Even if you have never visited the town of Atchison, Kansas, you may have heard of it as the location of the well-known Nell Hill’s home decorating store, owned by Mary Carol Garrity, whose blog posts on decorating ideas are syndicated in newspapers across America. Garrity’s lush, layered traditional decorating style delights the eye in her book Nell Hills Entertaining in Style: Inspiring Parties and Seasonal Celebrations.
Garrity advises her friends and customers to “develop your own style of entertaining, because when you entertain in a manner that comes naturally to you, you’ll have as much fun hosting the gathering as your friends will have attending it.”
The wonderful color photographs in this book were taken of parties in Garrity’s 130-year-old home as well as in the homes and gardens of her friends. This is a book to take your time with, to study at leisure.
Garrity begins with an introductory chapter and then divides the book into four sections–one for each season. In the Spring section, she showcases a great Mardi Gras party, a ladies’ luncheon to herald the season, a sophisticated Easter brunch in her home, and dining under the stars. The Summer section features a backyard shrimp peel and sushi party, a picnic in the park, an enchanted summer evening and a sip-and-see to welcome a new baby.
The Autumn section has a fall mini-fete in the garden, an adult Halloween party, an elegant Thanksgiving table, and an after-shopping chocolate gathering. In the party about Winter, she showcases different styles of Christmas meals–morning, dinner and supper as well as a New Year’s Eve party and Valentine’s Day table for two.
This book is the compilation of Garrity’s many years of experience both selling tabletop décor and listening to her customers most-often-asked questions about entertaining. Nell Hill’s is renowned for its tabletop medleys, and the book shows you how you can create similar effects. This book is ideal for people who are intimidated at the thought of throwing a fun but elegant party. Garrity’s tips and tricks explain how to break down each step into a usable plan.
Nell Hill’s is never busier than at Christmastime, and Garrity has also produced a book, Nell Hills Christmas At Home, where she turned her attention to the specifics of holiday decorating. With her unmistakable style and warmth, Garrity offers ways to beautify your home throughout the season. Be prepared to mark the pages you want to go back to study. What great Christmas gifts for the party host!
Entertaining in Style can be found online.
Nell Hills Christmas at Home is also available online.