Recipes in this Story
Lemon Verbena Tisane
Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
Tomato and Mint Salad
Apricot-and-Sage Butter Cookies
Written by Krissa Rossbund
Photographs by Peter Rymwid and Peter Krumhardt
Anyone who has word processing software set to auto-correct misspelled words knows better than to trust the computer’s suggestions. But spell-check hits the target with the last name of Palm Beach designer Jennifer Garrigues when it offers gregarious as an alternate. There’s no doubt about it: Gregarious aptly describes this decorating dynamo.
For an event in the dining room she designed for the Stately Homes by the Sea Showhouse in Rumson, New Jersey, Garrigues infused power and pizzazz into a classic space rich with decadent moldings and architectural niches. Vibrant pink, coral, mustard, and orange mingle to create an environment that sets stuffiness aside, creating a gathering both relaxed and spirited.
“When I walked into this room, the first things I noticed were all the incredible moldings,” says Garrigues. “During a recent trip to Morocco, I bought a bunch of things that were just as visually delicious. So I decided to marry the two.”
A round table clothed in white linen sets the stage for a mélange of intricately ornamented tabletop treasures. Mother-of-pearl chargers provide a contrast to the formal porcelain used for the gold-rimmed dinner plates. Mismatched but coordinating accent plates pair with pink linen napkins edged in metallic ruffles. Glassware is elaborately embellished as well. Traditional etched wineglasses are paired with hand-painted Moroccan tea glasses in saturated hues. Hammered stainless flatware adds another layer of texture.
Wherever guests are seated, they can view the room’s interesting furniture and accessories—guaranteed to spark lively conversations. Between a pair of French doors dressed in panels made of a shimmery sheer fabric and shocking pink saris, an antique wedding chest sparkles with mother-of-pearl inlay. A mirror from Syria is also framed in mother-of-pearl. An Indian textile in bold yellow and red hangs on the wall.
“Using exotic colors is the best way to entertain,” believes the blah-banishing designer. “They energize you. How can luscious color help but make you happy?”