Decorating & Design - Design Lesson

Design lesson: Entertaining your senses

Create an entertaining experience sure to please all the senses.

Glasses raised mid-air for a toast, the clink of crystal, a sip of wine -- it's a familiar ritual that signals the start of a meal or other social gathering. With grace and ceremony, this effortless gesture encapsulates all five of our senses: sight, sound, touch, scent and taste. Creating a memorable party is as much about this collaboration of the senses as it is about finding the right recipes. When entertaining, here are some of the ways I aim to provide a sensual experience that guests remember long after dessert is served.

Comfort is a priority. I typically choose soft, plush seating that's inviting to curl up in. Curved furnishings soften angular architecture, and the additions of a reading lamp and ottoman turn an underused chair into a spot for lingering.
novdeslesson-pillows.jpgDetails, details, details -- they make or break a room. Choose cushions that beg to be touched, like the ones at left by knitwear designer Olena Zylak. Shine door knobs and silver to a high gleam. Position a pinspot light on the contours of an Inuit sculpture and watch people gravitate toward it. Set the table with a crisply pressed cloth and your best dishes, glassware and candlesticks.


In a quiet room, a tabletop water fountain contributes to a pleasing ambience. Hang bells from the front door to signal the arrival of guests. And what's a party without music? I aim for a diverse mix, from Frank Sinatra to Amy Winehouse. For background music, I like to put on compilation CDs -- the Buddha-Bar series is my favourite.


Latest Contests

more contests

Get expert advice delivered right to your inbox!

Style at Home's newsletters bring you the latest in décor, design, entertaining and more!

You can unsubscribe at any time, no questions asked. We will never give your email address away or spam you.