Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Only connect!

We all seem to be addicted to lists. In/out, do/don't, cool/uncool, hot/not- we seem to crave information that validates who we are or what we do or helps us avoid those things that may make us look foolish in the eyes of others.

Splashed across the cover of this month's House Beautiful is a tantalizing: 101 Party Do's & Don'ts. Wow, I'm in! And there in the magazine beautifully laid out are indeed 101 tips from designers, taste-makers, and personalities.

What I love about how this piece was put together was that the editor seemed to be in on the irony of asking so many people the same question. Very often, in numeric sequence, just as one of the glitterati definitively states what he/she ALWAYS does, there is another expert saying the exact opposite (only serve white liquors/never only white liquors, give ideas about how to dress/don't impose a dress code, furniture scattered around the perimeter of a room/don't rearrange the furniture around the perimeter...) It really all boils down to what resonates with YOU and what you are comfortable with. Some tips that I tucked away are:

#31 Serve takeout on your finest china. Kelly Wearstler

#34 Don't be afraid to throw a party because it will cost too much. You can have a good time for $10 with a bottle of wine and a bag of nuts. Thomas Jayne

#43 Make a home-cooked meal, even if it's just as bowl of chili and a salad with garlic bread. Lisa Fine (see Sunday Dinner)

#52 Don't take yourself too seriously. Anything goes these days with your table decor and menu, so have fun. Tobi Fairley

#80 Don't run low on the hooch! David Jimenez

#84 Keep cocktail nuts and a stocked bar so you're always prepared for last-minute guests. Heather Clawson 

Of course, there were other notable ideas as well, and everyone was trying to help and encourage others, and that's the key: Whatever you do, just do- invite some neighbors you just met over (shout out to the 4 A's!) or friends you haven't seen in awhile... The important thing, to paraphrase E.M. Forster in Howard's End, is to "only connect!"

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