Dining by Design: People, Place and Palate

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have dinner with your favorite "icon", whether they be a celebrity, author, design icon or other public figure? Have you been to dinner at a friends home and been awestruck by the warmth, intimacy and creativity they invested to make the evening so special? What is it that they do differently? How do they add their own signature style? What do they talk about? Expect? Serve?

Several months ago, I started posing a Question of the Week on Fridays on Twitter. A recent question brought about rapid-fire replies.
I was intrigued by the response and conversations that followed. As I read each one, I realized that despite our multiple connections and ability to reach out to other 24/7/365 - thanks to technology and social media channels - people are still longing for more personal connections; a disconnect that Toyota did such a fabulous job poking fun at!

With that in mind, I decided to delve a bit deeper, and thus the decision to start this blog series, “Dining by Design” was born. You know, it is proven that a “family that dines together, stays together”. We all eat dinner everyday; but do we make the most of the experience? Are we creating opportunities to create a place for connecting, laughing, learning and sharing meaningful conversation….
Ok, so we can all agree that really isn’t a prime example of typical dinner conversation. Funny, classic dining scene, though, one must admit and with a well-designed interior too!

In designing spaces for clients, one of the most critical elements is to ensure that the home functions well for the family that resides there. Are designers’ personal experiences and views on dining reflected in the designs they create for their clients? These are the things I started thinking about and some of the questions I asked in order to gain insight on how we all handle, participate and view the dining experience with family and friends as it relates to a life well-lived.

Interior Designer, Jan Showers via
What better way to start such a fabulous series than to reach out to those you identified as tops on your to-dine-with wish list. My hope was that they would be welcoming to the idea and that they most certainly were; as well as humbled that so many had considered them in such a place of honor! 

Interior Designer, Barry Dixon via
I’m thrilled to share these amazing interviews with you – charming, lively, humorous and inspiring. This is about much more than design. Get ready to get personal! Each post with invited guests will reveal intimate, soul-filled and sincere interpretations. Family stories, history, heirlooms, occassional recipes and what each individually feels is most important for great dining: people, place or palate!

I know you are dying to see some names, so here is an inaugural reveal......drumroll, please: 

Brandon Smith (@dcoopsd)
Charlotte Moss (@CharlotteMossNY)
Courtney Price (@courtneymprice) 
Jamie Herzlinger (@JamieHerzlinger) 
Jan Showers (@JanShowers)
Kelly Hoppen (@IMKellyHoppen) 
Martyn Lawrence Bullard (@MartynBullard) 
Mary Douglas Drysdale (@maryddrysdale) 
Meredith Heron (@meredithheron) 
Patti Johnson (@PJohnsonInt)

..... and there will be many more! Exciting, right? I know, I feel it too! Believe me, it's a temptation to want to serve them all up to you at once but they are better spread out, like courses in a well-planned meal, so you can savor every juicy bit!

It’s has been so much fun, figuratively, sharing a seat at the table with so many through these interviews. Now, many of your favorites are on my future must-have-dinner-with list too!!

Interior Designer, Martyn Lawrence Bullard via
I hope the series whet’s your appetite with great ideas and inspiration to make your personal dining experiences more memorable, creative and fun!

See you back here for more Dining by Design next week and each week following! In the meantime, leave a comment here on the blog and tell me, who would you invite to dinner?

Bon Appetit! ~ Sarah
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