Charlotte Moss loves to entertain and believes setting the table is part of everyday decorating. Moss’s new book (her tenth!), Charlotte Moss Entertains, showcases tablescapes she has created with breathtaking combinations of china, tableware, linens and floral arrangements. Beyond that, she shares tips on music, seating and menus, as well as several of her own entertaining success stories, full of detailed concepts and inspiration. Serendipity Home Editor Stephanie Horton spoke with Moss about her new book, including what fans of her designs can expect.
This is your tenth book! How would you describe this book and how is it different from your previous volumes?
This is my first volume dedicated to setting the table, bringing people to the table and decorating it. Bits and pieces of this have been a thread in all of my books; my Southern hospitality is always surfacing!
Your book includes invaluable advice and inspiration. What are your top 3 entertaining tips?
1. Just do it! The more you do it, the more relaxed you are, the more confidence you develop and that leads to more invitations being extended.
2. Start small with close friends—they are the most forgiving when things don’t go exactly to plan.
3. Get organized, plan a menu, and try it out on your family before your guests. Play around with table settings, make sure you have everything you need before your party. Plan what you will wear. Basically, make a plan….and stick to it.
What is your favorite occasion and location in which to celebrate?
Home! Everything centers on being at home, in New York or Easthampton. I love some part of the evening being outside. In the country we always do cocktails on the terrace; in New York weather permitting, we will have small dinners outside. Everything revolves around friends, and those are always special occasions.
What are the most important tabletop elements?
To me anything goes. Everyone should just feel free to express themselves through their table settings but….linens should be crisp and ironed, glasses sparkling, flatware polished and, of course, the food delicious and generous.
What qualities make a successful and gracious hostess?
A successful and gracious hostess would be relaxed, well organized, has set a beautiful table and keeps an eagle eye on everyone and everything, i.e. are glasses full, are people talking? She is making introductions and carefully doing seating to ensure a lively evening.