Here's an oldie, but a goodie. We actually first posted about this party last October, just two months after starting the blog. Jaithan and I were still in our old apartment, dreaming of greener pastures. Some technical difficulties arose, and the post came down, never to reappear. Now a year later, with fall in full swing, we've decided to post the story a second time, just to get you in the mood for more autumn entertaining to come. Enjoy!


A change in season is as good a reason as any to have friends over to my apartment for delicious cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Consistent color choices help unify a look, so whenever I’m entertaining, I like to stick with a specific palette. My apartment is painted a warm gray (Brompton Gray from Ralph Lauren), so when it came time to choosing an accent color for my gathering, I was totally inspired by these fantastic lavender roses I found at my corner deli. Against the gray, the roses pop!


With Halloween just around the corner, I propped the chest in my living room with pumpkins painted Benjamin Moore’s Decorator's White. It softens them and subtly acknowledges fall without impeding on my color palette.


Also on the chest, I’ve placed a collection of hand blown glass decanters to compliment the pressed glass punch bowl centerpiece that now holds the pumpkins. And finally, flanking the bowl are the Grecian candlesticks I revamped for my Top Design video that went from ticky tacky paint to stylish silver shine.


At the Salvation Army a few weeks ago, I found this stack of vintage doilies. I bet a lot of people have a stash like this tucked away in a cupboard or closet out of sight, no?


When I got home, I washed them in non-chlorine bleach detergent and Lestoil, my favorite product for degreasing linens, then hung them up to dry on a standing dry rack.



Even after cleaning them, the doilies still felt dated, so after racking my brain for a while, I thought “Let me dye them!” Keeping in line with my color palette—soft grays with accents of lavender—I thought the charcoal gray from Rite Fabric Dye would be the perfect solution. Gray would add elegance without being as extreme as black, but for an acutal Halloween party, black would have been perfect! First, I wet all of the doilies with water, then submerged them in the dye. Make sure all of the doilies are wet thoroughly so the dye is absorbed evenly. Leaving them in the dye for varying amounts of time, as I did, will yield a more subtle mix of grays. Check out the final results!


To play up the transparency in the doilies, I paired them with glass cake pedestals in graduating sizes. And it just so happened that one of them was the perfect size for my Gorham silver tray! I love how the pierced edge on the tray mimics the lace work on the doilies.


Linen napkins dress up the simplest of table settings, and these mother of pearl forks add glamour to the plain linen runner. I think the mix of grays creates depth but in a subtle, sophisticated way. And I love how the doily drapes over the side of the tray.


I thought these Ironstone butter pats would work beautifully for the individual chicken quesadillas with avocado salsa I served. They're fantastic for any finger foods that could potentially get messy! Their circular shape also picks up on the circle patterns in the doily.


Here I am with the first set of hors d'oeuvres, crispy coconut shrimp with a curry dipping sauce. I used little bamboo skewers with simple knotted ends for practicality and presentation. Serving them in the individual Bavarian white porcelain leaf dishes adds organization to what could’ve been a mountain of shrimp! I added tall silverplate candlesticks for drama, then used more lavender roses in spooner glasses in keeping with my color scheme.


The golden glow from the candles illuminates the butternut squash and caramelized onion tartlets with parmesan crust that I served atop the cake pedestals.


Look how delicious these fillet and horseradish toasts look under the canopy of roses. I’ve garnished them with a small piece of parsley, adding just a hint of color.


And don't the bite-sized quesadillas looks so sweet on the antique butter pad dishes?


So, what are you waiting for? Fall is upon us, so dig out those doilies, dye them a color you love, mix up a few cocktails and throw a party!