At Home With…
Stephanie
Booth Shafran


Stephanie Booth Shafran grew up all too familiar with the “rules.” Which is why she knows exactly which ones to break now. Here, the celebrated hostess talks restraint, abundance, and why every family should consider a Bloody Mary bar for the holidays.
  
Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Stephanie Booth Shafran wears
Zimmermann with her own hair and make-up.
Photographed by Pavielle Garcia at her home.
Editorial Image
 
At Home With…
Stephanie
Booth Shafran


Stephanie Booth Shafran grew up all too familiar with the “rules.” Which is why she knows exactly which ones to break now. Here, the celebrated hostess talks restraint, abundance, and why every family should consider a Bloody Mary bar for the holidays.
  
Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Stephanie Booth Shafran wears
Zimmermann with her own hair and make-up.
Photographed by Pavielle Garcia at her home.
Editorial Image
At Home With…
Stephanie Booth Shafran


Stephanie Booth Shafran grew up all too familiar with the “rules.” Which is why she knows exactly which ones to break now. Here, the celebrated hostess talks restraint, abundance, and why every family should consider a Bloody Mary bar for the holidays.
 
 

Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Stephanie Booth Shafran wears 
Zimmermann with her own hair and make-up.
Photographed by Pavielle Garcia at her home.
At Home With…
Stephanie Booth Shafran


Stephanie Booth Shafran grew up all too familiar with the “rules.” Which is why she knows exactly which ones to break now. Here, the celebrated hostess talks restraint, abundance, and why every family should consider a Bloody Mary bar for the holidays.
 
 

Interview by: Tatiana Hambro
Pictured: Stephanie Booth Shafran wears 
Zimmermann with her own hair and make-up.
Photographed by Pavielle Garcia at her home.
On growing up on the West Coast...

I’m 5th generation Angeleno. I grew up in a more formal family and my parents entertained a lot. They were in the newspaper business originally, the Los Angeles Times. So they had some fun, interesting parties and I absorbed all of that, watching my mom arrange flowers in the garden, set the table, mix and match. We always had seated dinners, always in coat and tie for the holidays.. I remember my dad’s 60th birthday, they brought in Bobby Short from New York who played the piano at The Carlyle.
  
On her personal hosting style, mixing things up, and why she loves tulips...

It’s a mixture between traditional and modern—and often colorful. For example, I love putting dark pink tulips—I see tulips as a more modern, streamlined flower—in silver vases inherited from my mother and pair with different colored chargers on the table. But I won't do a big mix of china and flowers and silverware...it’s about balance, you want a kind of ying-yang effect. I don’t mix linens, as I don’t like the table to look busy or distracted. I like consistency, detail, a little restraint. It should look pretty and natural.
  
When it comes to flowers specifically, I do love abundance and repetition—and I like to keep them low. They shouldn’t take up too much attention, they just have to complement everything else going on. I also let the space dictate how I’m going to set the table or what the event is going to be like. If I do it outside, I'll enhance upon the greens of the garden; if I do it inside, I'll enhance the colors of our dining room.
 
On growing up on the West Coast...

I’m 5th generation Angeleno. I grew up in a more formal family and my parents entertained a lot. They were in the newspaper business originally, the Los Angeles Times. So they had some fun, interesting parties and I absorbed all of that, watching my mom arrange flowers in the garden, set the table, mix and match. We always had seated dinners, always in coat and tie for the holidays.. I remember my dad’s 60th birthday, they brought in Bobby Short from New York who played the piano at The Carlyle.
  
On her personal hosting style, mixing things up, and why she loves tulips...

It’s a mixture between traditional and modern—and often colorful. For example, I love putting dark pink tulips—I see tulips as a more modern, streamlined flower—in silver vases inherited from my mother and pair with different colored chargers on the table. But I won't do a big mix of china and flowers and silverware...it’s about balance, you want a kind of ying-yang effect. I don’t mix linens, as I don’t like the table to look busy or distracted. I like consistency, detail, a little restraint. It should look pretty and natural.
  
When it comes to flowers specifically, I do love abundance and repetition—and I like to keep them low. They shouldn’t take up too much attention, they just have to complement everything else going on. I also let the space dictate how I’m going to set the table or what the event is going to be like. If I do it outside, I'll enhance upon the greens of the garden; if I do it inside, I'll enhance the colors of our dining room.
 
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On how she’s finding the silver lining to canceled holiday plans...

Normally, every year we have a big party in Sun Valley, Idaho: cocktails and seated dinner for about 130 people. It takes place in a historic building on the mountain; you take a gondola up to the restaurant. It’s so fun. Sadly, all Christmas parties are canceled, so it’s really about being more intimate and enjoying your family. This year we will be celebrating with all our seven adult kids, it’s the first Christmas with our new granddaughter, so that is exciting. We’re really enjoying being home more...and I’m getting more creative with dinners.
  
On her (highly recommended) holiday signature: the Bloody Mary bar...

As the kids have gotten older, it’s been really fun to graduate from hot chocolate on super early mornings to lazy mornings and a Bloody Mary bar. You have the Bloody Mary mix, the vodka, the celery, olives, pretzels, pickles...I do all the condiments, and I love arranging them in fun glassware. I do little sandwiches and chips in the living room, and you can go back to make your Bloody Marys throughout the day because everything’s set up. I’m constantly thinking of how to do things ahead of time so you can spend more time with your family. Get it all done the day before and put it in the refrigerator—I put the celery, olives, and pickles in Ziploc baggies so it’s all ready to go, then you just have to put it on the tray.
 
On how she’s finding the silver lining to canceled holiday plans...

Normally, every year we have a big party in Sun Valley, Idaho: cocktails and seated dinner for about 130 people. It takes place in a historic building on the mountain; you take a gondola up to the restaurant. It’s so fun. Sadly, all Christmas parties are canceled, so it’s really about being more intimate and enjoying your family. This year we will be celebrating with all our seven adult kids, it’s the first Christmas with our new granddaughter, so that is exciting. We’re really enjoying being home more...and I’m getting more creative with dinners.
  
On her (highly recommended) holiday signature: the Bloody Mary bar...

As the kids have gotten older, it’s been really fun to graduate from hot chocolate on super early mornings to lazy mornings and a Bloody Mary bar. You have the Bloody Mary mix, the vodka, the celery, olives, pretzels, pickles...I do all the condiments, and I love arranging them in fun glassware. I do little sandwiches and chips in the living room, and you can go back to make your Bloody Marys throughout the day because everything’s set up. I’m constantly thinking of how to do things ahead of time so you can spend more time with your family. Get it all done the day before and put it in the refrigerator—I put the celery, olives, and pickles in Ziploc baggies so it’s all ready to go, then you just have to put it on the tray.
 
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On finding her own sense of style & embracing her bohemian side...

My style has evolved so much over the years. I think as you get more comfortable with yourself, you experiment more. I like to have fun with fashion now; I feel more confident being more creative and trying new things. I always used to be in solids—blacks, ivories, navys—and now I wear a lot of print. I like femininity, clothes that are flattering, and I like to look a little more bohemian now. It’s so important to stay true to who you are. I love Oscar de la Renta, Zimmermann, Giambattista Valli, and Etro. I grew up with more rules, it was more formal. Now the world is so much more open and diverse and it’s wonderful to embrace different aesthetics.
  
On why she’s still dressing up this year...

My wardrobe has definitely become more relaxed during COVID, but I also think it’s more important than ever to get dressed up and feel good—especially during the holidays. If the hostess is going to make an effort to set the table, you should make an effort to get dressed!
  
On finding her own sense of style & embracing her bohemian side...

My style has evolved so much over the years. I think as you get more comfortable with yourself, you experiment more. I like to have fun with fashion now; I feel more confident being more creative and trying new things. I always used to be in solids—blacks, ivories, navys—and now I wear a lot of print. I like femininity, clothes that are flattering, and I like to look a little more bohemian now. It’s so important to stay true to who you are. I love Oscar de la Renta, Zimmermann, Giambattista Valli, and Etro. I grew up with more rules, it was more formal. Now the world is so much more open and diverse and it’s wonderful to embrace different aesthetics.
  
On why she’s still dressing up this year...

My wardrobe has definitely become more relaxed during COVID, but I also think it’s more important than ever to get dressed up and feel good—especially during the holidays. If the hostess is going to make an effort to set the table, you should make an effort to get dressed!
  
“I think as you get more comfortable with yourself, you experiment more; I like to have fun with fashion now.” 
 

“I think as you get more comfortable with yourself, you experiment more; I like to have fun with fashion now.” 
 

On the secret to being a relaxed host…

Organize and plan ahead. I have a moodboard in my office and I’ll pin up ideas and pictures and colors of what I want the evening to look like. I literally try to do every single detail ahead of time: set the table, finish the flowers, I do a walk-through of our house and check the powder room, the living room, the bar... You’re thinking, ok my guests are going to come in here, are the cocktail napkins out? Do I have ice in the bar? Is the bottle of wine open? I’ll sit down at the table to see if it works. Can you get your wine and water glass without elbowing your dinner partner next to you? That way I’m not running around trying to do that while we have guests over—and my husband isn’t either.
   
On the secret to being a relaxed host…

Organize and plan ahead. I have a moodboard in my office and I’ll pin up ideas and pictures and colors of what I want the evening to look like. I literally try to do every single detail ahead of time: set the table, finish the flowers, I do a walk-through of our house and check the powder room, the living room, the bar... You’re thinking, ok my guests are going to come in here, are the cocktail napkins out? Do I have ice in the bar? Is the bottle of wine open? I’ll sit down at the table to see if it works. Can you get your wine and water glass without elbowing your dinner partner next to you? That way I’m not running around trying to do that while we have guests over—and my husband isn’t either.
   

Three Hosting Rules To Break...
According To Stephanie

My philosophy is that rules aren’t meant to be ignored but meant to be broken with intention, in order to put a fun spin on entertaining that hopefully makes for a more festive and unique evening.
Editorial Image

Three Hosting Rules To Break...
According To Stephanie

My philosophy is that rules aren’t meant to be ignored but meant to be broken with intention, in order to put a fun spin on entertaining that hopefully makes for a more festive and unique evening.
Editorial Image



Three Hosting Rules To Break...According To Stephanie 
 
My philosophy is that rules aren’t meant to be ignored but meant to be broken with intention, in order to put a fun spin on entertaining that hopefully makes for a more festive and unique evening.







Three Hosting Rules To Break...According To Stephanie 
 
My philosophy is that rules aren’t meant to be ignored but meant to be broken with intention, in order to put a fun spin on entertaining that hopefully makes for a more festive and unique evening.




1. Ditch the dining room.

When people would say, “please join us in the dining room for dinner,” it just sounded boring to me, so we replaced our traditional dining room tables with banquettes. We added all these beautiful pillows with my favorite Fortuny fabrics (I’m obsessed with Fortuny). It’s been really successful. All of a sudden, it’s a much more comfortable and inviting setting. I find people have a lot more fun. If we have a larger dinner, I’ll do it somewhere else and have a long table and chairs.
  
2. Shake up the cocktail menu.

Who says you have to serve mulled wine at Christmas? Follow your inspiration and just share with your guests what you enjoy. We have a family margarita recipe that we love, so we do that for Thanksgiving; we do the Bloody Marys at Christmas. Caprioskas are my favorite cocktail so we serve those year round.
  
3. Switch up the serving style—and seating.

I think it’s most fun at a party when you’re not seated next to a spouse. I like to have someone they know on one side and someone they don’t know on the other side. I do three courses, but I’ll mix it up and do the first course family style, then a plated dinner. Or we'll go to the living room where we’ll have candy and tequila. I love See’s candy, the milk chocolate nuts and chews! It’s the best candy in the world.
1. Ditch the dining room.

When people would say, “please join us in the dining room for dinner,” it just sounded boring to me, so we replaced our traditional dining room tables with banquettes. We added all these beautiful pillows with my favorite Fortuny fabrics (I’m obsessed with Fortuny). It’s been really successful. All of a sudden, it’s a much more comfortable and inviting setting. I find people have a lot more fun. If we have a larger dinner, I’ll do it somewhere else and have a long table and chairs.
  
2. Shake up the cocktail menu.

Who says you have to serve mulled wine at Christmas? Follow your inspiration and just share with your guests what you enjoy. We have a family margarita recipe that we love, so we do that for Thanksgiving; we do the Bloody Marys at Christmas. Caprioskas are my favorite cocktail so we serve those year round.
  
3. Switch up the serving style—and seating.

I think it’s most fun at a party when you’re not seated next to a spouse. I like to have someone they know on one side and someone they don’t know on the other side. I do three courses, but I’ll mix it up and do the first course family style, then a plated dinner. Or we'll go to the living room where we’ll have candy and tequila. I love See’s candy, the milk chocolate nuts and chews! It’s the best candy in the world.
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