ON CREATING BEAUTIFUL TABLESCAPES
I generally start with the flowers. I love going to the market early in the morning—you can always find the most unusual flowers. I like unexpected and out-of-fashion elements. For instance, I love carnations and the flowers from vintage magazines or Old Master paintings—mixed and un-manicured. I was lucky to have grown up with a mother who would design the most extraordinary tables: The only rule we lived by was to try new things and never be boring in your approach. I like a bit of imperfection…
ON THE ART OF BEING A GOOD HOST
Be relaxed and easygoing: There is nothing worse than an uptight host. Good lighting is essential and place cards can be extremely helpful. Outdoor entertaining is the best, especially under great-looking old-fashioned umbrellas and comfortable chairs. The playlist is also everything—it sets the mood. My taste in music ranges all the way from Johnny Cash to Wyclef.
... AND GUEST
Keep your cell phone in your bag and send a handwritten thank you note.
ON HER TOP 1O DINNER GUESTS (DEAD OR ALIVE)
My husband and 9 children aside: Gabriel García Márquez, Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Princess Diana, Cleopatra, Mozart, Katherine Hepburn, and Oscar Wilde.
ON WHAT HAPPENS POST-DESSERT
I would like to say a dance party but most likely sleep.