How I Host With Nan Philip

We've got a major girl crush on Nan Philip! We're constantly inspired by her blog—Simply Elegant—and her timeless, classic taste! With summer coming to an end, we asked Nan to give us a little lesson in the art of entertaining! Follow along for her hosting tips and to see how she created the dreamiest tablescape using our Emma tablecloth and Loomi napkins!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how Simply Elegant came to fruition!

I started my blog, Simply Elegant, when I was a Sophomore in college as a creative outlet and distraction from my homework! Six years later and I still keep the site updated as often as I can! I love to share my favorite product finds (from home décor to skincare), travel recommendations and more. It is a joy to have a little corner of the internet to share my inspirations and I am continually shocked that anyone other than just my mom reads the site!   

Walk us through how you styled your Emma Tablecloth and Loomi Napkins. 

With a base of blue and green from the Emma Tablecloth and Loomi Napkins, I decided to add more pops of color through the plates and glassware. First, I added our set of six colorful wine glasses from Estelle (one of my favorite recent finds – Stephanie Summerson Hall sells beautiful hand blown glasses and cake stands made in a rainbow of hues.) My mom then pulled out her beautiful vintage floral salad plates that we placed on top of rattan placemats layered with the Loomi Napkins. From there we cut some fresh flowers from the garden and added in Glassy Baby votive candles.

My family lives on the coast of Maine so instead of paper place cards, we use small rocks that we find on the beach and write everyone name on in white or black sharpie – it is a fun way to add a coastal element to the tablesetting! 

Your Simply Found posts are a great source for fresh finds! What are you currently coveting in table decor and entertaining?

I am currently on the hunt for a new set of flatware and deciding between Tortoise set from Sabre or a Bamboo set from Juliska but I probably should just get a simple set from Year & Day. Carolina Irving and Daughters’ beautiful dinner plates are on my ‘one day’ wish list! I would also love to add a new pitcher to my collection (perfect for flowers!) and I am eyeing one from Pomelo and Farmhouse Pottery. 

What advice do you have for mixing and matching patterns to create the perfect tablescape?

I don’t think I have ever met a pattern that I did not like; I am all about layering pattern on pattern, the more the merrier in my book! A great way to ease into mixing and matching patterns is by sticking to one cohesive color palette (for example blue and greens) but changing up the scale. Start with one larger scale pattern like the Emma Tablecloth in Sky and pair it with a napkin that has a smaller scale print, like the Loomi Napkins.

3 Key ingredients to a seamless dinner party?

1. A beautiful table (with great linens and fresh flowers!) 2. A fun guest list (I love to mix up friend groups!) 3. Great drinks! (As long as the alcohol is flowing your guests won’t be able to complain, or maybe won’t remember (!), if the food was not perfection…cooking is not exactly my specialty!)

Emily Post taught us to never show up to a party empty handed. What’s your favorite hostess gift?

Very true! The perfect hostess gift is something that you can easily fit into your purse (aka nothing to big or awkward to carry) and an item that your hostess will actually use.  In my mind you can never have too many cocktail napkins, so the Pepper Home Poppy or Eden Cocktail Napkins are some of my go-to gifts. Lately, I have also been finding myself gifting a lot of stationery; I love everything from Dear Annabelle and all their stationery comes in beautiful packaging so you don’t even need to wrap it!  

We love a good wallpaper moment, which is why we can’t get over your NYC dining area designed by Lilse McKenna. What made you decide to go with bold walls in the kitchen? 

Great wallpaper can really transform a space! I knew I wanted a green wallpaper and initially I had my eye on another wallpaper pattern but as always, my amazing friend and fearless leader on all my design choices, Lilse McKenna knew what was best! The kitchen had dark wooden cabinets, so Lilse suggested “Espalier” from Pierre Frey as the perfect pattern to coordinate with the cabinets and elevate the design of the entire room! 

Current color crush of the moment?

Speaking of that green wallpaper, I am really loving everything green at the moment! A deep, rich forest green as we enter into the fall!  

Describe your style in 3 words!

Classic but playful!

Who is your dream dinner guest?

My great grandmother, Nanan. I never had the pleasure of meeting her, but I am always told that we are quite similar! So it would have been a joy to have dinner with her. 

Go-to dinner playlist?

Whatever is popular on Spotify (I’m not really a music gal)

Dining al fresco or indoors?

Al fresco! 

Placemats or tablecloths?


Fresh blooms or candles?