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A party perfectionist's tips on hosting a laid-back bash

August 28, 2010 |  6:30 am


Jennifer McGarigle, founder of the Venice design studio Floral Art, says a split personality governs her life.

"I am an entertaining perfectionist when it comes to my profession. When I'm at home I like things to be improvisational and casual," she says. 

Mcgarigle_400 At a recent dinner party at her remodeled home in Venice, McGarigle used several of her time-tested strategies for chic and easy party hosting. For example: Start the party with a signature cocktail, enlist friends to mix it up, dress it up with an elegant orchid and mint leaf garnish, and then serve the wine that your guests brought the rest of the night.

For more tips, and to take a tour of her home, check out our photo gallery of McGarigle's elegant, easy dinner party.

-- Deborah Netburn

Photo: Above, Jennifer McGarigle talks with friends and mixologists for the night, Anastasia Bowen and Allison Rivera before the party starts; below, as night falls, votive candles add atmosphere. Credit: Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times.