Right now, dinner party dreams are just that: dreams. But Homeworthy is here to make them a reality – at least, without any guests. We've asked an eclectic mix of notables to set the table they wish they could invite people to and share all the details for our new series, "Set The Table With..." And this week we're featuring the elegant Violante Guerrieri Gonzaga whose stunning family palazzo in the heart of Rome is the setting for some of the city's most beautiful dinner parties. She just opened an exclusive shop where you can find her tableware collections.
HOMEWORTHY: What was your inspiration for this tablescape?
VIOLANTE GUERRIERI GONZAGA: My passion is tablescaping! I published a book called “Vio’s Cooking: An Italian lifestyle" From this total obsession for table setting I decided to create an online shop with all my beautiful objects for the table. Most of them are made in Italy. I also have a great passion for painting therefore I design my own plates and china.
HOMEWORTHY: What items did you use on your table?
VGG: Every time I set a table I change the china, linens, and flowers. I never set the same table twice because for me it's a creative experience each time. I am always inspired by the current season. For example now that we are in Autumn I have set a table according to autumnal colors and have used orange, yellow, and green colors on this table. I first start with my plates and according to the design and colors I then choose the linens, then I match the floral arrangements which I design and create myself. I also use lots of little objects in the middle of the table. I am very fond of birds so I have a big collection of parrots and bird candleholders in my shop.
HOMEWORTHY: Do you follow any rules when setting a table?
VGG: When I set the table for dinners I am very fond of candlelight so I use a lot of candles. On my terrace in the summer I only use candlelight. I think it gives an incredibly magical atmosphere. I always play a slight chill-out music in the background. For me the atmosphere is the most important part of a dinner. People are always seated with place cards that match my flower arrangement. I give a great importance to how my guests feel and want them to be seated next to people I think could match well with.
HOMEWORTHY: What is your idea of a perfect dinner?
VGG: My perfect dinner would be with my family. Most of us live in our ancient historical home which is called Palazzo Taverna, located in the center of Rome. My home is on the rooftop overlooking the eternal city. I have hosted many glamorous guests there such as Cindy Crawford, Michelle Pfeiffer, Kristen Stewart and many more. You can book a class that is more of an experience: we start from the fresh market, then come home have a drink , then cook together and finally lunch on the terrace. But I love having dinner with my family and these are the guests I truly prefer!
SHOP ITEMS FROM VIOLANTE'S STORE
SHOP ITEMS INSPIRED BY VIOLANTE