When it comes to event design and lifestyle consulting, Claiborne & Lime knows what it takes to satisfy clients and help them take any event to the next level. A true dynamic duo, founder, Antoinette Watson, and Laura Mormann, have created a successful business producing parties of all sizes for private social clients in Los Angeles, and was even asked by the Williams-Sonoma Group to create a social club centered around entertaining, organize events, and design and produce various gatherings. Recently, the company expanded from LA to Santa Barbara to help clients in that area produce everything from dinner parties and intimate gatherings to children’s parties and more. The goal of every Claiborne & Lime event is to make guests feel welcomed into the home or space and cared for with all of the small details throughout—and it’s these details that make all the difference. We reached out to Antoinette and Laura to find out more about them and Claiborne & Lime. Check out the interview below, which includes helpful tips and advice on hosting a successful gathering this fall. Get ready to be inspired!
Describe your overall entertaining philosophy in 3 words?
Chic, approachable, personal.
How often do you entertain and what are your favorite type of gatherings to host?
We entertain on a weekly basis, whether it’s at home for our family and friends or for a client. In both cases, our intention is to bring hospitality from a bygone era into the present. While we produce events of all sizes, our favorite projects are intimate, meaningful gatherings and celebrations that range from dinner parties to destination birthday celebrations.
What 5 things do you always have on hand in case of unexpected guests or visitors?
Alcohol, of course! Fruit, cheese and charcuterie, extra china and glassware, and candles for ambience. Also, amazing music is vital! We always have a playlist ready (see below)!
Do you have a go-to cocktail?
Margaritas! Preferably at Los Arroyos in Montecito, California.
What are your favorite autumn dishes to serve?
We met in New Orleans at the Carousel Bar and both have parents that hail from the South, so naturally we are drawn to southern comfort foods—especially in the fall. Any chance we get, we gather friends and family at home for gumbo, jambalaya, shrimp and grits, and of course, bread pudding, beignets and chickory coffee to end the evening.
What’s on your dinner party play list?
- Solange, A Seat at the Table (Every. Single. Song).
- Chloe x Halle, “Fall”
- Bruno Mars, “Chunky” and “That’s What I Like” (for a little pick-me-up).
- Shura, “Touch”
- Banks, “Lovesick”
- Chance The Rapper, “Angels”
Best tip for making your guests feel welcome and relaxed:
Personal touches that make your guests feel at home are key! During the planning phase, take a moment to think about each guest that is coming and what they love. If they adore Sea Smoke wine, have some on hand. If they’re always cold, have extra throws set out. It’s ALWAYS the details that stand out.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give for someone hosting their first party or dinner?
We’d tell them that a memorable gathering is part design, part planning and part serendipity. Thoughtful entertaining is about creating an experience where everyone feels welcome, connected and at ease. Guests may not remember what they ate or drank, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
When it comes to Autumn entertaining, you can never have enough…
Crackling fires, warm cocktails, candlelight and dining under the stars.