A Charleston Dinner Party with Lucy Cuneo

By Camille Styles
a bucket of springtime blooms

According to Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo, we should only have items in our home that “spark joy.” I’ve been thinking about her little reminder with recent redecorating projects, and it’s certainly the ethos behind today’s featured artist, Lucy Cuneo, whose work is “a celebration of color, texture, natural beauty and abundance.” I first fell in love with Lucy’s unmistakeable style on Instagram, where she chronicles the beautiful life she shares with her husband and adorable baby boy in Charleston. (If you’re a fan of lush flowers, magnificent beaches, feminine fashion, and interiors porn, you’ll love this feed.) I was thrilled when Lucy agreed to let us take a peek at how she throws a dinner party, with springtime blooms and Southern charm to spare.

photos by belathée photography

What is your signature entertaining dish?

Whenever anyone comes over for a meal, there will always be a big salad. We always use arugula and usually add scallions, avocado, lemon, olive oil, and salt. Works every time!

What scares you about entertaining?

I always end up creating too many dishes. I get scared that people will feel obligated to eat something they would prefer not to, so I like to give them a variety of options. It can sometimes drive my husband crazy – there’s no “one pot” cooking in this house!

What is your current favorite color palette for parties?

A foolproof palette for parties that I find myself using again and again is blue, white, silver, and clear crystal or glass. These colors always look pretty and fresh, and together they can dress up any dinner table.

What is your must-have entertaining tool?

Candles. Growing up, my mom always lit candles at night (around the house and at the table) and we do the same. At the table, I prefer tapers to votives because taller candlelight gathers people into their glow (and is more flattering!).

What is your secret to a great dinner party?

Candles, laughter, good food, wine, a delicious mocktail for nondrinkers, and maybe a bit of dancing at the end!

What is the taste that you’re always craving?

Avocados and eggs. We eat both every day.

Lucy’s colorful crudité platter is right on time for spring entertaining.

Get our similar recipe here!

What items are always in your refrigerator?

Rosé, guacamole, eggs, butter, English muffins, and almond butter.

What does the perfect dinner party playlist include?

Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Lionel Richie, and Kygo.

What is the one restaurant meal you’ll never forget?

FIG is our favorite restaurant in town. We go there for special treat dinners. We like to stick to the top of the menu, in order to sample lots of smaller dishes. We often ask the waiter to pair wines with each course. It is invariably fun and always delicious.

What is the entertaining rule you rarely break?

My mother always says people only remember dessert, so, just in case, we make sure it’s delicious!

In the springtime, we are suckers for pink peonies. Lucy creates these beautiful floral art prints by photographing tons of our favorite flowers.

Shop her collection here!

What is your standard hostess outfit?

Ideally, a little comfortable dress, but I often end up in white jeans, a fun top, and sparkly earrings. I always kick off my shoes at home.

Who are your dream dinner guests?

The Obamas. But really, I absolutely love it when my entire family can get together. We have a huge, extended group, and everyone loves catching up so much that we usually celebrate into the wee hours of the morning. Those are my very favorite evenings.

Describe your entertaining style in five words or less:

Relaxed, cozy, fun, romantic, and… late!

The front porch of Lucy’s Charleston home is in full bloom this spring. We’re getting some serious inspiration for our own gardens.