alike—and I even incorporated some of the pastel color palette that I shared last week!

Much of the symbolism that we associate with Easter focuses on birth, rebirth, and babies. Think of decorated eggs, blooming flowers, fresh grass, and of course the cute little bunnies themselves.

I like to think of the spring as the chance for a clean slate—the opportunity to pick up any discarded New Years’ resolutions and set goals to last for the rest of the year. Something about all of the rain and baby animals just makes it seem as though anything is possible! To set the stage for this mentality of renewal, I started my tablescape with a plain but elegant white tablecloth. This neutral hue also complements the light color palette of the season, making it a perfect fit.

When was the last time you tried dyeing some hard-boiled eggs? I thought, why not give in to the youthfulness of the season by trying out this practice again? As an adult, you can bring a skilled artistic eye to egg painting that renders gorgeous designs. Plus, it’s a lot of fun dyeing the eggs! I like to use a bit less dye or submerge my eggs for less time to color them in pastel shades perfect for a spring-themed table setting.

As another symbol of spring, any budding blossom makes a fabulous statement for an Easter tablescape. Just follow your heart—or nose—to your favorite flower and let your intuition be your guide. You might even choose some especially dark or bright flowers to accent your table, adding a pop of color that provides a gorgeous “wow” factor. Plus, the scent offered by these blooms is absolutely divine!

To finish my table setting, I love bringing in some of my favorite china. I decided to offset the pastels with a chic gold flourish from the gold-embossed London plates from the Lionel Richie Home Collection. This design doesn’t overpower the other color elements but seems to make them shine, if possible, even more brightly. I suggest pairing this china set with some small verdant elements that reflect the life of the season, such as a few deep green leaves and a sprig of flowers.

To complete the occasion, bring in a cocktail that matches the table in both flavor and design. I particularly enjoy pink, so I suggest pairing some peach Bellini with a sweet rosé—serving these in some gorgeous crystal wine glasses allows the color to further complement the tablescape. Spring is the time to take in some of the sweeter liquors, which are especially appreciated when served chilled on a hot day.

Just remember to go with the feel of the season. Think pastel colors (with a few darker accents here and there!), warmth, and rebirth (eggs, baby animals). Take in a few minutes of delicious sunlight and let the renewal and warmth of spring inspire you to design a tablescape that’s just right for the Easter season.

Featured Lifestyle

Setting the Mood

There’s nothing like some lovely company over a sweet delicacy to cap off the perfect Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart. With the right china, a perfect dessert combination, and a few glasses of chilled champagne, your table can set the mood for a wonderful evening rich in romance. I’m excited to share the perfect love-themed dessert setting to enjoy with your beloved this February 14th—all it takes is a few treats and some luxe table elements!

Start off with some classic flavor combinations—the light sweetness of colorful macarons leads into a luscious chocolate cheesecake, finished off with chocolate-dipped strawberries, the perfect aphrodisiac! Don’t forget to toast to your romance with a few glasses of champagne and some gorgeous flowers that scent the air between you, dressed in an elegant vase.

While the company and the dessert will make the night special, the right décor helps set the perfect intimate ambiance. That’s why I chose to complement these delectable sweets with gorgeous dinner plates from the fabulous Lionel Richie Home Collection—the LOVE theme is the perfect embodiment of the everlasting flame that burns between you and your beloved. If you’re an L.A. local, you’re in luck—Geary’s Beverly Hills just happens to carry this ornate plate set, along with the entire Lionel Richie Home Collection!

This sweet, playful “love” plating conjures up memories of countless moments spent together, evocative of Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE statues the world over. Looking at these plates, I’m reminded of stopping to admire Indiana’s iconic statue at 55th and 6th Ave in Midtown Manhattan. If you’re like me and you love to travel, these lovely dishes might even spark a memory from a romantic trip to Tokyo, London, or any number of destinations across the globe.

Indulge in some sweetness this February 14th by re-creating this exquisite dessert setting for your lover—it has all the makings of an unforgettable Valentine’s Day!