Friday Guest Blog Interview: Jenn of HWTM!!

Friday Guest Blog with Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess!

I must admit that when I first began this blogging adventure it was all due to the inspiration of Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess. I loved her classy, modern approach to entertaining that was very DIY, as well as her fresh & resourceful website that shares so much fabulous inspiration {REAL Parties to this day is still one of my feature favorites!}.

Hostess with the Mostess is an innovative online resource for hip, modern, and unique entertaining ideas. Jenn’s designs and inspirations for party themes are fantastic! Her work is clever, contemporary and out of the ordinary — and her blog helps you to recreate with detailed how-to’s, where-to-buy’s, tips, and advice.

You might just find Jenn on one of the pages of your favorite magazines — she has been featured in Real Simple, Family Circle, InStyle Weddings, Better Homes & Gardens, on the Martha Stewart Show {and oh so much more!} and has designed fabulous celebrity showers and parties. Jenn is truly an entertaining expert!

Guest Blog Interview: HWTM

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So it’s only fitting that this incredible and well-accomplished designer be one of our featured Friday Guest Blog Interviews, and it’s with much excitement that I share Jenn’s wonderful answers to PDB’s four questions!

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{PDB Interview w/ Jenn of Hostess with the Mostess}


What inspires your design style?

I really do find inspiration all around – everywhere from interior design and wedding magazines to beautiful florals or even a super-cool toy that’s so eye-catching it deserves an entire party theme designed around it! I always try to incorporate great patterns into party themes, so the “go to” places where I actively seek out inspiration and ideas are usually scrapbooking or gift wrap aisles and websites.

When it comes to my sense of style, I definitely gravitate towards things with a contemporary vibe and am totally captivated by color. I love unexpected duos like vibrant orange & lime or bright yellow & charcoal gray. I also love bold, artistic floral arrangements, interesting typography and mid-century modern inspired design, like these modern chair pillows by Inhabit.

Guest Interview: HWTM

What do you love most about what you do?

There are really a few different things that immediately come to mind, but I’ve found that I’m genuinely happiest when I’m in the mode of actively designing a party and things are starting to “click”, so I guess you could say it’s the creative process itself. Whether it’s designing an inspiration board on the computer or actually arranging things in person, I just love that excited, almost giddy feeling that comes with creating something brand new and feeling good about how its shaping up!

I also LOVE the feeling of satisfaction that comes when you can tell that the person you’ve created a party for – whether it’s a friend or a client – is super happy with what you’ve done. Parties are all about making other people feel special, and when you can actually see your guests eyes light up when they walk into a room because they’re excited by what they see, that’s the coolest feeling ever.

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What are your favorite design trends?

Things seem to change so often in the (very large) realm of design, and I’m honestly not 100% sure what things are considered to be the “latest and greatest” right now, but I do adore all the bright colors and hi-gloss lacquer finishes that Jonathan Adler’s been demonstrating lately.

I also love all the nature-inspired prints that are being reinterpreted in a modern fashion – like these Botanica shopping bags by Envirosax or these Bougainvillea letterpress cards from Elum.

And call me a sweet tooth, but in the events arena, I’m still totally enamored by dessert and candy buffets…and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. They are just so much fun to put together! And 2 words: Amy Atlas. Need I say more?!

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What are three design suggestions that you would like to offer our readers?

{1} Get Inspired. Whether planning a party or decorating a room, try to start with an inspiration piece that you genuinely love, whether it’s a great centerpiece you saw online, a fabulous dessert from Gourmet, or some patterned throw pillows that you absolutely adore. When you have something that excites you to work from, it will make the entire planning process more fun. It will also help to make decisions easier because you’ll have something to base them off of… for example, you can ask questions like “Do these plates & napkins look good with my centerpiece?” or “Does this wall art match the colors in my throw pillows?”

{2} Personalize it. Personalizing your party (or invitation, room, etc.) will make it that much more special. If you’re throwing a party for a friend, try to start with a color palette and design style that you already know she/he loves. You’ll be surprised how much more rewarding this makes everything – both the planning and the party itself. For example, one of my closest friends absolutely adores the color orange, so I created a citrus theme for her bridal shower so we could feature LOTS of her signature color. There were footed bowls of oranges as centerpieces, glass cylinder vases lined with orange slices, orange table accessories, and even mini orange & yellow flower pots as party favors. In the end, this wasn’t just “a bridal shower for Sarah”… it was a “very Sarah” bridal shower. And trust me, there’s a difference! (especially in the eyes of the guest of honor) You can apply this same concept to everything from designing a room for yourself to creating an invitation for a design client.

{3} Details, Details. When it comes to parties, details really do make all the difference. Go the extra mile by adding a cute favor tag to your party favors or embellishing your centerpiece vases with some great paper or ribbon that also coordinates with the napkin rings. Serving signature drinks? Don’t forget the garnish! It doesn’t have to be difficult… a little rimming sugar or a simple skewer of raspberries can make all the difference to the look of that martini!

Thank you, Jenn!

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  1. Morgan says

    Nikki, thank you so much! I look forward to seeing you again around here :).

    I completely agree with Laura, Becca, Kim and Chris! Jenn is one-of-a-kind!

  2. P@ says

    3 days till Giveaway Monday!!! Can’t Wait. Ya, I’ll still check out PDB even if I’m leaving for a big fishing trip:) Love Jenn’s skyblue ocean fish vase! Great interview!! And dang, Amy Atlas has some insanely wicked colors.

  3. says

    I am a HUGE fan of Jenn’s work and her website is out of this world! I am new to this blog, and I must say, I’m so glad I found you. I will be back!

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