Dinner Party Spotlight: Kimberly Schlegel Whitman

Today’s FH Dinner Party Guest is a much larger scale event than we are used to… we headed out of the living room and to a full blown dinner party in LA. Meet the mastermind behind this romantic outdoor party setting, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman. Editor-at-Large of Southern Living, Co-founder of @HaloHomebyKSW, and Author of Monograms for the Home as well as six other books! Clearly a woman who wears many hats, and does it well! I am excited to share more about how Kimberly (a true expert!) entertains on the regular!

Q & A:

FH: Tell me a quick bio about you!

You can check out my full bio on my website but in short… While planning my Debutante Ball in Dallas, Texas, I found an undiscovered opportunity—a lack of quality goods for party rentals, so I launched my own event company, RSVP Soiree Luxury Event Rentals, and, after building up a wonderful business, sold it in 2006. I also began a Social Calendar online in 1999 for Dallas’ finest charitable events at www.RSVPcalendar.com. This has led to the publication of seven books on entertaining,  television appearances, a daily radio segment on Dallas’ number one morning show and a spot as co-host of KTXD’s live daily television talk show, Texas Living.  In 2011, I became the Editor-at-Large of Southern Living Magazine.

FH: This is a little different than our usual series… Was today’s table a special celebration?

This table was set for a dinner party we hosted in Los Angeles in honor of my husband’s birthday.  We went on a wonderful trip to Italy for my birthday a couple of months ago so I used that as my inspiration for this table.  I also didn’t want it to get too feminine as we were honoring a gent! When I’m not at home to entertain, I tend to rely more the local professionals!  I found a great caterer, Made by Meg, in LA who we have relied on for several different events.  She is wonderful and makes my job as a hostess very easy!  I always turn to The Flower Chef, Carly Cylinder, for flowers in LA too!  We brainstormed and changed our minds about the centerpieces several times with this dinner but she always respects my whims and I love her creative contributions!  I was also inspired by our new Anniversary Monogram for my linen line, Halo Home by KSW.  I had these new napkins made for my personal collection and wanted to use them!

FH: What is your entertaining style? Traditional, Contemporary, Seasonal?

Oh I love it all and I love to celebrate everything. I describe by style as traditional with a wink.  I love pretty things and flowers and paying attention to the details but I love to add a bit of unexpected fun into the mix as well.

FH: How often do you entertain and for how many guests?

We love to entertain!  We have been moving lately so we haven’t been able to host our friends as much as we would like.  We like to have small groups and large groups.  I like to mix it up!

FH: Do you have a go-to recipe or dish {or do you avoid cooking at all costs}?

When we have friends at our ranch, we always serve my  mother’s famous Turkey Chili.  Everyone always loves it and it is easy to serve to a large group. The ironic part is that my husband doesn’t even really like it!  (Shhhhh…don’t tell my mother!)

FH: Do you have a go-to cocktail? If you do, can you share the recipe!

I am really into serving punch right now!  I am always testing recipes for punch and the best thing about it is that the punch evolves as the night goes on and the ingredient keep getting refreshed. My husband is obsessed with Casa Dragones so he always has a bottle on hand when we entertain.  I have to admit that I love it too!

FH: Table top… Share all the deets!!

  • Plates:  Versace for Rosenthal (similar)
  • Salad Plates:  Versace for Rosenthal
  • Placemats/ Tablecloth:  Halo Home by KSW with the Sunburst Anniversary Monogram. (www.HaloHomebyKSW.com)
  • Wine glass:  Reidel
  • Centerpieces/ Vases/ Candle sticks: The Flower Chef, Carly Cylinder (check out her fabulous book on Amazon here!)
  • Chairs & Dining Table:  Table designed by interior designer David Desmond; chairs – rentals
  • Shoot location:  Private Home in Beverly Hills

Follow Kimberly on her website: http://kimberlyschlegelwhitman.blogspot.comInstagram:  @kimberlywhitman, and Facebook.

Photography by Dan Arnold