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dutch stil life theme for a blogger dinner party

Nathaniel of Contemporary Catering recently hosted this intimate – and downright GORGEOUS – “Dutch Still Life” inspired 7-Course Dinner Party for some lovely, familiar faces from the wedding/blogging industry! Leila, Cortnie & Carissa came on board to help produce and style the event, which happens to be loaded with mouth-watering details – from the food & drinks to the stationery and decor.

Scroll through the beautiful pics below (by Braedon Photography) to see how “Dutch Still Life” came to life through rustic textured materials, fresh produce centerpieces, romantic floral designs, and amazing FOOD!

PARTY HIGHLIGHTS to look out for:

– Hand dyed napkins in mottled dark blue with unfinished edges
– “Shop style” wine & cheese set up with old bistro chalk boards
– Asymmetrical table arrangement with rich, dark florals and blue painted candlesticks
– Creative room decor: ladders formed together as shelves to display classic Dutch plates
– Seared Day Boat Dive Scallop on Lightly Pickled Starfruit With Blackberry Coulis and Baby Beet Greens… and that’s just Course I, six more amazing courses to go!

dinner party chef making 7 course meal with onehope wine pairings

deep and rich still life styled florals with blackberries

tablescape with blue candlesticks and asymmetrical styling

dinner party first course with pickled starfruit and a scallop

blogger dinner invitation in teal

dinner table setting with an old style european throwback

old shop style bar with cheese and wine

dutch plates displayed on white ladders is such a creative room decoration display for a party

dinner party place setting ideas and greens as centerpieces

dinner party hosted by the chef

dinner party cheers with wine goblets

dinner party food and appetizers

dinner table styling with matte centerpieces and blue and black colors

dinner party cheese plate

old bistro style chalkboards and wine in baths for a dutch still life themed dinner party

blogger dinner party fresh produce centerpiece and hand dyed napkins

dinner party floral arrangements in matte blue vases

blogger dinner group picture

dinner party guests

dinner party ideas for dessert and place settings


PARTY DETAILS, as told by Leila


Dutch Still Life. ‘Matte is the new Black’!  With all the neon and pastels we took a cue from interior designers who have been using a lot of matte black and dark colors on walls in recent interior design projects. We have found that a matte finish softens the appearance  of black and dark blue and wanted to translate this onto a tablescape. The matte finish lends itself to a much more dramatic and regal feel.

The tablescape was created without using a trace of white…even down to the votive candles, we hand-painted those with streaks of pale blue and gray paint to keep everything matte and rich. The glassware and flatware gave it a european feel and also added the only touch of reflection against our completely matte design.

Arrangements were asymmetrical and incorporated fresh produce, dripping from vases and wood boards to give it all a slightly “undone” feel, echoing the relaxed, messy feel of the paintings.

From Carissa Jones of JL Designs: “We tried to steer clear of pastels and brighter colors which we have been seeing so much of… I aimed for darker, richer tones and picked seasonal blooms with interesting textures and shapes – frittalaria, helleborous, black succulents, bay leaf, dahlias, ranunculas, thistle, begonia leaves, kale… purple artichokes, red grapes, blackberries and eggplants added visual interest and kept with our dramatic color scheme.”

From Cortnie Purdy of Canvas and Canopy: “We noticed in dutch still life paintings that the backgrounds are very simple and the flowers were the main subject. since this was our inspiration we wanted to create a dramatic and monochromatic palette similar to the dutch still life painting backdrops so that the flowers were the forefront of the design. To achieve this look we painted all containers and candlesticks in a  matte black and blue. we color matched the blue table linens from la tavola to the exact shade of blue paint from Behr,  and painted some of the candlesticks in this color, then adorned them with tall blue candlesticks to create a dramatic monochromatic look.”

 Since dutch still lifes were our inspiration, of course we had all of the stationary hand painted by Kristy Rice with raw strokes of navy, black and teal keeping the design current and fresh for a modern day celebration.


Side areas: dutch plates were propped up on an old ladder structure to envelope the space

Napkins: used rustic red brass pipe couplings as napkin rings to play off of town & country’s rustic pipe stools that served as unique chairs for guests to sit on. Cortnie Purdy hand dyed the napkins in a mottled dark blue and black and left with an unfinished edge.

Bar area: meant to emulate a traditional European wine & cheese shop with old bistro chalkboards

Wedding inspiration: if you’re looking for a dramatic, color rich wedding gown, grab inspiration from our tablescape! The Vera Wang Spring 2013 burgundy gowns and the Fall 2012 black gowns are gorgeous.


Nathaniel created a custom 7 course meal and paired each course with one of OneHope Wine‘s signatures wine.

“Cheese Shop”
Imported and Domestic Cheese Platter , Housemade breads, Candied Pecans, Quince Paste, Fruit Preserves, Fresh Honeycomb, Dates
OneHope Wine’s Champagne/Sauvignon Blanc

Course I
Seared Day Boat Dive Scallop on Lightly Pickled Starfruit With Blackberry Coulis and Baby Beet Greens
OneHope Wine’s Sauvignon Blanc

 Course II
“Open Face” Fresh Ravioli of Jamon Iberico, Gold Chanterelle Mushroom – Porcini Foam
OneHope Wine’s Pinot Noir

Course III
Duck Ropa Vieja in Phyllo – Avocado Mousse – Cilantro Jalapeno Oil
OneHope Wine’s Pinot Noir

Course IV
“Deconstructed Caesar” – Fresh Romaine Leaf Cup – Chargrilled Fresh Anchovies, Fried Quail Egg, Crumbled Cave Aged Pecorino, Quarter Crack Pepper – Drizzled In Argan Oil
OneHope Wine’s Chardonnay

Course V
“Steamers”  Classic Steamed Clams with Niman Ranch Bacon
OneHope Wine’s Chadonnay

Course VI
Seared Lamb Loin Medallions with Pomegranate and Orange Reduction Topped with Candied Kumquats
OneHope Wine’s Red Zin

Course VII
Individual Panna Cotta with Caramelized Nectarines
Sasparilla Freeze “Shot”
Crumbled Pepino and Chile Brittle
OneHope Wine’s Red Zin



– Host & Caterer: Nathaniel from Contemporary Catering (@contempcater)
– Produced by: Be Inspired PR (@weddingPR)
– Event Design: Canvas and Canopy (@canvasandcanopy)
– Floral & Event Design: JL Designs (@JL_DESIGNS)
– Photography: Braedon Photography (@braedonflynn)
– Invitation & Dinner Stationery: Momental Designs (@riceink)
– Wine: OneHope Weddings (@ONEHOPEWeddings)
– Linens: La Tavola (@LaTavolaLinen)
– Venue: Catchlight Studio (@catchlightla)
– Flatware & Glassware: Casa de Perrin (@casadeperrin)
– Rentals: Town and Country
– Car service stationery: Pitbulls and Posies (@pitbullsposies)