CREATING AN OCEAN-INSPIRED DINNER PARTY WITH KARA ROSS
The secret to everlasting summer days? Create a shell inspired table and bring the ocean breeze indoors for a festive celebration.
That’s exactly what Kim and her good friend, jewelry designer and philanthropist, Kara Ross, set out to do. Kara is a true creative talent with effortless flair for design and love of entertaining.
Inspired by Kara’s home overlooking the bay in Southampton, Long Island, Kim and Kara decided to create one last summer table for the season. “It’s always so difficult for us New Yorkers to surrender to the end of summer,” says Kim. “We want it to go on forever!” Here’s a peek at how they brought the warm, salty summer nostalgia to a bright and exotic tablescape.
Step One: Start with a Dash of Inspiration
Glass plates that Kara had commissioned from a local artisan took center stage. The clear glass created a water-like effect, while the delicate hand-painted sea life motifs in shades of red and orange added a pop of color.
Step Two: Add Texture with your Centerpiece
What better way to add shape and texture to a seascape than with shells? From starfish to conch shells to delicate coral and exotic treasures, Kara has collected an amazing array of shells over the years. The artful assortment created a tabletop reef fit for a mermaid. The vibrant hues on the shells and starfish added just enough color to set off the mostly white centerpiece.
Pro tip: Kara ran mirrored glass tiles under the centerpiece to create a reflective surface which gave the shells a luminous glow.
At each end of the shell centerpiece, Kara placed festive (and thematic) crab wine bottle holders. The fun-yet-functional pieces became part of the seascape and added to the whimsical, surreal feeling of the table overall.
Step Three: Add a Conversational Piece
For a touch of whimsy (but keeping with our theme), we added “Lola the Lobster,” an embellished creature with a “sparkling” personality. “Lola the Lobster” is a great addition to any centerpiece and elicits conversation,” explains Kara, “Because doesn’t everyone NEED a bejeweled lobster?” Truer words were never spoken.
Step Four: Thoughtful Finishing Touches
For the place settings, Kara and Kim loved the pop of coral created by the Flame Placemats, but were also drawn to the square shape of the Fez Placemats (to match the square plates). Rather than choose, they opted to layer both and add another element of texture.
And an ocean-inspired setting simply requires beachy linens and accessories, right? Our Coral Napkins in beige and white paired with our Beach Fleur Napkin Rings were the perfect complement.
Time for the glassware. Kara owns a set of vintage orange-striped water goblets that mixed well with her multi-colored wine glasses. “Long gone are the days when everything must match,” says Kim. “It is so much fun to mix up the glasses! In fact, now when you match everything on the table, it’s a design decision, not a requirement.”
Step Five: Let’s Celebrate!
With the table set and the seascape complete, it’s time to enjoy it! Simply pair with your favorite seafood. Lobster, anyone?
TIPS TO MAKE YOUR PARTY A SUCCESS
- Use mirrored glass tiles under your centerpiece to create a reflective surface and a luminous glow.
- Mix up your glassware! Who says it needs to match?
- Can’t decide on which placemat to use? Try both! You may be surprised by how well they work together.