Setting Our Summer Table with Yummertime

Flooded with sunlight and featuring soothing neutrals and light wood finishes, Chris Lin and Brock Williams' DTLA home warmly welcomes you the moment you step in the door. It is no surprise, given that the lifestyle bloggers have thoughtfully shared their recipes, beauty tips, travel stories, and homes—from San Francisco to New York City to now Los Angeles—with readers the past seven years with Yummertime®. As they note, the blog revolves around "great food, deep conversations, meaningful relationships, growth through self-love, harmony in the home, and an endless curiosity for the pursuit of wellness." That sense of personal connection for which Yummertime has come to be known is why we were so excited to have Brock and Chris invite us over for dinner. Seated at their beautifully curated dining counter, our two hosts chatted to us about working together as a couple, their go-to entertaining tips, and how they love to set the mood and their table for the season. Read on for more.

 

You both run a blog as both personal and professional partners. Tell us how you got your start and what it's like working with your significant other.

We started Yummertime as a daily blog around this time seven years ago (on the Summer Solstice in 2014) from our small studio apartment in San Francisco. It was initially just intended to be a creative outlet outside of our individual professions in marketing, without a big vision for the future of what it would become. A lot's changed since then, though!

In the beginning, we primarily shared what we were wearing daily, but now, we like to look at Yummertime as the melding of our life as a contemporary gay couple and the lifestyle we put our stamp of approval on—from fashion to home, food, beauty, travel, and beyond. Great food, deep conversations, meaningful relationships, growth through self-love, harmony in the home, and an endless curiosity for the pursuit of wellness. These are just a few touch-points of a Yummertime life, all with a dash of color.

Working together personally and professionally has its own unique set of challenges, but we honestly feel it's what keeps us moving forward and progressing. Since Yummertime belongs to the two of us, what you see is a balance of two individual points of view integrated into one shared vision. The balancing act comes when we need to shift out of our work caps and into our relationship caps. 

Throughout being together for ten years, working together for seven, we've learned to communicate our needs to each other clearly, consistently, and compassionately. We're both equal drivers of our relationship and expect the same effort from each other. We have weekly dates together without phones and make a concerted effort to *surprise* each other often.

Yummertime is such a fun account name, is there a story behind the amazing name?  

Thank you, we love it as well! We describe Yummertime as the intersection of "yum" and "summertime"—a sun-drenched, summer chasing life, lived deliciously!

What's your favorite home decor trend you're loving right now?

We've been LOVING the re-resurgence of bouclé fabric—although our cat, Thomas, seems to love it even more. That, mixed with the organic, spontaneous grain of travertine, feels like the perfect blending of hard and soft.

 

 

 

What is your favorite tip for entertaining?

We have two! The first is such a simple one: swap your paper napkins for cloth napkins. We've found that this little touch makes such a big difference in elevating any experience, even when serving something very casual like chips and dip. Over the years of hosting together, this seems to be the most common element we see our guests adopting within their entertaining ventures. We did borrow it from Brock's mom after all (plus, you end up saving a few trees).

And secondly, we think it's important to immediately provide a non-alcoholic refreshment when a guest arrives—pre-batching an iced tea or having flavored sparkling water, lemonade, and more. It gets the party started without getting the party started *too* early, especially if you're like us and always still have a few things to take care of when guests arrive. 

How did you strike a balance between function and aesthetics in your home?

It comes down to being realistic about what our needs are at home. This is our fourth home together, so we've been through plenty of "cute" furniture that wasn't super functional for our lifestyle. That being said, we don't think either form or function needs to be prioritized over the other since we've been able to find so many great pieces that are beautiful and functional. accurate

We think it's important to revise, revise, and revise again, finding a balance between functionality and aesthetics. In the kitchen specifically, we've gone through at least four different iterations of organization for our current set-up. That has meant taking note of how often we grab spices, how often we have fresh produce, and whether it makes sense to have a Fallon Bowl on the counter as a fruit-bowl (it does), how often we use our piece European Cutting Boards (a lot) and how we can beautifully display them.

 

 

Do you have any tips for someone trying to create their own design style?

Open your eyes and look around! We find inspiration everywhere we look, from Instagram to magazines, architecture, and movies—we especially like visiting museums to find inspiration to work into our design style. For example, we've been working travertine, natural stone, and neutrals into our current home. This can more or less be attributed to spending many afternoons with the neutral tones of the ancient sculpture galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art before our move to LA. This might not be a clear connection for everyone, but that's the great thing about designing a space of your own; you can interpret your inspiration in any way that works for you!

We also like to focus our design on the environment around us, not just the room at hand. For example, our kitchen has floor-to-ceiling windows that embrace the warm Los Angeles sun and the DTLA skyline. We wanted to use materials like ash wood and oak (such as in our Mirasol Counter Stools) to soak up the warmth of the outside world, offering a neutral palette that doesn't compete with the colors of the view.

What seasonal recipe do you love to make, especially for this Summer season? 

To us (and probably many of you), Summer is all about getting outside and barbecuing! One of our absolute favorite recipes for this time of the year is BBQ salmon and pineapple tacos with a summer corn salad—SO YUM! The recipe is super simple, and all you need is salmon, your favorite BBQ sauce, and sliced pineapple. 

Any tips on setting a Summer table? 

We love working in all of the senses for a seasonal table! So for Summer, we opt for the soft touch of linen napkins. The flickering flame of long tapered candles matches the warmth of long Summer nights, alongside fresh blooms like peonies or gardenia, making for the perfect pairing of sight and smell. For sound, we've got a great Summer jazz playlist. And for taste, we love emphasizing seasonal produce like strawberries and grapefruit wherever we can.

 

 

How would you describe your at-home style?

We can be such homebodies sometimes, and so our at-home style tends to focus on whatever makes us feel comfortable and calm. We love light woods like oak and ash because of the warmth they provide to a space, while creamy neutrals offer a restrained palette to relax in. Pops of color are brought in through found objects, art, and our collection of books, giving your field of vision a touch of creativity without overloading your sight.

Tell us what's next for you both and Yummertime?

We're finally getting married! After having canceled our wedding in 2020 due to the pandemic, we'll be getting married in a small ceremony in front of our parents and siblings on the day we first met, ten years ago to the day.

But, aside from our upcoming nuptials, we'll be spending the next year embracing Los Angeles for everything it has to offer. Yummertime will continue to be a safe space for love, creativity, and inspiration—and hopefully, we'll have a few Yummertime products to share with you all in the near future ;) We can't wait to continue sharing our life with you all.

 

Photography provided by Chris + Brock