Arthur McLaughlin Sets the Stage for New Year’s Eve in The City


Arthur McLaughlin is known for setting the stage in many of San Francisco’s premiere homes. We asked the savvy designer to share his tips for designing a delightgul New Years in the city of fog.

“San Francisco is a destination city, and if you live there you may find you have quite a few friends and family finding a reason to drop by during the holidays.  That’s why it’s nice to color your holiday celebrations with some local San Francisco flavor.”

“My secret to entertaining is finding time for a little nap during the day – it allows me to extend my evening quite late. My favorite place for a nap is nestled on my custom sofa, along with a favorite pillow and Hermes throw to keep me warm.

“Even in the winter, we San Franciscans are spoiled with fresh, local produce. I love to serve a refreshing before-party beverage, using a combination of freshly squeezed orange juice and mint from my garden, topped with a splash of Pellegrino. I serve it in the Malfatti red wine glasses I get from March. They are actually designed for Cabernet, and I love the scale and the fact that they’re hand-blown.”

“Now we can prepare for the evening. For an event like New Year’s Eve you can’t skimp on the flowers.  I love abundant arrangements using woodland elements and a rich color palette – they are perfect for winter entertaining and they last forever. 

“We bought our Puiforcat Cardinal sterling silver flatware at Neiman Marcus, but now you can only get the line in Beverly Hills.  It’s the perfect mix of elegant and modern, and sterling silver lasts forever. Use your silver every day – it’s not just for special occasions!”

“I’ve furnished several of my homes with pieces from Coup D’etat, and I love this sofa.  It’s perfect for New Years – they call it the “Party Sofa.”

“I am married to a Swiss man, so we often serve Swiss Raclette for a festive meal. My raclette machine has been a treasure for many years. (Think decadent melting cheese scraped onto steaming potatoes and served with an assortment of charcuterie – simply delicious).  You can get your own raclette machine stateside at Williams Sonoma.”

“My favorite place to find raclette cheese is at Cowgirl Creamery in the Ferry Building.  The Ferry Building makes such a wonderful outing during the day, and its very San Francisco – if you have out -of-town guests, bring them along!”

Recipe:  “Not only do I get my cheese there, but I get my fresh greens for a great salad at the Ferry Building farmers market. This Martha Stewart salad recipe is a favorite of mine – the sweetness of the hazelnuts and the acid of the citrus pair perfectly with rich raclette cheese.”

“For a gathering of in-town guests, Neighborhood pillows from my company showroom, Panhandle Home, give your party favors a personal touch.”

“Topping off the evening with great chocolate is a must, and my favorite is Christopher Elbow Chocolate (the drinking chocolate is to die for!).” 

New Year’s Play List: 

Follow Arthur McLaughlin & Associates at:

More news: