How RHONY’s Brynn Whitfield Does Friendsgiving in Her One-Bedroom Apartment
Including how she makes a folding table look chic.
Published Oct 31, 2023 1:06 PM
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It’s not unusual to hear sounds of scooting tables and shuffling chairs coming from Brynn Whitfield’s New York City apartment. The Real Housewives of New York star loves to host dinner parties in her one-bedroom West Village rental, but in order to pull it off, she needs to do a bit of rearranging first. She usually starts by moving the coffee table out of the way. “I bring it over to where my desk is, flip it, and put my desserts on it,” Whitfield explains. Her antique desk—once she’s shifted it over a few feet—serves as a makeshift bar for the night. Then comes the hardest part: Whitfield has to dig through her storage crawl space to access her folding table and chairs. “In this apartment, I’m always extra proud of how I host, because I’m hacking a small space,” she says.
Inspired to share her tips with small-space dwellers and entertainers alike, Whitfield recently partnered up with CB2 to hand-pick her favorite tabletop items and dig into all things Thanksgiving hosting. Ahead, she reveals some of her top tricks.
My Tiny-Apartment Table Hack
I have a foldable table that I got from Home Depot that’s 8 feet long. It basically looks like a massage table and is sort of crummy, so I bought a pad on Amazon that’s thick. I put that on top and then add a white tablecloth that’s extra-long plus some antique lace. When people are touching it, they have no idea they’re sitting at a folding table.
How I Avoid Cheesy Holiday Vibes
I love purple and green together—it’s colorful and festive without going red and green. I also like a little showmanship, so I always start with melon balls. I get an ice cream scooper and a melon I bought at the Union Square farmers’ market and scoop out perfect balls, add mint on top, and place them in coupes. Then when guests sit down at the table, I have them pour brandy into the glass to make a cocktail.
What I Play to Set the Mood
I love having specific Spotify playlists for hosting. I have one for dinner parties, cooking at home, hot girl dinner parties, and Italian lunches and dinners. For Friendsgiving, I like to start with Brazilian jazz or 1940s stuff and then go through the decades, ending on holiday music like “Jingle Bell Rock.”
How I Keep the Conversation Flowing
Underneath everyone’s plates, I put a piece of paper that either has a question the guest has to answer or a question they have to ask someone else. I tell them to look after the main course, so I can start clearing their plates and sneak over to the kitchen to begin cleaning and organizing.
What I Don’t Want My Guests to Do
I’d rather you arrive a little late than early because I like to be fully dressed and ready. Also, I really don’t want you to help me clean. There are some things that can go in my little dishwasher and some things that can’t, plus I don’t want you to see the mess I created in the kitchen.
The Best Gift You Could Bring Me
I have enough wine and I don’t need flowers. Bring a cool game like Twister or a candle or blanket—something cozy that makes me feel the same way that hopefully my home made you feel.