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Kitchen decor

How Ashley Graham Makes Her Place to Entertain

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Ashley Graham knows her style: The model has graced magazine covers and fashion campaigns around the world, and her Instagram feed showcases her trendsetting wardrobe—interspersed with photos of Graham sharing her unfiltered, sometimes-glamorous-and-sometimes-not life—to delight for her more than 18 million followers.

Graham may be known for her fashion style, but she’s also pretty decisive about the style of her home, especially when it comes to decorating her entertaining space. “I definitely like the look of [my space] to be smart and still have a fun aesthetic,” she says. “And maybe a little pop of color.” She loves the monochrome look, she adds, especially when dark shades of blue and gray are included.

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Working with buy-now, pay-later service Affirm and designer Mikel Welch, Graham recently updated her home with an entertaining-friendly backyard, and her lessons from the process might just inspire your own entertaining update this season. We caught up with Graham—now a mother of three and the owner of a stunning home in New Jersey—and talked about how she balances high-end and affordable decor, how she created a space that’s both family-friendly and entertaining, her entertaining must-haves and much more.



How Ashley Graham Created Her Perfect Entertaining Space

When hosting, Graham wants all her guests to have everything they need—without going overboard. “I want to make sure everyone is happy,” she says. “We definitely have the martini shaker, and we have the wine glasses, and we have the pitcher for the pointed Arnold Palmers. But I also like to keep things simple. Sometimes less is more.”

With that in mind, when outfitting her space, Graham considered which items she could save money on—and which she could throw away.

“It’s kind of like my clothes,” she says. “I think of it as something that’s an investment piece versus something that’s trendy. I’m not going to look at the same throw or pillow on my couch for the next two years in a row, so why not make it a little high -end low-end situation? I can get a high-end sofa on Affirm and pay as I go, and then I can get the throw pillows [somewhere else]. It’s really the investment — I like to think of it that way.”

Although she always knew she wanted her space to be entertaining, Graham was careful to make sure it didn’t become single-purpose.

“Our door is a revolving door for friends and family and then people that we’ve worked with,” she says. “We’re also a big cozy family and we needed space where we could all gather and snuggle and eat and entertain and also take business calls, so it really needs to be multi-functional.”

The things she filled the room with were all chosen with these uses in mind – and also for their durability and weather resistance. But Graham recognizes that entertaining requires more than just some useful gadgets.

“It’s really fun to have those little trinkets for entertaining, but really it’s also about what’s inside,” she says. “My mom was really big on hospitality, so she always had a few different types of drinks, homemade, in the fridge.” Graham took her lessons to heart, and she says she always has a variety of drinks on hand.


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Ready to upgrade your own entertaining space? Graham shared a few suggestions for items she considers entertaining essentials: With these picks ready to go, you’ll be prepared for any visitor—including the surprises.


Williams Sonoma Classic Bar Tool Set

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Williams Sonoma


Graham says her mother raised her to practice Southern hospitality — keeping a variety of drinks on hand so each guest has something to sip and enjoy. A complete set of bar tools ensures that you will be able to make any drink that your guests demand.



Pottery Barn Handmade White Enamel Party Bucket

Ceramic barn


Today, Graham says durability is key: “Most of my friends have kids now, at this point,” she says. With kids running around, especially outdoors, you want entertaining tools that won’t break after a little bumping. Enter this powder-coated party bin, which can hold enough bottles to save you from running into the fridge too often – and is tough enough to withstand some rough handling.



West Elm Pure Glass Drink Dispenser

West Elm


When entertaining, Graham strives to have a variety of drinks to offer her guests—but relies on accessories like this beverage dispenser to help the drink station feel put together. “When you have people in your room, [having a variety of drink options] makes them feel really at home,” she says. “That’s why I like to have all the extra things … the accessories that just make it feel even more cohesive.”



Pottery Barn Marrakesh Melamine sectional serving dish and melamine serving bowl

Ceramic barn


“We like plastic,” says Graham. “Outside anyway.” Take this serving dish and bowl. Made from melamine – a tough plastic – and decorated with beautiful blue, gray and white geometric patterns, these dishes are durable enough to withstand children and beautiful enough to make adults sing their praises.