#TheLIST: How To Throw a Stylish Dinner Party
When Sara Story throws a party at her exquisite Gramercy Park home, two things are certain: the Don Julio tequila and the unpredictability of the party’s setting. Because in the 13 years since the interior designer and her husband, Kenneth Garschina, purchased a tiny studio in a 19th century townhouse, they have taken over the entire fourth floor, a space she likens to “a treehouse above Gramercy Park,” and then expanded into the floor below. “We’ve grown into this place,” says Story, who is known for fusing Danish mid-century modern design with colorful and luxurious surface treatments. “Eventually we’re going to connect them all together.” But it’s precisely the lack of connectedness that’s part of the fun at her fetes. “I like to have people meander through the home and experience different atmospheres: sometimes drinks and appetizers in the upstairs living room, a beautiful family-style dinner in the upstairs dining room, and then dessert in the downstairs apartment for a new environment.” Along the way, guests can take in the couple’s evolving collection of contemporary art or relax on rare pieces of furniture, like the 1950s Ico Parisi sofa she recently acquired. After all, admits Story, “too much of one place is boring.”
“I love doing little arrangements at each seat. It helps create a more intimate moment for each guest.”
Michael George flowers, 0, michaelgeorgeflowers.com.
"Lighting is super important—I like the lights dimmed and candles lit. It's more enjoyable and flattering."
“The mixture of bronze candlesticks with floral arrangements on the table creates warmth.”
E.R. Butler candlestick, 0-1,150, kneenandco.com.
"Having a fun cocktail ready for when guests arrive is key. I'm loving Aperol spritzs for the summer."
Aperol Aperitivo, , totalwine.com.
“My parents had this serving dish, and now I do. It’s modern and fresh.”
Royal Copenhagen dish, 9,royalcopenhagen.com.
"Seating is important to think about for a sit down dinner—having place cards and sitting people together that perhaps don’t know each other, but have a lot of interests in common, will make for an interesting time."
“These crystal vases are so eye-catching and are stunning on any table.”
Isaac Monte crystal vase, price upon request, isaacmonte.nl.
"Don Julio tequila on the rocks with lime and a splash of seltzer is the ultimate classic.”
Don Julio 1942 Añejo Tequila, 0, astorwines.com.
"I love a mix of vintage textiles for napkins. Pops of color and pattern are fun."
Anthropologie marbled napkin, , anthropologie.com.
“I love this Delpozo dress. The forms are so architectural, and the colors are brilliant.”
Delpozo dress, similar styles available at modaoperandi.com.
“This is my favorite piece to wear for dinner parties.”
Piagetring, ,500, similar styles available at piaget.com.
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