This Week at Home: Entertaining Edition

With summer softening into fall, it’s time to put aside the backyard cookout and start thinking about sit-down dinners and holiday parties. But even for those who relish the idea of opening their homes to family and friends, entertaining can prove daunting. Here’s some inspiration, advice and must-haves to help you become a better—and more confident—host.

Someone Who Inspired Us

Designer Alexis Bednyak renovated this 3,200-square-foot condo in Chicago for a couple that loves to entertain. She removed a wall of cabinets that separated the kitchen from the dining room, and replaced the oversized fireplace with a custom wet bar, which includes a hidden refrigerator and wine storage. In the living space, she added geometric tables, an elongated bench and other pieces of furniture that are easy to move—and perfect for hosting cocktail parties, Bednyak tells Architectural Digest.

Add It To Your Wishlist

This oxidized oak serving board is at the top of our dinner-party checklist. Its unusual shape and black finish add contrast to creamy cheeses and crackers. It’s also a limited edition built by hand in Brooklyn from reclaimed oak—there are only 30—making it even more special.

Check It Out

Need a refresher on entertaining? Haven’s Kitchen, a cooking school and café in Manhattan, is offering an Easy Entertaining course on Saturday, October 14, featuring fall favorites and seasonal sips for your own brunch at home. Past recipes have included Challah french toast with sugar plum compote, zucchini frittata and rosé sangria with peaches.

Know Your Stuff

Domino magazine and interior designer Nathan Turner took over a Pierhouse condominium and hosted a stylish dinner party. They offered six tips on how to put together your own epic party—in just 12 hours. One of our favorites: Take the food display to “the next level” via elevated platters, bowls, trays and a footed cake stand. You can also help set the right mood by turning off overhead lights and lighting candles. “Fact,” the magazine writes, “everyone looks good in candlelight.”

Home Goals

From the moment of rising up the stoop to 586 4th Street in Park Slope, you know that no expense was spared in this historical and pedigreed renovation. Keeping true to its original build of 1909, this French Renaissance Revival townhouse greets you with an airy glass entry, surrounded by artisan quality crown moldings and millwork. Represented by Brooklyn-based Karen and Kyle Talbott.

Photos in order of appearance: by Alyssa Rosenheck via the Architectural Digest website; via the Of a Kind website; by Brent Herrig; by Meghan McNeer via Domino.