Year & Day Founder, Kathryn Duryea, sits down with us to dish out her best hosting and styling tips.
How would you describe your hosting style?
Welcoming and warm with thoughtful touches, often inspired by the seasons and nature. I prepare a lot in advance so I can relax and enjoy my guests (and the tablescape!). This includes an honest assessment of how much time I have to prepare and what I’m most excited about doing myself (usually the tablescape and flowers) then outsourcing or asking my husband to cook.
We see you chose Palm for this Fall fête, what inspired the color?
During the pandemic, my husband and I satisfied our wanderlust exploring my home state of California on road trips. Some of my favorite landscapes offered this lush but cool shade of celadon-green: from the grasses north by Sea Ranch, to the vines of Oakville and the cacti of Joshua Tree. I wanted to be reminded of my delight in discovering these landscapes at the table.
What are your most used Year & Day pieces?
Probably our Big Bowls, Small Bowls, and our Flatware. I have all the colors at home in rotation, and I select a color depending on my mood or the occasion. Right now I’m loving Canyon for breakfast and Palm at dinnertime. I’m really enjoying Matte Gold’s rich brassy tone for fall.
Do you have a go-to playlist or do you make a new one each time?
I have some fallback playlists, but I prefer to make a new playlist for each event or season to help conjure the mood. I recently made a playlist for my son’s first birthday full of cheerful nostalgia: Paul Simon, Van Morrison, the Beach Boys, Toots & The Maytals. He loves to dance and I love catching him bopping to the beat.
Do you seat people that know each other together?
It depends on the occasion. I love mixing things up and introducing people. In that case I like to have people switch seats for the dessert course.
What’s on the table: sparkling water, still, or both?
Sparkling water all the way. Still available by request.
Do you ask for food restrictions ahead of time?
What are your three essential ingredients for a successful get together?
Natural beauty - via the setting, flower arrangements, vibrant vegetables. I love to put nature’s bounty on display in some fashion.
Setting the scene: an elegantly set table, a thoughtfully arranged buffet, an easy self-serve bar.
The people - whether family or friends, good conversation and connection.
Do you have any tips for someone who is new to hosting?
Start small. Have a few people over for afternoon tea or a cocktail, ideally before a dinner reservation or an activity so your first event has a fixed end time. Think about your favorite treat and use the occasion to introduce it to your friends. Place your snacks on a serving platter, add cocktail napkins and a small arrangement of flowers (one bodega bunch in a bud vase is a simple way to start). Prepare your playlist in advance, serve beverages, and you’re all set!
Set The Table with Kathryn