Slideshow: Designer Tips and Tricks

Creating a home for entertaining

This South Sound magazine Northwest Idea House in Gig Harbor is a perfect example of a home done right for people who like to entertain. In part two of our series about this 4,775-square-foot, four bedroom home with a daylight basement, we are showing you some of our favorite designer touches that make this home built by Jeff Zetterberg of Zetterberg Custom Homes & Remodels and designed by his brother, Gregory Zetterberg, extra special. The kind of home where people will want to host parties — and their family and friends will always RSVP “yes” when invited.


Photos by Brian DalBalcon

One Hot Kitchen

Leslie Jensen is a Certified Master Kitchen and Bath Designer at Signature Design & Cabinetry in Tacoma. She planned the South Sound magazine Northwest Idea House’s kitchen. It truly is the heart of this home and it was designed with entertaining in mind. If you want to create a kitchen that works as well as it looks, you might consider hiring a knowledgeable designer. “A designers’ expertise saves time and money and assures a more valuable, satisfying outcome,” Jensen said.

1. Choose your zones.

Kitchens have become a lot more complicated. There used to be one work triangle in a kitchen; one refrigerator, one sink, one stove. Now there are multiple work triangles and work zones in the kitchen. We have a lot more specialty appliances, such as steam ovens or microwave drawers, Jensen said.

2. Bigger isn’t always better.

Kitchens are a lot bigger and that can be a challenge. They often don’t feel cozy and things can be too far apart to be functional.

3. Color sets the tone.

Jensen selected a tone-on-tone approach with grays.

First Impressions

Looks are deceiving as you pull up — the large size of this home however is noticeable from the back. That is by design, literally. The Zetterbergs wanted to create a high-end home that “complemented” the natural Northwest setting. The patios and deck overlooking the water in the back of the home allow it to accommodate a lot of people. The outdoor kitchen seals the deal!


How to Set the Perfect Table

Stefanie Brooks is an interior designer who also knows how to deck out a table for a party. With these tips, you too can turn your table into a gathering place everyone will be talking about. And it’s not that difficult. Here are some tips:

. To dress up a table, try a cluster of candles in varied heights and sizes, vases full of candy or fruit and other statement pieces, like these really cool twig balls that added texture and intrigue to this large table. We got them from Cachet the Collection in Seattle.

Napkin rings come in various designs, colors and shapes. Swizzle sticks in drinks are fun. Don’t overlook small details. It makes a big impact and impression on guests.

Choose a table runner to set the backdrop — she chose this sparkly silver threaded and neutral toned runner to add a little pizzazz from Pier One Imports.

Fresh flowers are welcoming and warm. These are roses from Blitz Florist in Tacoma and add a pop of color to the monochromatic space.

Charger plates help dress up a table for a special occasion. We used classic shiny silver from Pier One Imports.

Crystal water goblets are more fun than standard water glasses. They even allow younger guests to feel a little fancier.

Make sure your table décor, including flowers, is low enough so you can see smiling faces across the table.

Around the holidays or seasons, just go with the flow. Holly in winter, springtime flowers, fall leaves … you get the picture. Some items, like red berries and cedar branches, have the added bonus of smelling great.

Get personal. Assign seats to your guests by using fun nameplates, drawing on a placemat or monogramming napkins.

Make it interesting by going with a theme and use pieces that reflect it. Think beach (pails and starfish) backyard barbecue (checkered tablecloth) or something else creative.

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