How To Throw a Summer Soirée with Julia Amory
“I’m going to make everything around me beautiful — that will be my life.” - Elsie de Wolfe
Julia Amory knows something about beautiful things. After searching for the perfect fabric for the tables at her Southampton wedding to no avail, she had an idea—an entertaining brand drenched in Indian block prints at a fair price point.There began Julia’s brand, India Amory—a marvelous collection of table linens, home décor, and more in swoon-worthy patterns. Think: Tablecloths dressed in darling raspberry bows, cotton robes covered in garden vines that will make a Sunday lounge day utterly chic, and dandelion toiletry bags that are so gorgeous, you’ll actually want airport security to go through them.
Naturally, in summer, Amory is in her element. She entertains under the stars with tables dressed in India Amory (look at some of her dreamy tablescapes on her Instagram account here). Below, Julia sat down with J.Mc to talk all things summer entertaining—from the summer soundtrack to play to the Juliska plates that will make your tablescape tip-top perfect.
1. Describe your summer entertaining style in three words: Colorful. Relaxed. Indulgent
2. The secret to a good party is: A stress-free demeanor and a thoughtfully curated group of friends!
3. The best way to create a foolproof tablescape is: I always use a fun tablecloth as the grounding element. Especially during the summer, once you add fresh flowers it's hard to go wrong. I always recommend investing in a set of plates that you have 20 of (same for cutlery) in a pattern that's neutral and can be used with any different linens or flowers to create a totally different look. I love the white Geranium pattern by Bordallo or the Juliska Bamboo for this...
4. Go-to hostess gift: Everyone loves dinner napkins and you can never have too many. I love giving people two or three sets of our napkins, you can add them to any table (white tablecloth or sans tablecloth) to create a lovely tablescape. Plus, you cannot beat the price point which makes it easy to stock up and have them ready at the last minute!
5. Summer flower of choice: Bouvardia is my absolute favorite, but I'm more inclined to say go with what looks the most fresh. It's easier than fitting a square peg into a round hole!
6. The tunes: I love soundtracks....both Dirty Dancing and The Thomas Crown Affair are currently on my summer rotation.
7. Current favorite plate pattern? Mottahedeh Tourquay (available in Blue) but I adore and collect the green which is discontinued.
8. Easy menu items? I love a confetti corn salad with feta, cherry tomatoes and olive oil or a light arugula salad with olive oil and lemon. Also, mastering a roast chicken with baby potatoes and carrots is the easiest (moderately impressive) thing you can throw together in a pinch.
9. Most memorable summer party you've ever thrown? At the risk of being cliché— I would have to say our wedding, mostly because it was the first grand scale India Amory event and the genesis of the business. I designed the original tablecloths for our wedding and when they were such a hit I added six more prints and launched the business six months later. On a more fun note, we generally throw a Labor Day party every summer for my husband's birthday—my party tricks aside from India Amory linens include a raw bar and hiring a reggae band, always crowd-pleasers!
10. Three India Amory pieces every summer entertainer needs? A complete set that enables you to throw together a party that looks more organized than you may feel: A round tablecloth, a rectangular tablecloth, and dinner napkins!
11. Two Go-to Entertaining Looks From J.McLaughlin
The Sussex Jacket
“I'm such a fan of a "day coat”. It's so easy to throw on over white jeans and a tee shirt on a warm day in the country or on top of an all black ensemble with ballet flats in the city! The easiest way to look pulled together in an instant is to have a closet full of fun jackets —this piece will be high on rotation for me well into the fall."
Anya Rattan Basket Tote
"My great aunt Harriet Dalton was the most elegant woman i've ever known —she was never without a pair of Belgians or her scrimshaw basket. This bag so reminds me of the elegance of a time when people actually got DRESSED! I love the idea of wearing it more casually with jeans, even though it is of course perfect for all evening occasions in the summer and fall."