Ode to Autumn

SUZANNE KASLER fashions a presentation-perfect yet inherently relaxed French-inspired fête for Ronda Carman’s Entertaining at Home

NESTLED BETWEEN ROWS OF Peegee hydrangea trees in Atlanta interior designer Suzanne Kasler’s rear courtyard sits a long, wooden trestle table set for a leisurely lunch. “The people, the stories told, and the memories made are what make gatherings special,” remarks Kasler of the idyllic setting in which “whimsy and beauty abound.” 

The French-inspired fete she’s hosting is, in fact, fodder for Ronda Carman’s just-released book, Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts. A renowned interior designer, product designer and author, Kasler is no stranger to hosting gatherings, whether it’s a seated dinner for design-industry darlings or a crowd of community stalwarts. “I believe your house absorbs positive energy from entertaining family and friends,” she says.

For this particular occasion, Koelreuteria branches set the scene (and the palette), their pale-pink hue adding a grace note to each place setting. For centerpieces, Kasler suggests “placing objects together, en masse” to magnify their visual impact; here, Pink Modial and Quicksand roses spill out of miniature Louis Vuitton trunks collected from her travels for a bespoke look.

Kasler’s entertaining advice: pay equal attention to the food and the presentation. To make your house party-ready, keep linens cleaned and pressed, and don’t skimp on the details. It’s happy moments like fragrant guest soaps (she loves Savon de Marseille Extra Pur Coton) and silver trays  at the bar that convey thought and care.

Veteran hosts from Suzanne Kasler and Danielle Rollins to Julia Reed reveal their style secrets to author and tastemaker Ronda Carman in Entertaining at Home: Inspirations from Celebrated Hosts (Rizzoli, $45), releasing this month. From easy-to-master recipes and killer playlists to advice on stocking the pantry (or butler’s pantry), it’s the essential new guide to entertaining, from the everyday to festive fêtes.