Southern hospitality is thriving in Heather Chadduck's home right down to the last pineapple embroidered napkin. The designer stylist of Birmingham, Alabama knows how to make her guests feel at home which is why I suspect her invitations are so coveted. The quirky details, like the number backed chairs and beads on the table, will provide instant topics of conversation for even tongue tied guests. Read on to get the inside scoop on how she creates the perfect evening for herself and her guests. Enjoy!
The perfect setting for a swell evening, Heather Chadduck's dining room.
Tell me about the occasion and meal you made.
I love a dinner party! I love to set the table, arrange the centerpiece, plan the meal, all of it! This one was to celebrate an annual girls trip to Birmingham. There’s a group of us who have been friends since grade school. I like to invite my new friends, too. It’s nice to mix the old and new friends, just like old and new china, it brings character to the table. My husband and I prepared a rustic Italian meatball dinner with a simple salad and dessert.
What influences your menu choices when you entertain?
It’s fun to migrate during the evening. For example, we may start with a charcuterie and cheese board by the outdoor fire, move inside for dinner and retire to the living room for coffee and freshly baked dessert.
Heather Chadduck Interior Decorator, Textile Designer and Magazine Stylist
Has anyone been a strong influence in teaching you the l'art de recevoir?
My mother has always told me that being prepared for an event is the best way to put your guests at ease. She will often set the table days in advance, I’m very much like her in that regard.
Who or what has most inspired your entertaining style?
Both of my parents are gracious entertainers and cooks. I grew up with a lot of dinner parties in our home, and was always enlisted to help set the table. Flowers are a must, not just on the table but throughout the house. I usually buy a few fresh blooms to make smaller bouquets, and clip branches and leaves from the yard for a bigger impact.
These large fronds are called rice paper plants. They are a Southern
variety that last for weeks when kept in water.
Do you have a favorite china or tabletop item that you collect?
I collect LOTS of china! My Classic white ironstone collection has over 400 pieces displayed in the original butler’s pantry in our kitchen. My Father gives me a piece for each Birthday and Christmas. We use it for everyday meals. There are several more sets of china stashed away that we have either inherited or couldn’t resist at a flea market. For more formal settings, like this one, I like lots of layers. Placemats, chargers and stacks of white china rimmed with platinum bands. My favorite topper is this Hermés Chaine D’Anchre in Gray-Platinum. I buy silver plated goblets whenever I see them. I love them mixed with the crystal glasses. (Waterford Ballyshannon)