How I Host: Kendall Simmons

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I'm such a fan of Kendall Simmons design work. While I almost always play in the land of neutrals, her interiors are bright and courageous. The spaces Kendall designs are always full of stories — thoughtfully layered art and textiles and florals that feel lively and well traveled. I was so excited when Kendall joined us for our "How I Host" series. I knew the environment she'd create for hosting would be distinct and full of energy, just like everything else she does.  Take a peek below at her bright literary party. Pass the champagne, folks. You're in for a treat.


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How would you describe your hostess style? 5 words or less!

Keep it simple and fun!

Environment is key. What is your favorite space to host a party?

My own home is my favorite space to host. I'm surrounded by all of my most favorite things, and I have anything unexpected that I may need at my fingertips!

Do you have a signature dish or drink you like to serve?

Champagne. There's always champagne. If you can't think of something to celebrate, you're just not trying hard enough!

What's your go-to color palette for design?

All things bright. Specifically hot pinks and striking blues.

With events, it's important to touch all the senses. The perfect playlist includes...?

My go-to playlists include all of the best 90s alternative bands. Nirvana, Oasis, and so on.

Who are your dream dinner guests?

Honestly, I should probably list some famous or fascinating people, but in reality my dream dinner guests are my nearest and dearest friends and family. That way it's a guaranteed good time, even if things don't go off without a hitch!

What inspired your design for "How I Host"?

My inspiration for 'How I Host' was my love of beautiful books + my love of color. This setting could be used for a ladies lunch or book club, or the books could be used as favors for a wedding or other special event. Either way, the striking colors and graphic letters on the book covers add instant character and personality.

What pieces did you choose and why?

Neutral linens and crisp white plates were a must. When you work with bright color as much as I do, you learn the importance of a clean, neutral background! That way all of the colorful flowers and accessories that I layer on top stand out as they should.

Also, a bar cart is a must for the way I entertain. It creates a clear station where people know (without having to ask) that they are welcome to help themselves to a drink.    

What's your best "hosting" tip for beginners?

Work with what you have. You don't have to go out and purchase tons of new dinnerware, linens, etc. just to host a party. Dig through your cabinets and get creative. You'll be surprised by how many great things you already have! Oh, and fresh flowers. Buy twice as many as you think you need. I promise you'll be glad you did!