entertaining, tabletop inspiration

A Simple + Intimate Italian Dinner Party

I've always taken pride in the inspirational and aspirational tabletops that we create here on coco+kelley, but if you want to see how I really entertain in my own home... well, it's probably somewhat similar to you. I keep it simple, but meaningful, with a focus on quality. Quality time, interactions, food, wine, you name it. I like to add special touches, and make people feel like they're family. Which can only mean one thing: PASTA.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

For us Italians, gathering around the table with loved ones is essential to our existence. When hosting guests in my own home, I set a simple table, but - as we say around here - it's all in the details....

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

My father always speaks of a vivid memory he has of coming home from school, walking into his home, and smelling our family red sauce recipe simmering on the stove. The kids would try and sneak a piece of bread to dip in the sauce, and his mother (and no doubt, aunties) would chase them out of the kitchen with a wooden spoon.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

So, I decided it would be a sweet touch to leave a small wooden spoon on each place setting for this casual dinner party. A small expense, with a big impact, and the chance to tell a story about family and food. The 'Grazie' tags add the perfect finishing touch.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

Next - the centerpiece. This required very little effort on my part - simply a few snips from our Camellia tree, and a few vases I already own, and we're done.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

And finally, of course, we set the table. This is where we go back to that part about quality that I mentioned in the beginning of this post. The quality of ingredients we put into our food, is just as important as the quality of items we purchase for our home.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

Fortessa is a brand you may remember us talking about before on coco+kelley - remember this trip to Sonoma? Well, each dish and piece of stemware on this table is theirs, and is proudly being carried now at Williams-Sonoma.

To refresh your memory, Fortessa is a company who has been providing tabletop items to high end hotels and restaurants for years. Their product is as durable as it is beautiful, and now we can all own it.

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

an easy and intimate italian dinner party setting | coco kelley for williams sonoma and fortessa

And while I wish I could invite all of you to enjoy a place at my table, one thing you can enjoy is a chance to win the same trip to Sonoma that we took back in October! You'll stay at the Fairmont Sonoma, enjoy a cooking class at the original Williams-Sonoma store, and - of course - there will be wine. You have until the end of the month to enter, so head over there now!

Also - the recipe for that yummy pasta dish is coming your way tomorrow!

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photography by meghan klein for coco+kelley

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Fortessa. The opinions and text are all mine.