Entertaining with Simplicity

> Story by Kirsten Rue
> Photography by David Agnello

CROP-FOR-CRISTINE
You’ve just left a fabulous party. What do you remember most? Is it the wine? The décor? The appetizers? Chances are, it is none of these, but rather the conversations that stick with you—the jokes told and the pleasure of meeting new friends.

This is exactly what Janet Munro emphasizes in her approach to entertaining. As the founder of Simplify, she works with clients to help them organize, stage, and design spaces to unlock a stylish, organic simplicity. “Throwing a party in your home doesn’t have to be stressful or overwhelming,” she says. “The point of having a party is to get together with your friends and have a memorable time together. Let’s focus on what’s most important: creating a welcoming atmosphere for all your guests to enjoy.”

Follow her simple tips to throw a warm and beautiful gathering of your own.

Getting Started

Prepare a few things ahead of time, whether it’s organizing flowers and candles, or throwing together the ingredients for a great appetizer so it’s oven-ready.

150122_2823

Décor

Less is definitely more! If things are too busy, your guests won’t be able to set down their drinks or take a breather. “For me, candles are a must. Harsh ceiling lights make us feel like we’re still at the office, whereas the toasty glow of lamps and candles are very mood-inspiring.”


150122_2817

The Food – Put together your own classy spread full of variety.

Choose food options that are easy to prepare, taste great, and satisfy any dietary restrictions. “Gone are the ‘Mad Men’ party days of cigarettes, ashtrays, and martinis during the work day! This is the era of vegetarian, vegan, and paleo diets. Make your menu inclusive so no one is stuck with an empty plate.”

150122_2636

Charcuterie Platter

3 CHEESES
Manchego
a mellow and slightly nutty sheep’s milk cheese
Hard cheese
aged cheddar or Gouda
Soft cheese
Brie, chèvre, or crumbled blue For wine pairings: Drunken Goat, Midnight Moon, or Humboldt Fog

Hard salami
chirizo, a bit on the spicy side
Prosciutto
Thinly-sliced sausages, easy to grill the day before

Select your accouterments:
Sweet or spicy mustard

3 meats
Hard salami
or chorizo
(a bit on the spicy side)
Prosciutto
thinly sliced
Sausages
grilled beforehand

ACCOUTREMENTS
Sweet or spicy mustard,
fig or quince jam, honey
Crackers, flatbreads
Sliced pears or apples,
grapes, figs
Walnuts, marcona almonds
Olives

150122_2558
Pressed for time? An even easier option is to order items to be served. “My insider tip is to order up a gorgeously presented charcuterie platter from Aspens Market on the West Bank—delicious, and bam, you’re done! Sometimes I also pick up my favorite appetizers from restaurants in town: I love the tuna tartare at Rendezvous Bistro and the smoked trout platter from The Blue Lion.”

The Bar

Keep the bar streamlined—offer two types of wine, beer, and a signature cocktail. Fewer options mean less stress for guests, and work well with space limitations. The signature cocktail pictured to the right is a paloma, a refreshing combination of tequila, lime, and grapefruit.

150122_2592-Edit

150122_2598

Flowers

Flowers bring immediate comfort to social settings, and are a lovely and affordable way to add a splash of refinement to the home. Arrange your flowers around different seating areas. “I always recommend flowers and a candle in the entryway and guest bathroom. This welcomes your friends into the home.”

150122_2807

Munro recommends the Jackson Hole Flower Co. in Wilson or Jackson Whole Grocer for great quality flowers. Once more: Don’t overwhelm your spaces. Keep flowers and candles low so that guests can see over them while they converse. The single stems pictured in this kitchen and on the bar cart are pretty and vibrant on their own.

flowersonwhite

Other ideas? Bud vases with one graceful stem, or embrace the current trend for a small succulent in a quirky container, such as a teacup or under a glass bowl.

Mingling Space

Facilitate relaxing areas for a large group by moving furniture around and creating small seating areas that encourage conversation. “The kitchen always has a buzz of activity around it, so make some other comfortable areas for groups to chat. At this party, I created seating arrangements around the fireplace, at the kitchen bar, and at the dining table.”


FullSizeRender-1

CRISTINE-2-EDIT

About Simplify

Janet Munro: “I started Simplify in 2011 after I had a series of life event changes and subsequently downsized my living space. I enjoyed it so much more! Since then, I’ve made the personal decision to live a more simple life all around. After all, you are not your stuff. If you’re at a point where too many materials are weighing you down, Simplify your life. It’s not about getting rid of your treasured possessions, but rather accessing what is important to you and keeping only those things. I love combining cherished heirlooms with modern pieces: This expresses my clients’ personalities and makes their environments so much more comfortable.”


150122_2718

For luxury rentals and real estate in Teton Village, as seen here, contact Meredith Landino at 307-690-8028 or meredith.landino@jhsir.com