Date: December 30, 2018 | Story: Tiffany Adams | Photography: Nancy Nolan |
Valentine’s Day Soirée: Wine, cheese, and fondue set the scene for a laidback couples gathering
For the final installment of her yearlong party idea series with At Home in Arkansas, Little Rock designer Tobi Fairley invites us into her dining room for a Valentine’s Day get-together. Fittingly, the room is adorned in pink while red roses, berries, and wine fill the table, a color combo ideal for the holiday. “I wanted this couples dinner to be a little dramatic yet romantic. When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think roses and diamonds, and more of a luxe occasion,” the designer says. Read on to see how she created a small gathering that seems to invite guests to linger over both food and conversation.
Classic red and pink roses in simple glass containers fill the table. “I often pair these colors together for this holiday. I think it speaks to both the masculine and feminine side,” Tobi says. To create a bold impact, she groups only one color of a bloom in each vase and then places the arrangements near one another.
“There are so many people who like the social aspect of entertaining, but not the formal aspect of pulling together the details. This party is for them. It looks amazing, but it’s deceivingly simple.”
— Tobi Fairley, designer
Beauty Meets Bounty
Tobi lined the center of her dining table with fruit, cheese, bread, nuts, pastries, and meats that pair well with or can be dipped in the chocolate fondue. “I wanted this to feel like a bounty of options,” Tobi says. The spread, which invites guests to nibble throughout the evening, is arranged on a chalkboard table runner, making it easy for the hostess to write in the names of cheeses for guests to sample. Tobi and her husband, Carter, keep wine corks from favorite bottles, writing the date or occasion on them as a remembrance. She scattered these around the table as part of the décor.
Fondue of You
“For years, I’ve had a Le Creuset fondue pot, and I’ve been looking for just the right time to use it,” Tobi says. Knowing chocolate was a natural fit for Valentine’s Day, she placed the fondue pot at one end of the table, thus inviting guests to indulge by dipping a pear, cake, or any other offering into the rich chocolate.
Design Tobi Fairley, Tobi Fairley Interior Design