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Hostess with the mostess!

Party…that’s one word we all associate with summer. I know that simplicity, and ease are the buzz words of modern society, but that doesn’t have to mean cookie cutter and forgettable. I’m going to share several tips on how to make your party one of a kind and make your guests feel like it’s for each of them! Since I am a designer lets start with the ambiance. 
If you’re going for a formal setting go with a lighter, breezier materials. Think tulle, chiffon, lace, even mosquito netting! Small votive or tea lights, floating candles, lots of glass and florals give a formal, yet unstuffy air. For less formal keep the materials light for summer, but with bolder patterns and saturated hues. Glass and flowers are still great, but informal glassware, tumblers and soda bottles. 
The clearance and remnant sections of your local fabric store have is a great place to find  fabric for cheap. If you can’t find as much as you need of one fabric-say you’re looking for pink- then try finding different shades of pink in the same family and mixing them. If color is not your forte` ask for assistance. In my experience there’s always someone with a great eye for color at a fabric store.
 Don’t be afraid to mix textures either. As long as all of the textures have the feel, i.e. formal or laidback, that you’re trying to accomplish then go for it. All you need to complete your project is some heat bonded hem tape and an iron. If you’re a sewer then you can use your machine to do the job. If a DIY project is not your thing, but cheap is, head over to your favorite department store and rifle through their linen clearance section. I know for a fact that Dillard’s usually has several great things on clearance at any given time.
It can become expensive fast when buying florals or glassware. For florals I’d check out the sale rack at a craft store, and your local grocery store. Remember when using silk flowers you can take the stems apart and separate the clusters of blooms. That’s a great way to make 4 flowers out of one. Besides flowers, clustering small pots of herbs and ivy would make beautiful centerpieces. For glassware check out Good Will, and even Pier One Imports have small tea light holders for about $0.50 a piece. Remember to check clearance racks too. Some hunting is involved, but at reputable retailers there’s usually a gem in there somewhere!  Glass soda bottles, canning jars, and small terra cotta pots are cheap and can be used to make some very unique centerpieces.
No matter what your budget or theme is, there are ways to make it memorable. For more ideas and inspiration take a peek at my photos and also try, ,, or just e-mail me a question. In my next article I’ll share some information on food, and great ways to present it.
For more info: Please write to me at for questions or comments.  All images courtesy of Third Row Designs, which is me.


  • Pam W. 5 years ago

    I've always read the phrase "Hostess with the mostest." There's a company name that uses "mostess," but I don't know what the heck that's supposed to mean.