With holiday parties on the brain, we knew we needed tips from someone who entertains like a boss. So we turned to Samantha Wasser, Co-Founder and Creative Director of by CHLOE. and the upcoming The Sosta, for tips on how to wow our friends and what to gift them! Shop all of Wasser’s picks in her Gifts for the Entertainer guide on Spring, and read her top tricks below.

Q: What is your top tip for home entertaining?
A: Setting the mood is the best starting point for any successful home gathering. Music, lighting, candles, flowers, the experience that envelops your guests when they first arrive sets the tone for the whole evening! Food and drink may be important, but don’t neglect the rest!

Q: What makes a party great?
A: A combination of great people, great food and drinks, and a great setting. That’s the trifecta!

Q: What’s one detail that gets overlooked too often?
A: Since moving into my new house earlier this year, I have grown to appreciate how much a fresh flower arrangement can change a room. I think small details like that add something special to even the smallest dinner party.

Q: What inspired your curation?
A: It was a combination of what I would love to have in my own home, and what I would love to give as a hostess gift during this upcoming holiday season. I thought about a few of my friends that will be having holiday parties for extra inspiration.

Q: Can you pick your three favorite items out of the collection and tell us why you love them?
A: The [Lostine] Albert Candle Holder – I love the fact that these are different from your standard gilded candle holders. These are casual enough to use during the week, but still unique enough for a special occasion.

[The Citizenry] Asante Serving Bowls – this is a fool-proof hostess gift. Everyone needs bowls like these – they are perfect for fruit, or for serving tasty snacks with drinks when your guests first arrive.

[Georg Jensen] Cafu Extra Small 24K Gold Plated Vase – please see my note above re: my newfound love of flowers! These are simple and beautiful. I’d love to make a small arrangement for a coffee table or dessert display with this beauty.

Q: How would you describe your career? What’s coming up next for you?
A: My career is exciting in the sense that I get to create something new every day. As the Creative Director and Co-Founder for three fast-casual concepts, including by CHLOE. and our upcoming new Italian concept, The Sosta, my days consist of finalizing designs, selecting textiles, taking small steps every day to see a visual idea come to life. Up next, we’ll be opening additional by CHLOE. locations in New York, Williamsburg and Boston, plus, the first location of The Sosta will open in January so 2017 is shaping up to be super busy and exciting.

Q: What have you learned about entertaining from having your own restaurants?
A: I’ve learned that it always comes down to your guest. Every tweak, recipe, design that we do for by CHLOE. on a day to day is all for the benefit of our customers. When I entertain at home now, all my plans circle around how to make my guests happy and comfortable. The common thread through it all is hospitality, and that is something that our company really does excel at.

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