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Cast a nice glow

"Lighting is one of the key elements to successful entertaining and, most often, the element that’s overlooked," says Turner. "People squirm if there's too much of it, and if there's too little, that creates a different kind of discomfort." For an intimate dinner party, you don't want to block the flow of conversation with tall candles or flower arrangements. "That’s part of the reason we made tea light holders with different heights. You don't want everything on the table to be the same height—that's boring—and you don't want to block anyone’s view of each other."

In Living Color

Julia Bainbridge
Food Editor
August 1, 2014

Burlap, biscuit-colored tablecloths, monochrome flowers, buff on beige on sand...

We’re over it.

“Color is so important,” says Payton Turner, who co-owns Flat Vernacular and Department of Decoration with her husband, Brian Kaspr. “When you entertain, you want the table to be visually stimulating.” It's somewhat like being a guest at a wedding: you want to don your brightest plumes to peacock around in celebration. Think the same way about your dinner table.

So here's a very colorful dinner party we hosted last Sunday. Department of Decoration supplied the tableware—as well as tips for how to get the same look at home—and our own Julia Bainbridge cooked from Kimberley Hasselbrink’s new cookbook, the appropriately titled Vibrant Food.

Click through the slideshow, and then go put some color on yourself.