In our last post, we talked about the amazingly talented creative minds behind Loot Rentals—Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia—who styled a gorgeous post-shopping dinner party at The Vintage Round Top for a group of creatives visiting the fall Antique Week shows.
Since dinner guests would be convening after a long day of shopping the fields under the hot Texas sun, the Loot team wanted to provide a laid-back experience that emphasized relaxation, reflection, and connection.
With Loot’s low-key approach to hosting in mind, we thought we’d share a few behind-the-scenes secrets that you can use to create your own intimate dinner party!
Low lighting is a no-brainer for an evening event, but Rhoda and Anna decided to opt for low seating to create a unique, memorable experience. Moving the party to the floor creates a casual vibe and a closer seating arrangement, encouraging guests to engage with their tablemates.
The Loot team overlapped vintage rugs to create a comfortable footprint on our wood flooring and used two reclaimed-wood coffee tables in lieu of a dining table. An eclectic collection of poufs and floor cushions made for comfy seating that was just the right height.
For our fall Antique Week event, our friends Nick Moseley and Ryann Ford (Townsend Provisions) and Gloria Vaught BursonAntiques & Vintage Texas) joined us and our creative collaborators Foster ATX and Austin band The Canvas People around the table for a restorative evening of great food and excellent conversation. The low table was perfect for enjoying some live acoustic tunes from The Canvas People during dessert!
Outsource What You Can
Rather than worrying about whipping something up after a long day of trekking from show to show, Rhoda and Anna opted to have dinner prepared by the catering team at La Pera. Beth and Rafael created a beautiful, delicious meal featuring their signature fusion of pan-Latin and interior Mexican flavors.
If catering is beyond your party budget, consider ordering takeout and serving family-style plates that allow guests to serve themselves.
Use What’s Already Around You
Simplify your party prep by sourcing florals and greenery from your own yard. For our autumn event, Anna and Rhoda foraged evergreen branches and goldenrod from our property. The local flora was then mixed with Loot’s collection; grapewood branches, ceramic bud vases, hurricane lanterns, and yards of cheesecloth were all used to create this simple yet beautiful tablescape.
To create a sense of drama and add some overhead lighting, the Loot team mounted single-light-bulb fixtures inside vintage bamboo chicken cages and lashed evergreen branches to vintage ladders suspended horizontally from the ceiling. For a similar effect, use greenery to spruce up your existing overhead light source.
When it comes to setting the table, Rhoda and Anna caution against overthinking it. The Loot team loves the look of slightly mismatched tableware, and recommend mixing different pieces rather than worrying about assembling a perfectly matched set. For this table setting, Loot used handmade stoneware dishes, vintage-inspired glassware, and mismatched vintage silver flatware from their rental collection. Mudcloth napkins from their retail collection, Loot Finer Goods, were tied with twine and greenery sprigs from their foraged finds.
Want more entertaining tips and tablescape inspiration from the Loot team? Snag a copy of the latest issue of Mingle—on stands now!
Photo credits: Natalie Yerkovich, The Vintage Round Top