If there was someone who hosts even more than we do, and probably more effortlessly–it’s Kim and Scott Vargo of Yellow Brick Home: our dear friends with whom we wish we could share a charcuterie board and game night a lot more often! And Kim isn’t a “hostess with the mostess” because she’s doing over-the-top candlelit 7 course dinners with live music entertainment–she’s just mastered crafting cool gatherings and not breaking a sweat. She’s here to calm all your hosting fears and change the conversation around what entertaining even means. The floor is yours, Kim!
Worry less about the food! Period, full stop. The most fun we have with friends is setting a theme — say, taco night! — and asking everyone to bring a couple of ingredients. As the host, we’ll always prepare the main part of the meal (like taco meat, veggies and plenty of bowls and utensils for all the potluck elements), but it’s always fun to see what comes together when we all play a part. Unless cooking is honest-to-goodness your favorite thing to do, take some of that weight off your shoulders. Lastly, a special cocktail for the occasion always feels way fancier than the effort needed to make them! It makes me so happy to look around and see everyone with a house cocktail, which adds an instant cool-factor to any gathering.
For a casual gathering, Scott and I will tag team a few things, but the extent of it is a thorough vacuum, wiping down the guest bathroom and making sure the kitchen is tidied up. And we definitely close doors to messy rooms! If we’ll be dining indoors, I may set out fresh flowers on the table, but if we’re gathering in the backyard, I consider myself off the hook.
Aah, my favorite part of entertaining. Every light in our home is on a dimmer, so I’ll take 5 minutes to set the lighting (and even lighting temperature – we have a lot of smart bulbs!). If it doesn’t interfere with cooking smells, I’ll also light a few nice candles. You know the ones, the ones where one sniff will make you feel good all the way in your soul? Those candles. And right before the first guests arrive, we hit play on one of our Spotify playlists! Good music is ev-er-y-thing.
Hands down (and I’m guilty of this at times), people overthink the menu. I think it’s more about how you feel, and lighting is a huge part of that.
No one is looking at your home under a microscope. They’re in your home for you and your wonderful company! But if you’re feeling truly stressed, remember my tips from the question above. Those actionable items are in your control, and they’re the things that people will leave your house remembering.
We designed the Charly line of sofas, chairs, and ottomans with perfect proportions for comfort — with wide arms, a loungey depth, and stylish and practical lumbar pillows. Available in 70 kid-friendly, pet-friendly fabrics, this line was created with families in mind.
Our wood grain Shaker cabinet fronts were designed for busy, high-traffic homes like ours. Clad with durable textured thermofoils, this line is compatible with Sektion, Akurum, Godmorgon, and Besta cabinets from IKEA. It's the perfect, practical way to add the warmth of wood to all the rooms of your home.
We have teamed up with Loloi to create a line of rugs that are as affordable as they are beautiful. This collection houses a great mix of traditional and modern rugs, in cottage-y colorways, as well as vintage-inspired beauties that you’ll want to roll out in every room.
We partnered with Stuga on a line of hardwood floors — The Ingrid is really livable, and the color is very neutral. It doesn’t lean warm or cool, it’s that just right in-between. We have really loved putting it everywhere in our house. It’s the best jumping-off point for design, no matter your interior style. In addition to being beautiful, Ingrid is really durable — we have three kids, and we always have a home construction project going on. Ingrid stands up to it all.
Looking for our favorite things? A place to shop our home room by room, or just catch up on what Julia's wearing / loving right now? Browse the CLJ shop.
Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here.
We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen.
Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.
In January it’s really common to talk about upcoming trends, and I have done this in the past (2021 trends here)! It’s fun for me to see what’s up and coming, and to experiment with new patterns and colors that excite me. Being a trend forecaster can be tricky when I really try to preach making […]
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