How I Host: Lauren Emerson
My favorite kinds of events, always, are those that make guests feel comfortable and wanted. It doesn’t matter the occasion — birthday celebrations, weddings, anniversaries. I’m just a sucker for environments that are carved out to be truly welcoming. And in this area, event planner Lauren Emerson is such a runaway gem. She has a thoughtfulness in her design and interactions that help the spaces she touches feel so much more fresh and meaningful. Take a peek into Lauren’s method and myriad of skills as she transforms Bloomsbury Farm’s rustic outdoor space into one of the most inviting settings.
How would you describe your hostess style? 5 words or less!
Food and wine are always in abundance.
Environment is key. What is your favorite space to host a party?
I typically love hosting parties in a place that compliments my couple’s personalities. Even if it's a large event in a spread-out venue, I enjoy creating cozy areas where guests feel they’re at home.
When I host personal events, I typically choose my home as the venue. Having everyone gather in the kitchen is usually where I focus most of the event — I like having dinner guests be able to be involved in the cooking experience.
Do you have a signature dish or drink you like to serve?
I love making chicken parmigiana. Something about roasting tomatoes, garlic, basil and butter just makes your house smell like a million bucks. It’s such a warm and inviting meal. Italian food never disappoints.
What's your go-to color palette for design?
White, cream, tan, green and a pop of color.
With events, it's important to touch all the senses. The perfect playlist includes…?
For a classic dinner party I always love Frank Sinatra - and the rest of the Rat Pack.
Who are your dream dinner guests?
My family. They are the people who I can let loose with and have the most fun.
What inspired your design for "How I Host”?
I am a sucker for a fun summer clambake / crawfish boil. I realized that in the middle of the winter you don’t typically serve seafood so I wanted to do a nontraditional spin on the occasion.
What pieces did you choose and why?
I chose a darker table and gunmetal chairs to a give a moodier modern vibe. I love the clean organic shape of the white serving pieces in conjunction with the soft light blue linen napkins.
What's your best "hosting" tip for beginners?
Pick one thing to be a focal point for conversation — make really good food, really good drinks, or have a fun source of entertainment. Don’t try to make everything perfect on your first go around. It can make the event more stressful than it has to be and lean you toward not enjoying hosting. Start with a small group and then, as you get comfortable hosting, move to a larger crowd and perfecting more aspects of the night.
Photography by Cassidy Carson Photography