Pret-a-Reporter

Jeremiah Brent on Throwing a Stylish Theme Party

Charley Gallay/Getty Images/LaForce PR
Jeremiah Brent and Cointreau host The Art of La Soirée

The interior decorator and husband Nate Berkus are jumping back into the TV world with TLC's 'Married to Design,' debuting in 2017.

Interior designer Jeremiah Brent (who decorated Rachel Zoe's Los Angeles home, Rita Hazan's NYC apartment and the penthouse of the Whitman Building in New York) collaborated with liquor brand Cointreau for the travel-themed Collection de Voyages party Saturday at Big Daddy's Antiques in L.A., inviting guests to browse spaces inspired by destinations he loves.

Tulum, Hanoi, Marrakech and Split, Croatia, were all represented through curated interiors, food and cocktails as a part of The Cointreau Art of La Soiree series. Held across the country, the events tap tastemakers to teach guests the art of entertaining, and how to elevate parties with thoughtful details and themes. 

Brent got his big break appearing on The Rachel Zoe Project as a styling assistant with a flair for interiors. The 30-year-old, who married interior designer Nate Berkus in 2014, has a vivid memory of standing in Zoe's kitchen where she pushed him to pursue home design. "Rachel said to me, 'You talk about furniture like I talk about dresses, that is clearly your passion, you shouldn't be dressing girls!' "  

Says Brent, "Rachel was right and was really supportive, I always thank her for that." Now, he and Berkus, who have a toddler, daughter Poppy, are jumping back into the TV world with Married to Design. The TLC show slated to start airing in 2017 will give a glimpse into the couple's work and family life.

"Every week we will do a massive renovation for people in need, but it's also a glimpse into our lives as a family," explained the Los Angeles-based designer who added, "My husband and I have this theory that wherever we go and whatever we do we want to leave the world a little bit more beautiful." 

Below, check out Brent's tips on throwing a great party, what to bring if you aren't hosting and the best part about his job. 

Choose a souvenir as a centerpiece.

I am personally inspired by travel and for tonight, it was the idea that every place that is represented here, whether it's Croatia or Mexico or Vietnam, is dear to my heart. We had a dinner party last week inspired by our last vacation and I always put things that I purchased or got in that particular place as the centerpiece. That starts the story and the conversation, wanting to share something about your life. For a Peru-themed dinner, we put out the artifacts we got while we were there and my husband proposed to me there, so it’s a whole conversation starter.  

When it comes to theme parties, subtle can be better.

For an Olympics party, I would embrace the idea of traveling around the world and the idea of everyone coming together. So maybe the appetizers are inspired by a specific region and the cocktails are inspired by another, and dinner somewhere else. It become about the convergence of all these nations and cultures coming together, and less about the obvious red-, white- and blue-themed things.    

Thank-you gifts and hostess gifts should be thoughtful gestures. 

It may sound cliched, but a beautifully handwritten card on stationery — I sound like an old woman — is my favorite thing to give people. Because no one takes the time anymore. It makes someone feel more special that there was some sort of attention and level of appreciation that goes into that letter. For a friend who is hosting a party, I like to bring a picture. For example, my friend threw a dinner party recently and I found a photo of us from 10 years ago. It really encapsulated who we were then, and who we are as friends, and I put it in a beautiful silver frame and wrapped it up. 

Strive for meaning, too.

We just recently gave my sister and her husband, who let us stay in their house, an hour massage with someone who makes house calls. And the thought behind that is that you made us so comfortable in your home, let us try to pay back some of that comfort. And everybody loves a massage. 

The best part of my job is:

Creating experiences and making people feel like they are a part of something. To feel like I have left an impression, whether it’s a Moroccan pillow or the texture of a basket someone really likes, it's about showing people different types of beauty. 

Hanging in Hanoi:

Dining in Morocco: 

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