Entertaining with :: Lily Kanter

By Jenn Rose Smith

The stylish co-founder of our favorite decor company is a hostess I can relate to: she loves entertaining, setting a gorgeous table, throwing an impromptu party — but she doesn’t love to cook. When Lily Kanter isn’t busy at the helm of Serena & Lily, she’s soaking up life at home, the very place that inspired the fresh all-things-decor company she launched in 2004 with friend Serena Dugan. Just like the simple but chic housewares we crave from each catalog, Lily’s entertaining style is inspired by global travels, pattern, and candlelight. Lily used several products from the new holiday assortment for her cocktail party — and the entire collection launches today! So check out Lily’s cool entertaining style here and hop on over to Serena and Lily to stock up on some of your own…

*photography by Robert Herrick

Lily doesn’t cook, but orders from some of her favorite local places, like Foodniks in Tiburon or Comforts in San Anselmo, both of which use a lot of local and organic ingredients. Of course, her focus is much more on the décor…

My entertaining style in five words or less:

Welcoming, warm, casual, happy, and fun.

Current favorite color palette for parties:

Pewter grey and white with some fuchsia.

My dream dinner guests:

A family where everyone has a playdate: my kids, my husband, and me.

The perfect dinner party playlist includes:

The Viva la Vida station on Pandora. It works for the whole family. My boys (8, 9 and 12) actually think I’m in touch.

The entertaining rule I rarely break:

Having the entire party 100% ready before guests arrive.

My go-to cocktail:

This cider was first introduced to me at Serena & Lily’s holiday design review. Our design team presents their ideas for the season alongside a yummy cocktail. This one was my favorite!

Click here for Lily’s Spiced Bourbon Cider recipe

My favorite holiday tradition:

I always love to have a New Year’s Eve dinner party with 4-6 families.

What scares you about entertaining?

Not having enough food.

My must-have entertaining tool:

An abundance of candlelight.

The restaurant meal I’ll never forget:

A Moroccan feast in Marrakesh.

My signature entertaining dish:

I always love to have a beautiful crudité basket with seasonal, local veggies. It’s all about the colorful, artistic arrangement of food on a gorgeous platter.

The taste I’m always craving:

Savory, for sure. I really crave anything ethnic. I love Middle Eastern, Indian, and Moroccan.

My standard hostess outfit:

I don’t have a standard hostess outfit. Sometimes it’s dressy and sometimes it’s not, depending on the occasion.