Hosting 101 from JA

How does Jonathan Adler throw a party?
Here are his tips for throwing a fab fête.


"Every party needs an extreme eccentric, ideally someone who pushes the boundaries of gender, taste, and sobriety. My fantasy dinner party guest list: Dame Edna (the only person on earth funnier than my husband), the Queen (plus her corgis, it's really about the corgis), and Andy Warhol. But really, I'd give anything to have my dad back for just one night.

Invites, whether digital or printed, add an air of importance to any old evening. Might I suggest our stunners from Paperless Post?"


"I like to think of my house like I do a gorgeous woman: she always needs a few bits of gold jewelry to add sizzle. Opt for gilded accents for instant festivity.

Forgo fancy arrangements. Cluster your favorite flowers in a simple vase to add a pop of color. Or skip living things entirely. I've never said no to a bowl of metallic balls on the table. They're unexpected, they glimmer, and you don't have to move them out of the way in order to make conversation across the table.

Or have guests salivate at the start. Put desserts out and about on tiered trays for added impact."


"Mood lighting makes the mood, duh. I put about 10,000 of our Muse Votive Holders on every surface. Candlelight (and dimmers) hides a multitude of sins.

I’m also fond of our Eve Candelabra, which is our neoclassical riff on the traditional tabletopper. She adds just the right touch of temptation to a tablescape.

My party playlist: Burt Bacharach, Serge Gainsbourg, and the soundtrack to Beyond the Valley of the Dolls."


"Place cards? Who handwrites anything nowadays? I like to print photos of my guests and give them a little markup treatment. It's a great conversation starter (and it's also a highly passive-aggressive move that I can't recommend enough).

I like to serve my foolproof dinner party dish: Thanksgiving dinner. Everybody loves it, so why do we only eat it once a year?"


"Sprinkle moments throughout the house so guests have plenty of opportunities to pause and hang. A bar cart with just a hint of festivities gets them into the spirit while they are pouring their spirits."


"Don't let your company leave empty-handed. Send them home in style with a bud vase or one of our spirited scents."


"Throughout the year, the truth is I'm always kind of restrained and, dare I say, patrician. During the holidays I find my inner Kardashian and unleash a world of layers and ornament and glitz. Parties are the perfect excuse to go over the top. Keep your color scheme simple then add lots of twinkle with heapings of brass.

I'm fortunate to make a complete range of ornaments, so dot them like mini sculptures around the house. Tie them around napkins in lieu of rings as a take home for your guests. My only regret is that they only get to be out for a few weeks a year."