KDHamptons Design Diary With Entertaining Guru Mark Addison! Styling Tips To Create a Haute Hamptons Tablescape!



EVENTSYLE founder, Mark Addison at his East Hampton home



KDH loves to entertain in style at home so we caught up with designer, entertaining expert, Hamptonite, and founder of EVENTSTYLE — Mark Addison — to find out some of his favorite dinner party details for the upcoming summer season.


Last summer, Addison opened a satellite office for EVENTSTYLE in East Hampton. For the last 12 years EVENTSTYLE has produced the chicest charity yard sale known as “Super Saturday” in the Hamptons, which is always packed with celebrities and luxury designer goods. Don’t quite have the budget to hire Addison? You can see his entertaining expertise and purposeful design on his new home entertaining party series “Entertain U”.


Mark Addison and Kelly Ripa at Super Saturday 2012



Check out Mark’s KDHamptons Design Diary below:


KDH:  Why do you love to entertain in the Hamptons vs. NYC?

Mark: The Hamptons is a whole different vibe from Manhattan. The weather, the laidback attitude and beautiful scenery of the Hamptons is what makes it like no other place.  There is nothing more pleasant than a beach run in the morning, boutique shopping in the afternoon and  “Southside” cocktails from the Maidstone in the evening followed by an amazing dinner – rinse and repeat!

I entertain in New York all year long so I really love the few months I have in the Hamptons because I have so much more space and can really create some amazing entertaining spaces especially outdoors. Summertime in the Hamptons is always exciting, and there is nothing better than having a group of friends over for cocktails and a great dinner.  I love to go to all the local vendors. It takes more time but it reminds me of Europe where you go to the best bakery and the best fish market – it is part of the experience. In the Hamptons, quality is key, whereas in NYC, efficiency is.



Serve fresh crab at your next dinner party!



KDH:  During summer, which night of the week is best for planning a dinner party and why?

Mark: During the summer any night can be great for a dinner party, but I believe Thursday is the new Friday. And Sunday is the new Saturday….Friday and Saturday can be packed with events that I’m designing and/or attending and the same goes for a lot of my friends. Thursday is a great night to start the weekend with a dinner party to catch up with friends and let the stress of the week go and look forward to a fun weekend in the Hamptons. Plus, everyone is in a good mood on Thursday because Friday is the next day! And I also believe every day can be an occasion to have a party, be it an intimate diner or beach clam bake for 60….



KDH:  Do you have three rules every great host/hostess should live by?

MA: Okay, here are my three steadfast rules:

First: If you’re going to host a party, then host the party! Don’t expect guests to cook or work, or decorate your home. A proper host always takes care of everything, giving their guest the best experience possible.  Be sure you can handle the responsibility of “giving” a party and give yourself enough time to properly prepare.

Second: Be prepared for extra guests! You should request your guests to RSVP, but always be prepared for those who don’t.

Third: Create simple, yet elegant meals and cocktails that will impress your guests, but can be mostly prepared ahead of time. That gets you out of the kitchen, or from behind the bar to enjoy your party!  Or, make it really easy on yourself and bring in the professionals!



KDH:  Who is your favorite Hamptons florist? Or place to buy cut flowers to arrange yourself?

MA: As a designer, I order the majority of my flowers in the flower market in NYC that I use for my events.  If I were in a pinch out East I would go to the garden shop at Marders, in Bridgehampton. My new tabletop centerpiece trend is to create living décor such as terrariums that live all summer long and are easy change up with you décor theme.





KDH:  Do you have a favorite caterer?


MA: Catering is really so client/event specific that I enlist a several top companies that are my go-to caterers.  Sant Ambroeus and Robins Wolf are top on my list in the Hamptons.





KDH:   Where do you find chic tabletop decor in the Hamptons?

MA: Home, James! is my go to place for tabletop décor.  They have amazing array of table linens with over 100 colors & designs to select from.  Not to mention my Table Chameleon Napkin Rings are sold there.  This summer I am offering custom Table Chameleon designs to match your interior design, china patterns or personalized with monograms.

Also, I love to explore Sag Harbor’s MONC XIII for unique one-of –kind finds to add to my entertaining arsenal!



KDH:  Thoughts on theme dinner parties? What’s your favorite?

MA: I always say the party doesn’t stop on the tabletop and love theme parties as a way to really engage my guests.  As a professional, I am all about designing experiences versus planning parties.  Some of my favorite parties are inspired by current events and films such as a recent Hunger Games dinner party with food and drinks inspired by The Capitol.  Guests came in funky futuristic outfits!





KDH:  Where do you live out East and why do you love the Hamptons so much?

MA: I live in East Hampton and I absolutely love it. The Hamptons is a special place to me, I’ve been coming here for over 13 years now working on Super Saturday, and still after all these years I’m captivated by its beauty any season. There is something in the air-summer or winter- something that makes the Hamptons lifestyle effortless and chic, something that the only the Hamptons has….

*For more information go to: www.eventstyle.com



We asked Mark to share a chic & easy tablescape idea for KDHamptons readers to try at home. I love what he created below…..Just follow these easy steps:


"All the “sand” is actually couscous – it gives the same feel but is neat and clean. I have collected the cut glass I add to vases for years on Hamptons beaches..."



"Place large empty clam shells in the center – the couscous helps to keep it in place."



"The napkins rings are cut shells. You can easily make a version of these with shells you collect and mix-n-match"



"Group a bunch of gorgeous hydrangeas in clear vases – they are the unofficial flower of the Hamptons."



"I love these core bamboo plates…I have been focusing on ECOTAINING and try to incorporate it in everything I do."