Bryan Batt is amazing. The man is seriously talented.
Aside from his roles on Broadway, TV (can I get a little love for Mad Men!?) and the big screen, Batt is also an accomplished designer, shop owner and author of She Ain't Heavy, She's My Mother and big, easy STYLE. If you haven't checked out his shop Hazelnut, which he co-owns with partner Tom Cianfichi, it's a required stop on any trip to New Orleans. I popped in recently to get some party planning advice from a pro.
Batt created two GORGEOUS, eclectic table settings for Hammer-and-Heels and offered suggestions for a relaxed and romantic dinner party, whether it's for two or twenty. His first setting is pink, grey and floral-inspired, while the second seamlessly blends metallic golds and silver. Batt's not afraid to break the rules, mixing a plastic tumbler with his crystal stemware, using a picture frame as a place card, a bracelet as a napkin ring or adding whimsical salt and pepper shakers.
Anne: When planning a party, where do you look for inspiration?
Bryan: "Wherever you get your inspiration, it doesn't matter. Just as long as you use it and be inspired when you're setting a table or when you're decorating your home. Be inspired. You know, have fun with it, have a sense of humor. It's your home, you have to be happy in it. And make it pretty. You only go around once!"
Anne: Your shop is eclectic. Does that reflect your personal style?
Bryan: "I'm a firm believer in mixing everything. These wonderful goblets, these wine glasses are very affordable and bring a bit of elegance to the table. We have this smoked color and we have them in amber and green."
Anne: How do you know when you've found the right combination?
Bryan: "I think your home and your design should be like a good cocktail. It should be shaken and stirred and mixed up. And I like different styles too. As long as something is true to its form, you know, I think its right. But as far as mixing, your eyes aren't really going to lie to you. If it looks right, it probably is."