A Louisiana Lunch with Keith Carroll

The graphic quilt used as a tablecloth was made by Keith's mother.
Is there anything that can be more charming than a delightful southerner? It's been my experience that southerners take great pride in living up to their reputation for being masters of gracious hospitality, even after they are transplanted up north. New York based interior designer and Louisiana native Keith Carroll, is the epitome of this southern ethos and his entertaining style, like his design style reflect both the warmth and tradition of the south.
His numerous New York projects are a blend of the classic good taste with a modern influence. This Hampton Designer Showhouse veteran, describes his work as "southern style with city chic". He likes to use color and pattern in his rooms and like the table he set for todays post has an air of effortless style.

Designer Keith Carroll.
Tell me about the meal you prepared?
This is a typical southern lunch based on the foods that I grew up eating. A chilled or frozen starter is a very typical way to start a meal followed by a Jumbo of chicken, shrimp and sausage with potato salad on the side. Dessert is a Million Dollar Poundcake made from my mothers recipe. It's made with a pound of butter so its very rich and decadent.
A plate of of Pimento Cheese sandwiches and Prosecco are ready for guests in the entry.
Who influenced your entertaining style?
My mother played a big role in setting my style. She was a great cook and always made big meals with tons of food. The great restaurants of New Orleans and the way they mix the types of foods they serve and the flavors has always inspired me. 
Of course the southern idea of having a good time all the time is something I live and entertain by.

The charming dinner plates are made from the artwork of Louisiana native African-American folk artist Clementine Hunter.

Have something ready for your guests when they walk in...a cocktail, nibble, etc. It's makes for a warm welcome.
A frozen fruit salad to start the meal.
Include something fun and whimsical on the table...it gives guests something to talk about! 
Start the  meal with an unexpected appetizer...not the usual green salad. A frozen salad or unique chilled soup. Keep it fun and interesting!
A homemade Million Dollar Poundcake with strawberries was served for dessert.
What tabletop items do you collect?
I collect old Sheffield silver plate candlesticks and odd pieces here and there. My most recent find was a small box that the dealer called a sugar casket.
A country fresh mix of tulips and Queen Anne's Lace were used for the center piece.

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