Setting the table with our one of a kind bronze candlesticks and a mix of Bare and Pinch Collection pieces.
So Raina, what are you serving at your cocktail party?
I like to keep things easy and simple- an assortment of special cheeses, crackers and fruits. Lately my favorite wine is Trousse-Chemise Willamette Valley Pinot Noir. Also Coppola Blue Label Merlot. I have a few bottles of Helix Cabernet that I brought back from Seattle when I was on a shoot there. I have been saving them for a special occasion and this was the perfect time to open them.
Recently we got a glimpse into your gorgeous home in Martha Stewart Living. It surely is the perfect place to gather friends for an evening at home. What’s your entertaining style?
My favorite thing about this house is how easy it is to entertain in. We often have spur-of-the-moment gatherings. Potlucks, cocktail parties, gatherings around the fire pit and outdoor movie nights are the way to go. In the warmer weather we open up the French doors and the party flows from the living room and kitchen to the porch and garden. We try to push the seasons as much as possible by gathering around the fire pit. In the cooler weather we light the wood stove and move inside.
We often show outdoor movies, anything from Wes Anderson to older classics and recently I got my hands on a copy of Superstar- The Karen Carpenter Story. It's the first film by Todd Haynes while he was still in film school. He used Barbie dolls as all of the actors and it's strangely compelling.
Black, white, leather and bronze...textured linen and autumn flowers create the dramatic setting for cocktails with friends
To cook or not to cook?
I love to cook and am always trying new recipes. One of my go-to cookbooks is Cooking With Artists. The recipes are delicious, foolproof and easy- perfect for entertaining. I love to bake as well and my two no fuss, never fail, recipes are a Lenny's Almond Cake ( passed down from my friend Lenny) and Olive Oil Cake- both are winners everytime.
We designed our house with the generously sized kitchen as the center of the house- the dining/living room open off of it, as does the porch, making it the perfect place to gather. I used to have sit-down dinner parties where I obsessed over all the food and details but realized that everyone is busy and just wants a chance to relax and get together. Most of our friends are good cooks and having potluck dinners makes getting together delicious and easy for everyone. It allows us to have gatherings more often and they’re so much more relaxed.
The table you set for the shoot is so lush and sexy, what's your secret?
As much as possible I cut flowers from my garden, the woods and even the side of the road. My favorite local source is The Flower Market in Red Hook for cut flowers and the local cut-your-own farm down the street. The Montgomery Place Orchards farm stand is just down the street as well. It's my main source from spring until they close in the late fall for fruit, cheese - especially their Chaseholm Farm and Nettle Meadow cheeses. My linens have been collected over the years and come from many places- flea market and travel finds and even work backdrops that I re-use at home. When I need large tablecloths I use linen drop cloths from the hardware store.
Local cheeses, a good bottle of wine...mix vintage finds with Bare, Remo and Pinch collections and add our bronze serving set for impact.
We love seeing how a stylist and photographer collaborate to create inspiring imagery. Tell us about your work and in particular this collaboration.
I have admired Pernille's work for some time and reached out to her for this project. I felt her lighting sensibility would work beautifully. She and I had a discussion before we met up about the general idea and mood. I collect pottery, linens vintage silverware and knives along with lots of Mid Century Modern wooden serving pieces. My assortment mixed in beautifully with the DBO HOME pieces I chose to for the shoot.
My work ranges from prop styling for cookbooks to still life styling and interiors. My clients include the NY Times Magazine, Christies, Anthropologie, BlackCreek Mercantile, Home Goods as well as Martha Stewart Living and more. One of my favorite projects has been The Chelsea Market Cookbook,
My clients come to me with a space or product and a story and mood they want to tell. My job is to create that story from its conception through finding just the right props, backgrounds, or to design a set- whatever is needed to tell that story. Then once on set, I work with the client and photographer to see the conception through. I love that each shoot is different with unique needs and looks. There is a detective part of my job to seek out those unique pieces to "paint" the story.
And of course we always want to know... what's on your playlist?
My playlist for a cocktail party is mellow and ranges from Frank Ocean to Ella and Louie, The Tomppabeats, Nina Simone, Frank Sinatra and Solange.
We have a disco ball in the living room and we like to clear the furniture and crank up the dance tunes. Then the play list ramps up to Chaka Khan, Chance the Rapper, Beyonce, The Jackson 5, Talking Heads, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar, Aretha, Ms. Lauryn Hill, A Tribe called Quest, The Notorious B.I.G, Ludacris, Abba, Kool and the Gang, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, The Temptations, Chic, Ike and Tina, B-52's, David Bowie, The Clash, Culture Club, Gnarls Barkley, Snoop Dogg, Rolling Stones, Deee-lite and any early disco!!.......
Want even more inspiration? Check out our previous Tastemaker's Tables.
To see more of Raina’s https://www.rainakattelson.com and follow in Instagram @rainakattelson
To see more of Pernille’s work http://pernilleloof.viewbook.com
And follow on Instagram @pernilleloof