Last week, I hosted a book signing party at my house to celebrate the release of what is hands-down one of the most beautiful new books of 2019: Travel Home, Design With a Global Spirit, by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel.

Caitlin and I met a decade ago at a blogger conference, and over the years she’s become one of my best friends through the births of our children, growing our companies (in addition to her blog, Caitlin is an incredible San Francisco-based interior designer), and basically becoming adults. Julie is her co-author and extremely talented mother (!!) and I was so excited when they shared they would be spending over a year traveling the world together to write a book. I’ve always admired Caitlin’s attention to the tiniest detail as well as her impeccable taste, so I knew this book would be special.

More on the book in just a bit, but first: the party! Adam and I invite friends for so many impromptu gatherings at our house, so I thought it would be fun to share some snaps of what a casual party looks like at home. It was a sunny day in Austin, but as 6 pm neared, storm clouds started rolling in. I opened up the back doors and lit all the candles in the house, and as the rain started, it felt moody, dramatic, and so fall.

Caitlin stacked copies of the book in a corner of my living room, so guests could purchase a book and get it signed.

Travel Home explores interiors that have been inspired by their owners’ far-flung travels — and shows the reader how to use their own experiences as the jumping off point for curating beautiful design ideas. The home tours reference inspiration from Marrakesh, Paris, Cuba, Tokyo, Portugal, and beyond. The photography by Peggy Wong is jaw-droppingly beautiful, and the interviews will make you laugh, give you warm fuzzies, and make you want to book a flight to somewhere exotic – and add a few new decor touches to your home. This book has lived on my dining table for the last month, and simply flipping through its pages gives me a needed burst of beauty in my day.

Since the party was more of a come-and-go, grab a glass of wine and mingle type of thing, Caitlin and I wanted to keep the food simple, and also didn’t want to spend a ton of money. Which meant it was the perfect excuse for me to go hog wild with creating a massive cheeseboard that would play double duty as sustenance and table centerpiece.

I headed to Trader Joe’s that morning and wandered the aisles, filling my cart with a variety of cheeses, charcuterie, jars of tapenades and dips, fresh fruit, nuts, pickled veggies, and interesting seasonal crackers. I bought all the food, sparkling waters, and flowers for all over the house for under $200, which I felt pretty good about for feeding a crowd of 30 people.

Chalk Hill Estate Winery sent us yummy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay for the party, and I rented a crate of wine glasses so I wouldn’t have to wash dishes afterward.

Just add a bunch of my favorite women, some good tunes, and a surprise massive rainstorm, and we had ourselves one unforgettable evening! This party was definitely a testament to the fact that being intentional with just a few details (beautiful cheese board, good wine, and a fun reason to get together like a book launch) is all you need for a really great party. When you don’t sweat the small stuff and have fun, your guests will, too.

Huge congrats to Caitlin and Julie — I LOVE THIS BOOK and I know that y’all will too! Click here to pickup a copy of your own, and buy an extra copy to gift someone for Christmas this year. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love it.

3 comments
  1. 1
    Shanna | October 30, 2019 at 6:21 am

    Where is your dress from? Gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Tessa | October 30, 2019 at 9:45 am

      Fell in love with that dress too… looks amazing!

      Reply
  2. 2
    Gail Hall | October 30, 2019 at 6:48 pm

    Looks so cozy. Fabulous!

    Reply
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