We’ve been enamored with Brittany Watson Jepsen—the founder and creative extraordinaire behind The House That Lars Built—for as long as we can remember. The powerhouse crafter and designer easily steals hearts with her colorful personality (if you aren’t following her on Snapchat, hop to it!), and today, she’s making us practically keel over from excitement with a Cinco de Mayo fête worthy of more than one salty-sweet toast! Below, Brittany shares insight into her holiday party, plus the scoop on all the bold, bright pieces from Joss & Main that brought it to life.
Walk us through the creative process behind this shoot. How did you come up with the concept and see it through?
I wanted something fun, yet modern, for our Cinco de Mayo party, so the bright chairs from Joss & Main were perfect for setting the stage. I wanted the focus to be the food, so I selected a ton of bright and beautiful dinnerware from brands like Fiesta and Le Creuset. I imagined all my friends coming together for a yummy family-style meal, and not being super-focused on an over-styled event. We did spend some time making the papel picado banners. We designed the patterns and cut them out with a craft machine. It took a while, but I love how it turned out, and it’s something we can use over and over again.
Tell us about the food! Everything looked so yummy—did you have a favorite dish?
Yes! Everything hit the spot! I had my friend Natalie Nielson, of Bees Knees Recipes, cook up the menu. She’s the most passionate chef I know! I told her I wanted everything to be bright, yet so yum-to-the-tum. The watermelon bell had special sugar topped with mint that blew my mind. She came up with the dulce de leche passion fruit cake, which was a real game changer. She’s going to be sharing the recipes on her blog soon!
I love the art of table setting and the plates themselves, so I try to snatch up any occasion to display them and decorate.
In your experience, what’s the best way to serve up a party spread? Are you a fan of plated? Family-style?
I love both a plated party spread and family-style dining, depending on the occasion. I love more formal sit-down dining, so plated is something I appreciate. I also love the art of table setting and the plates themselves, so I try to snatch up any occasion to display them and decorate. Family-style is definitely for a more relaxed vibe.
We’re big fans of your paper flower creations, but also love the natural floral arrangements you used here. What’s your favorite flower to work with and how do you choose which flowers to use for each occasion?
I had a ball selecting the flowers for the spread here. I used dahlias, peonies and dubium. I wanted it to be bright, yet also slightly romantic. I chose to put them in Mexican tin cans for a dash of authenticity and fun.
For this party, I used a range of colors from turquoise to pink to yellow. I believe in owning objects that inspire you, and these colors definitely put a smile on my face.
How can our readers take the fun ideas from your Cinco de Mayo celebration and apply them to their own festivities? Do you have any tips or key elements for throwing a themed dinner party at home?
This party was focused on food, so I’d try and pump up the colors of the dinnerware. I love collecting colorful kitchenware. For this party, I used a range of colors from turquoise to pink to yellow. I believe in owning objects that inspire you, and these colors definitely put a smile on my face.
From crafting and party planning to writing and illustrating, you’re constantly creating. How do you stay inspired? Where do you turn for fresh ideas?
Travel! I forgot how inspiring travel was until I was recently in New York City discovering parts of the city I had never been to and revisiting some of my favorite spots. I was reminded of how important it is to see the work of the masters at my visit to the Museum of Modern Art. There’s just no substitute! I also visited a new favorite shop, John Derian. There is so much inspiration in one little store!