Ringing In The New Year With Michael PurdyAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Recognized for his impeccable style and creatively, curated taste, Michael Purdy is a driving force in the California Design community. Serving as Director of Brand Development and more for Jay Jeffers, Purdy possesses a wealth of expertise in design, marketing and retail. But those who know him well, have been exposed to one of his greatest talents…his ability to elegantly entertain.
SETTING THE SCENE
When not running Jay Jeffers-THE STORE, hosting an event, or taking part in a charitable endeavor including the Trevor Project, Michael prefers to spend time in the kitchen at the couple’s San Francisco and Napa Valley homes. Two of the most visually captivating spaces, from the sheets to the cabinet pulls, there is a design delight around every corner. However, the most impressive element is Purdy’s gift of making everyone feel at home. We wanted to know the secret to his style and which holiday gets his creativity flowing…
“New Year’s is one of my favorite times to celebrate at home with friends and family. I tend to like house parties because going out on December 31st always seems a bit amateur. My husband Jay and I usually travel for the holiday, but when home I love to set a non-traditional holiday table”
Purdy’s Styling Tips…
- During winter, use a lush alpaca or wool blanket as your tablecloth to add a cozy foundation to your tabletop.
- Pick a nice, neutral “wintery” color palette, and let everything fall within that range of hues. I love shades of ecru, winter white, putty and caramel with accents of brass.
- Decorate the table with vintage accessories that provoke conversation, and add a playful spirit to the party.
- I love to use a champagne cooler or ice bucket for the floral centerpiece. It’s crucial to try and keep your flowers in the same range of colors for a nice visual balance across the landscape of your table.
- Don’t feel like everything on the table has to match. I love mixing glassware, dinner plates, and silver flatware. As long as the colors balance!
- Let candles rule the night! Everyone, and I mean everyone, looks better in low lighting. We sell these amazing “melting wax” votives at Jay Jeffers – The Store, that have a great brass insert that lifts out to easily change the candle.
- I love keeping everyone surprised throughout the evening. One of my favorite things to do is use the place cards to play a game so guests have to work together to determine where they are seated. Once I had the caterer randomly put red and blue cutout stars under each chair so after dessert each guest revealed their color and was matched evenly into teams for a game of charades. What they didn’t know is that I had secretly hired “Manservants” to act as coaches for the red and blue team. Wearing red and blue tracksuits, they made our guests do pushups or take a shot if they lost a round. It was hilarious and everyone really got into the team spirit!
My Favorite Party…
One of my favorite parties is our annual Christmas Day Caviar Pajama Party. There is nothing more fun than having all of your friends show up in their “naughty and nice” sleepwear to drink champagne and eat good caviar with all the fixings. A few years, we all took Muni (in our pajamas) to the theater to see whatever blockbuster film premiered that day. We got plenty of stares but people in San Francisco are always supportive of a costume.
Quick Fire Round!
If you could have dinner with six people (dead or alive) who would attend?
- Diana Vreeland
- Cary Grant
- Kris Van Assche
- Michelle Obama
- Sir Ian McKellen
Favorite Cocktail Recipe:
One of my Holiday favorites is a cocktail recipe by artisanal cocktail master Scott Beattie of Meadowood and Goose & Gander fame. The Bali Spice Old Fashioned is made with Bay Area local Breaking & Entering Bourbon, clove, cinnamon, star anise, orange peel, and bitters. It just tastes like a Fall or holiday party.
Here are some current (and a few old stand by) tracks I am loving for a party. It’s the perfect mix of a chill lounge moment with the occasional tune that forces you out of your chair to get the dance party started.
1. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – People Don’t Get What They Deserve
2. Jill Scott – Can’t Wait
3. Jill Scott – Fools Gold
4. Handsome Boy Modeling School – I’ve Been Thinking
5. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Sugah Daddy
6. D’Angelo & The Vanguard – Really Love
7. SPZRKT & Sango – How Do You Love Me
8. Savon – Always
9. Kaytranada – Whateva U Want
10. Jamie xx – I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times) (Skepta Remix)
11. Leisure – Hot Love
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