In this new series, we are sitting down with some of our favorite hosts to hear their go-to tips for setting a table they love. First up is entrepreneur and lifestyle personality, Chinae Alexander (@chinaealexander). Chinae hosted seven of her friends for an intimate dinner party at her Brooklyn home and shares her answers on all things entertaining.
Chinae, why do you love hosting?
My favorite thing is that moment where you step back out of the room and hear loud chatter and laughing from afar…that feeling is so gratifying. Bringing people together for the purpose of communing over food or drinks is where so much magic happens, and the fact that I get to facilitate it is a gift.
How do you plan your day and stay organized when hosting? Are you a to-do list maker or does it come together on its own?
I always start prepping a day or two in advance. I never leave table setting or creating floral arrangements to the day of because you don’t want to be fussing with that last minute. I leave day of for food prep/coordination and resting up so you can be your best host.
What are the most common ways that you extend an invite?
I LOVE a paper invite of course, but Paperless Post is probably the avenue I use most. It makes sending updates and tracking people so much easier.
What are three words that describe your hosting style?
Jovial. Communal. Inclusive.
How did you decide what to incorporate into your tablescape?
The Year & Day products I chose were the Midnight Ceramics with the Matte Gold Flatware, so I wanted to create a moody but whimsical tablescape to balance the colors. I chose a blue velvet runner, crisp white linen napkins, and blue/purple toned wild flowers to add less formality to the dark tones.
Tell us about your Favorite Year & Day products.
I love the overall functionality and everyday refinement that these products bring. The fact that they feel elevated but also approachable makes me love the whole line. Also, the Matte Black Flatware is sexy!
What’s your favorite thing to serve?
I think the key to figuring out what to serve is really thinking about what people *actually* want to eat, rather than trying to make something that’s impressive. To be honest, most folks would be happy with carbs and cheese, so don’t overthink the menu and go into a fussy food moment. Keep it simple, seasonal, and delicious.
How do you encourage conversation and friend-mixing among your guests?
I always put a lot of thought into who is invited to a dinner party, and for situations like tonight, I prefer no significant others…it forces people to get out of their comfort zones!
Who’s your dream dinner guest?
Finish this sentence: a dinner party isn’t complete without…
A dinner party isn’t complete without at least an hour of lingering after dinner when the wine is flowing and bellies are full.
Set The Table with Chinae