You may have seen the faces of the Traditional Homes editors smiling at you from the pages of our January catalog. They shared the items they’ve been dreaming of adding to their home, so we sat down with them to talk about their choices.
Jenny Bradley, Senior Design and Lifestyle Editor, loves to entertain! Because of that, she loves to have lots of dinnerware she can mix and match together to create new, unique looks. We asked her to share how she started her collection and what her entertaining philosophy is!
Ballard Designs: Mixing and matching dinnerware and linens is such a great strategy, but how do you shop for pieces that coordinate?
Jenny Bradley: I’m always on the prowl for new dinnerware. I like a collection that feels as though it’s been collected over time, so I look for common colors and patterns that work together but still offer contrast. I also like to mix more streamlined, contemporary pieces with family heirlooms to keep things fresh.
BD: What pieces do you need first in your growing collection?
JB: I started with dinner and salad plates in the same pattern, but different colorways. It makes sense to start with the basics and then add some mix-and-match pieces from there. You can also never go wrong with traditional crystal stemware.
BD: You must entertain a lot to always be setting the table! What are your go-to gatherings?
JB: There’s always an excuse to entertain! That said, we like to keep things very simple, and often set up a buffet for a more casual setting. We stock up on serving pieces like tiered stands and platters in neutrals—primarily wood and white—so as not to compete with the gorgeous colors and textures of the food.
BD: What entertaining must-haves or must-dos are top of mind when you’re inviting friends or family over?
JB: We try keep things pretty casual when entertaining. The only rules we tend to follow are pretty straightforward: Never skimp on food and beverages, and always expect the unexpected. You never know what a guest may request and it’s important to be prepared. Otherwise, just go with the flow!