He's a highly sought-after party planner to the stars and authority on all things chic. Now, Colin Cowie is sharing his secrets for stylish living in his book Colin Cowie Chic: The Guide to Life As It Should Be
. "It's really about living life at 120 miles per hour in the fast lane, fueled by big doses of style, glamour, passion and organization," he says. Colin talks with Gayle about his tips for entertaining, etiquette and decorating the Colin Cowie way.
- Entertaining: Begin by using your fine linens and china every day, Colin says, not just special occasions. When entertaining company, focus on making guests comfortable rather than trying to impress them. And don't feel obligated to do everything from scratch: Purchase pre-made foods and coordinated place settings from your favorite stores. "It's not about money—it's really about our attitude toward ourselves and to our guests," Colin says.
- Etiquette: Be prepared and presentable when greeting guests into your home—it will put them at ease, Colin says. If you're invited to a special dinner or event, send a gift beforehand to "pave the way in anticipation of your arrival," as well as a thank-you note afterward. When seating guests at a dining table, alternate men and women and separate husbands from wives and loud individuals from the quiet to "balance the energy," Colin says.
- Decorating: For an elegant, modern and, most importantly, foolproof decorating scheme, Colin says to choose one color palette for your entire home. "It's all very seamless, it makes it appear much bigger, [and] it's much more soothing on the eyes," he says. Colin says his New York City apartment, for example, follows a color palette of grays, silvers and whites. His Miami pad is a combination of harmonious camels, creams, and bronzes.