This month in Charlotte’s House Beautiful column she writes about “Starting your own Traditions.” Some rituals become so much a part of our lives that we act instinctively: planning the annual family picnic and softball game, dressing up for Thanksgiving at Grandma’s, the “wrap of summer” oyster roast, or collecting change for UNICEF at Halloween. They’re not only how we celebrate but a part of who we are. Her friend, DeJuan Stroud, just published his first book on the subject, Designing Life’s Celebrations (Rizzoli) and here’s a sneak peak at what’s inside.
In DeJuan’s introduction he writes, “I wrote this book to share what I’ve learned and to show how details can enhance an experience and set it apart. When you are designing your table, I encourage you to examine the elements; notice color palettes; consider composition and placement; and pay attention to the surroundings. Through the parties featured in this book, I explore many of the details associated with home entertaining. From the curvy vine of a clematis to a baby artichoke weighting a napkin, each element has been carefully selected to provide balance and counterbalance.”
Jon and Dorothea Bon Jovi, who wrote the Foreword, explain, “What we love most about DeJuan is that his vision is our vision – he creates what his clients want, not what he wants. As you look through this gorgeous book you will see many different party spaces and floral arrangements, but they all have the following qualities in common: they are tasteful, elegant, and fun, which is exactly how we would describe DeJuan. Together we have had so much fun doing these parties. He is sweet and has a good sense of humor, and he doesn’t take his work so seriously that it becomes overbearing. Our guests always ask how we create such incredible parties; they think we must have a million meetings about details, and planning, but honestly, after so many years DeJuan knows exactly what we want even before we do, because he has been listening all that time.”
Charlotte’s advice? “Be inspired! Start a new tradition, or give an old one a new lease on life. Soon everyone will be squirming with excitement and anticipation – I guarantee it.”
You can purchase Designing Life’s Celebrations at the Rizzoli bookstore, 1133 Broadway, New York, NY 10010, On Amazon or at a local bookstore near you.
All images courtesy DeJuan Stroud, Designing Life’s Celebrations, Published by Rizzoli April 5, 2016. Photographed by Monica Buck.