Hosting How-To: A West Coast-Inspired Friendsgiving

November 17, 2017

We love Thanksgiving—of course we do. Promise.

But as a Major Family Holiday, it comes with its share of rules and regulations, if you will. There are flights to catch, seating arrangements to abide by, and obligatory green bean casseroles to bake. And as for that dress, well, you already know what mom’s going to say. (Spoiler alert: It needs a belt.)

But Friendsgiving is an entirely different story. Anything goes at this laid-back cousin to Turkey Day. In fact, turn off the oven—you don’t even have to make a turkey.

On board? We thought so. Ready to host? Read on.

Sara Karkenny, a Los Angeles-based stylist and member of our visual team, invited us over for a peek inside her annual Friendsgiving. Under the California sunshine, she shares her tips for creating a casual, memorable meal to celebrate another year together.

Shop the Farmers’ Market

Sara lives in Los Angeles, so she wanted her menu to showcase southern California’s unique fall harvest—not, necessarily, traditional Thanksgiving dishes. “We shop the farmers’ markets every week, and for this meal, we really wanted to celebrate local food and the people behind it,” she tells us. On her menu? Roasted grape crostini, homemade apple cider, arugula salad, lemon garlic chicken, and a browned-butter pumpkin cake that we’d trade all the pies for.

Get the look: Food this gorgeous deserves some serious serveware. Sara mixed in family heirlooms along with the Brass Inlay Cheeseboard, the Metallic Lace Cake Stand, and the Focal Serving Bowl. (As for our lovely hostess, she’s pictured here in the Chenille Turtleneck Tunic.)

Think Outside the Dining Room

Friendsgiving is a casual affair, so there’s no need to dust off the formal dining room table. At Sara’s home—which she and her husband have affectionately nicknamed The Bungalow—space is scarce, so she took the party outside. “We call our patio our ‘dining room’ because our home is so tiny!” she says. “Our garden area is where we usually entertain, so we just dressed it up for the holidays.”

Get the look: File Sara’s all-seasons backyard under “things we love about L.A.” She cozied up for company with the Shag Floor Pillow, the Fringed Chevron Pillow, the Aldalora and Textured Outre throws, and the Nantucket Brass Lanterns.

Stay Neutral

In order to let the food take its rightful position at center stage, Sara opted for neutral décor, skipping the traditional warmer, orange-and-red palette of the season. To make the table feel occasion-worthy, she added plenty of gold flourishes and bouquets of red eucalyptus. “Friendsgiving is a beautiful place to experiment with your table décor” she says. “It can feel casual, but still special.”

Get the look: For her own outfit, Sara went with the boldly patterned Madrid Wrap Dress from Farm Rio. But she set the table’s tone with our much-loved, white-washed Glenna Dinnerware. Then, she added added glints of gold with the Mineral and Mimira collections and Doma flatware.

Hosting for the holidays? Shop entertaining essentials here

Photography by Angelica Marie Photography
Video by 618 Studios