1 of 5
A Grand Plan
"Just as you would dress up for a special function, a stylish setting is important in orchestrating an unforgettable affair," says Jung Lee, cofounder of the event planning firm Fête in New York City. To create Martha Draper Odell's new look, Lee started with Odell's family china, a gilt-edged porcelain dinner service from the 1920s. Then Lee and Odell rounded up decorative objects from around her house. "Always shop your home first," says Lee. (But don't go overboard with knickknacks, she warns; they can clutter the table.) Silver and gold accents work because "they're both used in measured doses," says Lee. "None of it overwhelms." The arrangement is also user-friendly: A long, low centerpiece, short candles, and plenty of elbow room let guests talk and dine with ease. Lee came up with several suggestions, shown here and on the next page, for staging a memorable feast.