December 2, 2015 • PARTIES, STYLE SCHOOL
Style School: Fashionable Hostess on Dressing, Decorating, and Drinking in the Holiday Spirit
Amanda Saiontz Gluck may have lived in Nashville for less than a year, but given her penchant for throwing parties and welcoming friends at a moment’s notice, she nevertheless scores points when it comes to Southern hospitality.
Amanda grew up in Miami, but spent most of her adult life in New York, where her love for documenting her regular dinner parties evolved into a comprehensive lifestyle blog.
As Fashionable Hostess, Amanda shares recipes, entertaining ideas, and fashion tips with a rapt audience on her blog and Instagram. (She has a particular talent for transforming bar carts and mantels into veritable works of art.)
When Amanda made the move with her family to her husband’s hometown of Nashville last year, Fashionable Hostess came, too—and Amanda took full advantage of new opportunities for decorating and entertaining in the family’s beautiful Belle Meade home.
Here, our new friend in Nashville works Draper James into her fashionable holiday plans.
How will you be spending the holidays this year?
I spent Thanksgiving in Nashville with my husband’s family and will spend Christmas and New Year’s in Miami with my family. As long as I have family around, I’m happy!
This is your first holiday season in Nashville. What’s unique about this time of year in the South?
I just love driving through our neighborhood and slowly seeing all the holiday decorations going up on each home, from beautiful wreaths hanging on doors and windows to garlands looped around homes with gorgeous columns. People in the South really take pride in decorating their homes on the outside as much so as on the inside. As a new transplant from New York City, I really appreciate this.
To whom (or where) do you credit your enviable entertaining chops?
You are too kind and I am flattered! I would say my grandmother was the initial influence; she was (and still is) the queen bee of throwing dinner parties and events with the utmost most elegance and attention to detail. Whether it was a simple Sunday night dinner for all the grandchildren or a large holiday party with 100-plus people, she always set her tables with beautiful place settings, stocked the bar with big appetizer platters and of course, had way too much food. Since I started Fashionable Hostess, I now look to catalogs, Pinterest, and Instagram for new ideas.
What do you love most about entertaining this time of year?
I love decorating my home as much as I do my table. When summer turned to fall, I placed pumpkins in all shapes and sizes all over my home, from my front steps to my fireplace mantels. Now, with the holidays approaching, I have swapped in nutcrackers, garlands, and crystal figurines! There is nothing prettier than a decorated mantel as a backdrop to your dinner party table!
Tell us about the cocktail you served here and how you styled it with Draper James home items…
I made something perfectly festive for the holidays—a pomegranate Cosmo. (Here’s a great recipe.) I served the cocktails in gold-rimmed vintage stemware on top of my Draper James Ribbon Tray. I always love to sprinkle a few fresh pomegranate seeds right on top of the cocktails before guests arrive!
I used the Draper James Mint Julep Cup for a sweet arrangement of White O’Hara and Blue Ice Cedar (I love this greenery for winter). Then for food I served little bar snacks like popcorn in the Draper James Silver Pedestal Bowl. My favorite is the Draper James Coaster Set for guests to enjoy their beverages. Cheers, y’all!
As for fashion, what drew you to the combo of the Madison Bow Top and Francis Solid Fluted Skirt? How does it fit into your vision of holiday dressing?
I am obsessed with this outfit for holiday! The top is so sweet with the bow, and who doesn’t love a flirty skirt!? I paired the top and skirt with black booties, so I can move about a party comfortably, while still looking put together!