What makes for a successful and joyous dinner party? Great food, good drinks, and a beautifully curated table are obvious essentials, yet Coco Cuenco argues that it's the company you keep and the conversations that arise that truly make your meal special. The Los Angeles-born and based digital content strategist, producer, and Aritzia Social Media Director is a frequent host in the new home she shares with her partner, Marcus, and their sweet dog, Kodah. The three recently hosted our team at their Lakewood home and spoke about their desire to have friends and family over and the need to create a cohesive look for their tablescape. Over a delicious charcuterie and cheese board, plus a few of our bestselling dinnerware and linens, Coco spoke more about her career as a digital storyteller, her tips on recreating that amazing cheese board, and how having fun is essential when hosting and entertaining. See below for more.
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Shifting to your at-home style, how do you want people to feel when they walk into your home?
I love this question about being a new homeowner. Marcus and I recently bought our first home, and this question is really important to us. We want people to feel welcome and at home in our space. We hope that our home feels very "us" and that our friends and family feel relaxed and cozy.
How did you strike a balance between creating a beautiful, welcoming dining room and making it incredibly functional?
Honestly, it was just by making it entirely our own and bringing in the beautiful elements through the tableware from Lulu and Georgia. It's still a work in progress, and having pieces from Lulu and Georgia that fit our style helped bring our interior together so easily.
Take us through your process in styling this dining tablescape. What Lulu and Georgia pieces do you find yourself fawning over?
Marcus and I knew we would often want to host our friends and family at the new house, so it was important to create a cohesive tablescape. I wanted to set the mood for dinners with the Taper Candles and Ceramic Candle Holders. I also reasoned that I needed to swap out my disposable napkins for these beautiful Cultiver Linen Napkins in cedar. One to be more sustainable and two to keep a specific look for our table. And of course, I needed new plates!! I paired the Alcantra Salad Plate with its dinner plate. One word: Chic.
We're still obsessed with your cheese board, by the way. Do you have any go-to tips on creating your seasonal cheese board?
As a beginner, I've learned so much from my amazing friends, but my go-to tips are not to overflow your board and pick your 2-5 favorites from cheeses, crackers, nuts, and meats. I kept it simple with two kinds of cheese, my favorite crackers, nuts, 1-2 charcuterie, and 1-2 top spreads like fig jam or a dip. If you want to be extra, decorate with some simple flowers or herb stems. You can't go wrong with this!
Similarly, any recommendations on planning a menu that all your guests will enjoy?
Our go-to is Italian! It seems to be a cuisine that everyone loves, including vegetarians! You can choose a great pasta with or without meat, 1-2 veggie sides, a bottle of great wine, and bread, of course!
What is your favorite tip for entertaining?
HAVE FUN! It can be stressful if you let it, but I try to remember that entertaining is about bringing together my loved ones. It's about us being together, eating good food, sharing our lives, which helps me not stress too much.
What do you love most about living in Lakewood, California?
I grew up just a few minutes away in Huntington Beach. I'm happy to be much closer to my childhood friends and my family. Also, the Asian food here is SO good.
What are the three Instagram accounts we need to be following right now?
What's next for you and all of your work projects?
Currently, I'm having too much fun creating content about upgrading my space. It's fun to explore designing through so many different lenses, and I hope to continue to produce valuable content for things I'm passionate about. Stay tuned, and be sure to give me a follow on Instagram and TikTok!
Photography provided by Coco Cuenco