Dinner parties are out… brunch parties are in! You’ve already shown off your home in the evening, now it’s time to take advantage of those weekend hours and invite everyone over to check out your beautiful space in all of its glory during the daytime. You can go with a family event and invite the kiddos to hang out by the pool, or stick with an adults only, prosecco-all-day situation.
Whatever you decide, your summer brunch will be fabulous if you stick with the plan… and we’re sharing our favorite tips for you to plan, design, and host your beautiful, stress-free brunch, right here in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Choose Your Menu Items Wisely
The goal here is to serve a menu that is memorable but also one that doesn’t require you to be in the kitchen prepping for 24 hours before or slinging omelets during the entire brunch event. We recommend implementing variety onto your table.
Food is obviously something you want to think about for a brunch party, but avoid too many heavy or involved dishes, choose one or two more substantial dishes and supplement with a few smaller bites and nibbles that people can snack on while chatting. As far as food solutions, there are three solutions in our humble opinion:
Show Off Your Cooking Skills and Share Favorite Items
If the kitchen is your happy place and cooking is your therapy, then by all means, make this lovely brunch yourself! It is always fun to give the ol’ “it’s a family recipe” response when people ask the secret behind your fluffy eggs or spicy maple syrup.
To make sure you have as much time to spend with your guests as possible, we recommend you base your menu around foods that are as close to a buffet as possible, without being too “buffet-y.” Something like a waffle bar with fresh fruit and different syrups is always a fun and tasty way to go, your special french toast with a variety of curated toppings seems to always get a person’s palette watering, or assembling your own breakfast sandwiches is a fabulous treat, too- different cheeses, breads, eggs, and of course, specialty bacon… we’re hungry already!
Anytime you can make your food service an activity, you’re also encouraging guests to interact with one another and be social and we’re all about fun here, right?
Catering from Your Favorite Brunch Spot
If you’re less of a cook and more of a socializer (and bold delegater), having one of your favorite local hot spots cater your brunch or simply have them provide a few select items, is an excellent way to go.
If you do choose to snag carry out or catering, make sure you’re ready to do a little logistical planning. Pick foods that can be kept warm in a chafing dish or an oven until it’s “go” time. Schedule your deliveries and pickups accordingly, you don’t want to miss a delivery while you’re picking up something else.
Here are a few of our favorite DFW restaurants that work well for at home parties:
- Fabulous appetizers like Smoked Salmon or Crab Remoulade from Cafe Pacific
- Specialty breads and sought-after dishes from Bread Winners Cafe
- Brunch pies from Pie Tap, they do offer delivery from any of their four locations.
The Biscuit Bar offers delivery and catering… and it’s pretty darn delicious.
Hire a Chef
This is probably the easiest and most efficient route to take. When you hire a chef, they bring everything they need to prepare the meal… and they take everything with them when they leave!
If you do opt to hire a chef, we love and adore Chef Clayton of Crescendo Culinary. His goal is always to prepare the perfect meal for the occasion, with the intent of allowing you the freedom to get your mingle on. He just gets it. Chef Clayton will also take the research part out of the menu planning, he’s basically a magical sorcerer of food and already knows what’s in-season.
Before Brunch-Day Preparation
You know the drill, get as much done beforehand as possible. It always sounds like a great idea until life happens and you’re still prepping the day of. Give yourself plenty of time for prep and glam without having to worry about any actual brunch things.
If you have a home manager, assistant, or housekeeper that you work with regularly, it’s a great idea to have them on hand to assist with preparations, clean up, and to overall help things go smoothly. A few things to check off prior to your event that will make your life easier:
Cue the Music
Never underestimate the power of great tunes! Music sets the tone for your brunch- before anyone even lays eyes on the food or absorbs all the effort you’ve put into your decor, music is already busy creating that ambiance.
Be intentional with your playlist, not random. If you’re feeling a more eclectic mix, it’s best to handpick each song. If you’re going for a whole mood, but you’re not confident in your own selections, go with a favorite station- a little Stevie Knicks Radio, anyone? You want to give people a little motivation to enjoy themselves, but it’s still daylight and not even afternoon yet, so it’s not exactly time for full on party jams.
Curate Your Drink Menu
There will be Bloody Marys and Mimosas, that’s just a given. What even is brunch without these bevs? But variety is the spice of life, plus, not everyone wants to fill up with a bubbly brunch bev and there’s a definite threshold for maximum Bloody Mary intake.
So think beyond the traditional brunch drinks and have more options available. A table friendly rosé pairs well with most food, and a sauvignon blanc is light and refreshing. Make sure to have lots of soda water on hand- summer flavors like lime and grapefruit are a must- in case anyone wants to go the wine spritzer route.
Flavored soda water is also a fantastic non-alcoholic option, so having an assortment available will benefit those that aren’t having a boozy brunch. You’ll also want to be sure to have plenty of other libations ready to go, like sparkling and still water, coffee, and tea.
Purse and Coat Intake
Make it easy for guests to drop off their personal belongings with an easy-to-access and out-of-the-way dedicated drop off space. A room on the first floor, either with a bathroom or close to the bathroom, is ideal. If your brunch is outside, the cabana or pool house is the perfect spot!
Here, guests can drop off any big, bulky items that they don’t want to carry around throughout the house, or have to ask later “where did I leave my purse?” Having a powder room nearby gives guests a more secure feeling of knowing where to go and having a hint of privacy.
For your own sanity, this will help alleviate a lot of post-party stress, too. You’ll be happy you contained this slight bit of chaos once the guests leave, and inevitably forget a few things. For the most part, all guest belongings will be corralled in this one room and you won’t have to comb through every part of your house looking for things.
Design and Decor
And now for the REALLY fun part! Design a brunch that showcases your beautiful home AND brings you and your guests joy! You’ve already put in the intentional effort with food, libations, and overall planning, so now it’s time to let your inner creative soul out. Or, if you’re not feeling crafty, you can fake it with a few easy tips.
Give yourself at least two days to decorate for your brunch. Again, this will give you ample time to let it all sink in but also allow for last minute hiccups.
Here are some functional hosting tips to help you choose just the right design and decor for your DFW brunch:
Pick a “Theme”
Not exactly a theme, but more of an undertone that connects the decor, if you will. We like to go with something seasonal to make it easier to source your decor. We also suggest going with a specific color story as opposed to kitschy theme, unless you’re hosting the brunch for a specific occasion, like a going away party or shower.
These are an absolute must for your tablescape and beyond. You really can’t have too many, especially if your brunch is an indoor/outdoor event- you’re decorating two spaces!
Just be sure to choose a mix of flowers and greenery that work in your conditions- not all flowers do well in direct sun even if they’re in a vase, so check in with your florist to see what’s in season and let them know where your arrangements will be placed.
And don’t forget to add a floral sprinkle wherever you guests may roam within your home (i.e., the powder room).
Guide your guests with beautiful signage. You can always purchase editable signage templates on Etsy to go with your color story, or if you’re feeling creative, you can design your own sign suite on Canva. Print out your signs and put them in lovely frames. With proper labeling you avoid questions like, “what’s in the potatoes?” or “is this gluten-free?
Serve in Style
There’s no way to avoid using the caterers serving dishes for the warm dishes, but wherever possible, swap out the stock containers provided by the restaurant or caterer for your favorite serving pieces. But you can make those less of an eyesore by plating everything possible on your favorite serving pieces.
William Sonoma is always a brilliant source for lovely, classic serveware. They also carry the best assortment of utensils and serving tools. You can never have enough serving spoons, spatulas, and tongs.
Besides putting these in each dish for guests to use, we also like to put a few extras around because you know someone’s going to use the shrimp tongs to pick
up the eggs benedict. If you want to go with more playful serving pieces, and even fun drinkware for daytime events, Anthropologie has a great assortment that’s both high end and stylish.
Add a little something extra to the powder rooms that guests will use. Of course you’ll want to make sure they’re stocked with plenty of hand soap and disposable towels, but adding a few fun and sophisticated decorations, makes everything feel more cohesive.
And while we’re here, we wanted to be sure to share this little note on candles… If you’re planning to use candles, we recommend those close to the dining areas are unscented. Mixing smells with what’s already going on with your lovely brunch aromas can be unpleasant for some people. Just let the natural smells of your delicious dishes coat your home!
Even though you already have the perfect furniture with the best arrangement possible, there’s always potential to add a few more places to sit and tables to rest a beverage. Consider bringing in a few extra outdoor bistro sets or incorporating an additional conversation area or two outdoors.
Inside, you can strategically place a few poufs or side tables. This is also a great time to extend the dining room table and add those extra chairs you’ve been keeping in storage. Even if you’re not having a formal, sit-down meal, an big inviting table will encourage people to actually sit down and enjoy their meal.
So now you’re officially ready to host a vibrant brunch in your beautiful and stylish home. But, if you don’t quite feel like your space is the reflection of your style that it could be, we know some very talented and experienced women who specialize in making dream spaces happen.
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Visit our website or give us a call to schedule a quick visit to learn more about your project, and ensure my team is a good fit for what you are wanting to accomplish, what the next steps entail if we align, and more. We look forward to meeting with you to get your space ready for hosting!