Podcast, Ep. 266: Designing the Perfect Entertaining Environment with Elle Cole

Designer Elle Cole of Elle Cole Interiors

Designer Elle Cole

Dallas-based interior designer Elle Cole joins the show this week to walk us through how to design the perfect entertaining environment. Now that we are reopening our homes up to people and hosting again, Elle’s tips can get you back to feeling confident hosting events from a casual friend gathering to a larger holiday feast. Elle sheds some light on how to create the right vibe using the five senses, tips for creating an easy space to access your entertaining goodies, and her recommendation on creating a welcoming atmosphere from the minute your guests walk in up until it’s time to go home. She gives her expert advice on the staple furniture pieces a dining room needs including a table of course, along with chairs, artwork, and décor.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • Be clear on who and what you are entertaining for. Asking more questions about what you are looking to get out of entertaining each specific event is key.
  • Why starting with color and the five senses can help create a welcoming atmosphere.
  • How to decorate beautifully but still give your guests breathing room and space to enjoy themselves.
  • The ideal size of a dining room table to host people comfortably.
  • Upholstery can add a bit of your personality to the space.
  • How dimension and scale are also important to getting your environment feeling great.
  • Some ideas for colors that make your guests feel calm and welcomed.
  • Elle walks us through her table setting that she can bring together in 20 minutes or less.
  • What Elle means by the “power of one”.
  • Yes, you can use plastic dinnerware and paper napkins for outdoor entertaining and still have it look beautiful.
  • It’s important for the host to set the tone for being calm and setting good energy.
  • Logistics of the night including when to serve the appetizers, what to serve, and how long we should prepare our guests to be there.
  • You may not have 15 sets of dishes like Elle, but have at least 5 dish sets each with a different theme.
  • Ideas for gifts when you are invited to a dinner party and how a handwritten note is an artful and kind touch.

Mentioned in This Episode:

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.