Intimate, casual gatherings will always feel more charming than big, fancy, catered soirees. That’s something the Nassau, Bahamas–based designer Amanda Lindroth knows all too well, and just one of the party-throwing pointers I picked up while I attended the opening of her new eponymous tabletop-focused shop in Charleston.
Lindroth—whose design work in Harbour Island we featured on the cover of our August/September 2017 Entertaining issue (below)—grew up in South Florida in the sixties and seventies, the heyday of Palm Beach glamour. After stints at both W Magazine and Gucci she moved to Nassau, another area blessed by tropical beauty and historic architecture. In 2010, she opened her firm there in the Bahamas and re-invigorated beachy, island style in the process.
Lindroth’s boutique in Charleston certainly harbors that same spirit. The first thing you smell when you walk inside is seagrass, which covers the floor. To soften the space into a truly intimate environment, her team draped coral-striped fabric from the ceiling and lined it up perfectly with matching striped grasscloth wallpaper, creating the illusion of a tent. The shop’s products range from overscale rattan lanterns to breezy cotton table linens, and she plans to add pieces from Charleston artisans.
As I sat next to Lindroth at the opening celebration dinner that night, I observed a few more tips I’ll be using when I gather friends this summer.
No matter the size of the event, give a toast before the meal to fête your guests.
In her toast, Lindroth explained why she chose Charleston for her shop and why each guest mattered to her. Her greeting was gracious and authentic—the opposite of stuffy. “We live in a world of complexity,” she says. “Making people feel welcome, loved, and looked after is the goal. All the subtle elements and layers matter. I always seat people super close together, so they are practically touching.”
Serve comfort food. It puts people at ease.
The made-from-scratch lobster pot pie and rice we all shared didn’t come from a corporate catering kitchen—it was instead prepared at Lindroth’s brother’s house down the street and walked to the tables at the shop where we were all sitting and talking. That homecooked meal to remember added to the relaxed atmosphere. People were definitely not afraid to ask for seconds!
Meaningful moments don’t have to cost very much.
Lindroth and her team took a sketch of a white cake with coral stripes (to mimic the tented shop interior) to a local Publix grocery store. The resulting dessert not only winked at the event but was done on a dime—inspiring.
Flowers aren’t the only centerpiece idea.
Lindroth stacked oranges in pyramids instead. Easy, edible, genius.
When in doubt this summer, add rattan.
From rattan-wrapped glassware and pitchers to vintage rattan seating, this woven material is Lindoth’s go-to for fashioning spaces and experiences that feel like vacations every day of the year—so much so that she launched a line of tabletop items and handbags in that style that are for sale in the Charleston store and online. “When I created the pieces, I felt there was a gap in the market,” Lindroth says of her collection. “I saw that so many nostalgic things had disappeared, like rattan-covered, oven-proof dishes. In my childhood I could buy them at the hardware store.”