Texas-based entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Camille Styles is a long time esteemed friend of our mag — her knack for whipping up a beautiful and delicious dish, to throwing a last-minute stylish party has us coming back again and again for inspiration. Naturally, when she shared with us that she was hosting a holiday brunch, we were intrigued. Transforming her new office bungalow with Target’s holiday collection of decor and entertaining essentials and with a guest list of top bloggers and influencers (Katie Kime and Jane Ko of A Taste of Koko among them) it was the event of the season. Wanting to know more behind the magic of her holiday brunch, we sat down with her to ask a few question.
What a beautiful event you put together! Tell us about what inspired you to hold a brunch in your new office bungalow!
The holidays are such a special time of year, and I love the feeling of magic in the air… so, of course, I’m always looking for an excuse to throw a party and celebrate those vibes with my favorite people! Since my team moved into our office bungalow just a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to invite friends to see our new space and celebrate the season – and a brunch was the perfect laid-back way to do it in the midst of all the holiday craziness.
The decor is a perfect mix of fun and elegant, how do you make sure your holiday decor is in that sweet spot?
I usually focus on just a couple of “wow” decor elements (like the luxe Threshold Faux Fur Throw Blanket and Threshold Faux Fur Oversized Throw Pillow), delicious seasonal food, and a festive cocktail. By keeping things simple by focusing on just a few things, I’m able to enjoy the evening and let it be about creating great memories with my guests. Because after all, isn’t that what parties are all about?
What are some of your favorite pieces from Target that you included?
These Threshold Monogram Double Old Fashioned Glassware pieces are beautiful – and prevent guests from mixing up their drinks.
The quickest way to add ambiance to a party is through flickering candlelight, and the Threshold Etched Glass Votive Candle Set is a chic way to do it.
I love the fun reindeer print on these Threshold Stoneware Appetizer Plates — they’re the perfect size for cheese and crackers or dessert, and I’m sure I’ll be getting them out for many holidays to come.
The make-your-own hot chocolate bar is a great idea! Tell us a little bit about how you set it up?
We stocked our bar cart with all the mix-in’s guests would need to mix up their personalized cup of cocoa: peppermint sticks, mint chocolate pieces, toffee pieces, marshmallows, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg. One of my favorite touches was the hot chocolate stirrers we found at Target. Guests could choose between milk chocolate and white chocolate, stir it into hot milk, and add their mix-ins for a sweet and festive treat in these adorable Threshold Stoneware Jingle All the Way Mugs.
Tell us what your serving… Is there one dish in particular that stands out?
I kept things easy on myself by picking up brunch treats from one of my favorite cafés in Austin, June’s All Day. The stars of the show were onion and poppy seed biales (think bagels without the holes in the center topped with wasabi cream cheese, smoked salmon, red onions, capers, sprouts, and watercress).
It’s sometimes hard to select a cocktail for brunch (you don’t want it to be too boozy or too sweet). What’s your trick for finding the right one for the occasion?
You can’t go wrong with a mimosa, and it’s fun to keep things fresh by pairing the champagne with unexpected juices. We poured a carrot-citrus juice with a bit of spice, and guests could choose whether to make theirs boozy or not.
We are lovers of a good brunch but it can sometimes feel intimidating to host one in your own home instead of eating out. What advantages do you see of hosting a brunch at home?
You can’t beat the warm, intimate nature of a brunch at home. Inviting guests to your place for brunch is asking them to relax and just be pampered with delicious food and good conversation. Plus, it’s fun to have a chance to show off your holiday décor!
Is there a planning difference between a brunch or a dinner party?
A brunch feels much more low-key and relaxed than a dinner party– I’ve noticed that people don’t usually come in with a lot of expectations like they do for a dinner. Plus, the pace can be leisurely and unhurried, and I always serve everything on big platters in the middle of the table so guests can dig in family style.
With it being earlier in the day, meaning less time to get ready beforehand, how do you suggest organizing tasks so that everything is set up for your guests in time?
I like to set the table and have all the décor ready to go the night before, so that the morning of the party, the focus is on the food and cocktails. I plan a menu of make-ahead dishes and a few store-bought items that can be assembled quickly – my rule of thumb is to only make one or two things from scratch on the actual day of the gathering.
Is there a tip you can share for making sure your guests are at ease?
Have a place set aside for guests to leave coats and purses, and greet everyone at the door with a drink and a big hug.
Let’s talk music — do you have one particular style throughout or does your song type change as you go down the playlist?
This time of year, I’m a sucker for pop versions of holiday songs – it makes everything feel so festive. This year I’ve got Sia’s new album, Everyday is Christmas on repeat at our house.