Charleston Style Staple Kristin Chambless On Her All-Season Entertaining Tips

by Guest of A Guest · January 13, 2022

    When it comes to lessons in Southern charm, one need look no further than Kristin Chambless, Charleston's most fashionable resident and hospitable hostess.

    As if life in South Carolina's beloved crown jewel could look any more picturesque! 

    From exploring the city's delightful haunts to transforming her home into a festive scene ready to fill with friends, Kristin's always ready to celebrate in style. Cheers to that!

    Curious what the Instagram favorite's top tips are when it comes to effortless, chic entertaining?

    Spoiler alert: You're going to want to stock up on some AIX rosé!

    What's your favorite excuse / occasion for entertaining at home?
    Honestly, any excuse to bring people together is a win in my book. But I would say spring / summer is always my favorite time of year to entertain. The weather warms up, the flowers are in bloom, dresses come out of the closet and the city just comes alive! Between Easter, spring break, summer birthdays and the Fourth of July there's naturally a plethora of celebrations to be had, and I dive in. 

    How would you describe the social scene in Charleston?
    Active! There’s always something fun going on. Whether it’s a new restaurant or store opening, art show or food festival; we stay busy in The Holy City. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s a community that really comes together and supports one another, and that’s always fun to witness and partake in.    

    Are you a last minute, or way in advance planner?
    In advance, to a fault. I love having a good plan in place, and then another plan on how to execute said plan haha. Helps keep me organized and focused.  

    What is a good hostess never without?
    Hands down, a fully stocked wine cooler. 

    As mentioned, we live in a very social town, and aside from pre-planned gatherings, we often find ourselves having neighbors, friends + family over on a whim. I always have bottles of multiple varietals on hand that suit everyone’s palette preferences, but my main all season favorite, AIX rosé, is always on main display. 

    It's just the most gorgeous pink, no?

    What songs are always on your party playlist?
    Playlists are always seasonal for me. Right now, I’ve been really enjoying sounds by Yiruma - a South Korean pianist my husband introduced me to. His work is so classic and soothing; perfectly fitting for chilly, winter evenings. But come summertime, I’ve found Backyard BBQ or Elton John radio on Spotify are always crowd favorites.    

    What light bites are you most likely to serve?
    I keep things simple when it comes to party nibbles. I prefer to outsource that aspect of hosting when I can; Goat Sheep Cow and Hamby’s are a couple local favorites. But if I’m tackling food myself, I opt for a large charcuterie board, along with plenty of fruit, veg and other items mixed in so it’s not exclusively meat and cheese. There are so many food allergies and preferences these days, I try to have a variety of small items to go around. 

    When hosting, do you prefer dressing up or going casual?
    I love dressing up, because I can be casual any other day of the week. I love the way slipping on a new dress can make me feel just before a party begins. 

    What's one thing you always do to make sure things go smoothly?
    Prepping as much as I can the night before goes a long way. 

    Inevitably there are always going to be a couple last minute things that come up but two things – setting up my bar cart with fresh glassware, along with a few bottles of AIX rosé, and having an empty dishwasher. I’ve found those two items to be KEY! 

    No matter how many times you tell your guests not to clean up, everyone wants to help at the end of the evening. So having free space for them (or you) to place dirty dishes makes for a smoother evening overall. 

    What's one thing you always forget?
    To pre-heat the oven prior to guests arriving! Hence why I try to stick to outsourcing or simple food items. We all have our strengths! 

    How do you like to set the mood?
    All of the above! I would say my go-to mood setters are firstly, a good playlist fitting of the occasion, and secondly, beautiful flowers. But at the end of it all, it’s about the company rather than the setting that makes for a good party. 

    What's your biggest party pet peeve?
    When guests don’t have a drink in hand, or it’s empty. It doesn’t have to be alcohol, but empty glasses are unacceptable at my house!

    What are you most excited for next?
    To finally get back into hosting on a regular basis! We’ve recently completed a 10+ month renovation of a historic home, and it’s been such a process. Feels good to finally be moved in and getting back into a routine. I’m already dreaming up all the parties I'll host this spring!  

    [Photos by Guest of a Guest]