Creating community is a beautiful and powerful thing, which is why we love nothing more than to see creatives coming together to support and celebrate each other’s work. And that is exactly what event designer Kristin Doggett of Bellafare sought out to do when putting together this thoughtful “Artfully Inspired” dinner in Charleston, South Carolina. Kristin felt immediately welcomed and impressed by Charleston’s community of local artists and designers after having made a big move there from NYC. Her desire to gather and celebrate these local creatives who deeply enrich the life of the city, resulted in an intimate stylish dinner party showcasing the works of talented local artists such as Way Way Allen, Dorothy Shain, Teil Duncan and Kate Long Stevenson.
“Charleston has a robust community of creatives in the events space who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting upon my recent move from New York”, says Kristin. “The opening of Gadsden House seemed like the perfect opportunity to collaborate with these other entrepreneurs on an exciting dinner that celebrates one of Charleston’s greatest treasures, its artists”.
“Prior to moving to Charleston, I put together a list of vendors and artists I was inspired by and wanted to collaborate with, including Hillary from Brandshop (above right), whom I co-hosted the event with”, says Kristin (above left). “Once the ‘Artfully Inspired’ concept was finalized, I immediately started contacting my wish list of vendors knowing they could help bring my vision to life in the most artistic way possible.”
By hand-selecting every tableware element from the chargers to the flatware, Kristin was able to mix together organic and modern pieces that you wouldn’t ordinarily see together to create a visually intriguing tablescape that beautifully complemented the evening’s artistic motif.
When setting a table, don’t try to match too much. My favorite designs stem from an eclectic mix of pieces that effortlessly blend together and offer depth and interest throughout the design. Kristin Doggett
The food perfectly carried out the evening’s theme as Salthouse Catering prepared each dish with a featured artist’s work in mind. The beet carpaccio salad was inspired by Way Way Allen’s geometric work, the roasted cauliflower and kale soup emulated Dorothy Shain’s paintings, and the tuna with fresh herbs and sweet potato strings was made with one of Teil Duncan’s beach scenes in mind.
Beach Scene painting (above) by Teil Duncan.
Painting (above) by Teil Duncan.
Figurative painting (above) by Kate Long Stevenson.
Kristin leaves us with some of her expert entertaining advice that is sure to be helpful when planning your next dinner party:
- More is less and preparation is key. Mix and match décor elements and don’t overthink it too much. I always try to prepare easy and fool-proof dishes ahead of time, cut fresh flowers from my garden, and set the table before guests even arrive. This way, you can be a guest at your own party.
- If you fall in love with something that you have to have, buy it now and figure out where it will go later. My mother-in-law taught me this and it always resonates with me whenever I am traveling or casually perusing boutiques. Because of this philosophy, my husband and I have lots of art, artifacts, and treasures that we like to mix and match and rotate throughout our home or tablescapes whether decorating or entertaining.
- Go with what makes you feel good. I am drawn to many different styles and appreciate various forms of art though I always seem to go back to what brings me great happiness but might not be as much of a risk.