Entertaining With Elegance

Duxbury interior designer Jessica Rogan shares simple ways to outfit your home for an unforgettable summertime brunch.

Story and Photography by Kate Rogan

Florals by Consider the Lilies 

Glassware and decor accessories from Darilynn’s

Longing to live near the ocean and be closer to family, Jessica Rogan and her husband James made the decision to move to Duxbury in the fall of 2019.  After a bit of searching, the couple purchased a stately three-story colonial (built in 2005 by the late Shawn Dalen) and Rogan set to work putting creative touches on its interior. 

“The bones of the house were just so good,” says Rogan, owner of Jessica Rogan Design. She was drawn to the home’s beautiful millwork, high ceilings and abundance of windows. “The natural light gives off a bright warm vibe, even on the cloudiest New England days,” says Rogan. She also appreciated the home’s functional layout (an important feature for a family with three young children), and its versatility for entertaining guests.

Prior to moving to the South Shore, Rogan left her full-time corporate job to be able to stay home with her children, but quickly developed what she calls a “creative itch.” “I would immerse myself in various sewing projects,” she says, “spending hours searching through fabrics online and interior design scheming.” She redecorated rooms in her home (multiple times) and began helping friends and family with design projects in her spare time. Moving to the South Shore presented the perfect opportunity for Rogan to flex her design muscles.

When the world turned upside down in 2020, due to a global pandemic, Rogan resolved to honor her passion and pursue a career that brought joy to her life and those around her. After settling in Duxbury, she officially launched her interior design business. “I’ve always preached to my children the importance of following their passion, and I finally took my own advice,” says Rogan.

While building her business, Rogan was making her new house feel like a home. She refreshed the home’s interior with light-colored hardwood floors, neutral wall paint colors and sleek white kitchen cabinetry, creating an elegant, refined coastal look while keeping the design timeless. She utilized a combination of high and low furnishings and accessories to keep things interesting and affordable. Her favorite room in the house is a coastal-inspired blue and white living room with unexpected pops of Kelly green and beautiful seascapes on the wall. “Never underestimate the impact a pop of color can have on a space,” she says.

Rogan was intentional about every décor element she chose, asking herself questions like: Did she love it? Did it serve a purpose? And did it have meaning and significance? “Your home should be full of curated items that are reflective of you and your family,” she says. “Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy and inspire you.”

Summer Tabletop Tips

Jessica Rogan enjoys entertaining family and friends at her home, especially in summer. Here are a few of her top tips for creating a stunning summer brunch experience.

1. Pick a Theme  

Choose a theme and color palette and let it lead your design. A pink and orange citrus theme is perfect for a summer brunch and can be easily achieved by incorporating lemons, limes, grapefruit or other citrus fruit into your tabletop design. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a Nantucket-inspired tabletop theme. Shades of blue, green and white provide a feminine, summery look and hydrangeas are easily accessible. 

2. Creative Containers

When designing a centerpiece for your table, start with a vessel that you love and that has meaning to you. While this could be a vase, it could be another unique container, like a decorative bowl. Bring the container to your local florist to have it filled with bountiful blooms.

3. Carefree Linens 

It is worth investing in a classic hotel white tablecloth as they are extremely versatile and create a beautiful backdrop. Add a pop of color to your place settings and save time on laundry by using pretty Papersoft Napkins from Vietri. These disposable napkins, which are soft to the touch and highly absorbent, come in a range of patterns and look just like cloth napkins.  

4. High-Low Design 

Don’t be afraid to mix and match new accessories with family heirlooms and combine items with different dollar values. This is especially true when picking plates. In Rogan’s citrus tablescape, the Tiffany’s blue and white salad plates were received as a wedding gift, but the bottom plates were an inexpensive department store find. In the Nantucket-inspired dining room, heirloom Wedgewood china with a Nantucket basket weave was layered atop Spode plates.

5. Mix & Match 

Layering your glassware, plates and placemats and using different colors, materials, and textures will add visual interest to your place settings. Don’t be afraid to mix different patterned plates and napkins to add dimension and visual interest to your table. 

6.  Colorful Candles

Even when they are unlit, candles elevate the elegance of a table. Use simple glass candlestick holders or hurricane vases and get some fun colored candles that coordinate with your color theme (Rogan loves Caspari Candlesticks). 

7. Flower Power

Accent your home and table with flowers that match the colors of your theme. If you choose to enlist a florist’s help, bring them some inspiration pictures so they have an idea of the look you desire. We love the pops of citrus-colored blooms in these arrangements created by Consider the Lilies in Duxbury.

8.  DIY Beverage Bar

A summer gathering isn’t complete without refreshing drinks and cocktails. A self-serve beverage station is a simple solution that will keep your guests happy and hydrated. Create a lovely presentation with a decorative tray and canned or bottled beverages that coordinate with your overall color scheme. Fill a pitcher with a signature cocktail and be sure ice is easily accessible.