Ask a Tastemaker: 5 neutral tablescape tips from Olivia Muniak

Whether you’re a fan of clean minimalism or love creating a calm moment amongst the brighter flourishes, neutral hues are the quiet heroes of style elevation. We enlisted chef and entertaining expert Olivia Muniak to create a neutral tablescape and cook a delicious lunch for our re-brand launch party with Style Union Home, and now, she’s sharing her top 5 tips on how you can replicate this forever-chic look for your next party!

 

1. Mix shades & textures 

Focusing on one color family and building a monochromatic table scheme amps up the drama and style. I recommend staying either in a warm or cool color story like warm whites mixed with earth tones and raw edge linen napkins with accents of gold. 

2. Add interesting shapes

Sourcing sculptural and bold ceramics, candle holders and vases (large or small) is an easy way to make any table feel high-design. Lots of retailers carry unique items that add a lot of interest to a table. Style Union Home, Evite's co-host for their event, specializes in handmade-in-L.A., small-batch tableware and artisanal accents that fit this tip to a T. Being the amazing partner they are, they’re offering 20% off of their ceramics with promo code EVITE20 right now! A few faves to consider from their collection include:

Frankie Bowl

Paige Pitcher
Patricia Pitcher
Malibu 3-Piece Place Setting

Winnie Tumbler

Ari Bowl in Blanc

Carlota Platter

Jack Raw Catchall

3. Keep glassware & flatware simple

I usually opt for low tumblers at a casual gathering. My favorite is the Bormioli Rocco “Bodega” glass—they are incredibly durable and I use them for everything from cocktails to wine or water and for desserts chilled like panna cotta. When it comes to flatware, I recommend finding a good-weight, minimal design or mix-matched vintage silver that can be used over and over no matter the occasion.

4. Bring in color through food & flowers

As a Chef, I think the table comes alive with the food. When creating a recipe, I always think about the colors as well as the flavors. And, as a woman who believes that food tastes better at a beautiful table, my gatherings are never without some sort of floral or greenery arrangement. I like to keep flowers in one color family that compliments the rest of the decor. Like in a neutral, warm-white table, I go for lots of green branches with a pop of color or white florals. 

5. Be thoughtful about your lighting

Lighting is one of the key ways to create atmosphere for a gathering. For daytime outdoor events, it’s important to think about shade for guests, and when it comes to the evening, go for low lighting. If your dining area is not equipped with dimmers on the light switches, go overboard on candles and it will create a magical atmosphere that encourages a relaxing evening at the table. 

PS...here's the Evite from this party so you can host an incredible luncheon or dinner party of your own!

Olivia Muniak is a self-taught chef who grew up in a New York City restaurant family. Under her brand La Cura, she creates enchanting food-focused events for clients like Nike, Moet Hennessey and Laura Mercier and has developed custom content and recipes for fashion and lifestyle and brands including Jenni Kayne and Anthropologie. Her entertaining philosophy is deceptively simple: Settings should be candle-lit, evenings always begin with a cocktail, and the conversation around the table should be as delectable and inspired as the food. 

In a word? Magic. 

 

In 2019, newly arrived in Los Angeles, Olivia hosted a series of intimate dinners out of her tiny West Adams backyard. The six-course, home-cooked, family style gatherings were as much about the relationships that sprouted around the table as they were about the thoughtfully presented food and wine. Supper Club, as she called the now-legendary evenings, remains at the heart of her food-centric brand, La Cura.

 

Now, Olivia brings this exceptional and seemingly effortless alchemy to a whole new level with select brand partners. Bespoke Supper Club experiences range from intimate dinner parties to high-profile events and brand activations.

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