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Photography by Camille Lizama | Dinnerware provided by Ampersand Shops | Hair and makeup by Kristine Loehrer

There is something special about entertaining in your home. Home is where the heart is, therefore opening up your abode to family and friends makes them feel valued and loved. My home is a sacred place for me. To achieve that sacred Wildly Living feeling, I surround myself with the spirit of the outdoors as it centers me and brings me peace. I do this by decorating with natural fibers, various metals, soothing candles, lots of textures, and woods in monochromatic neutral tones.

When it’s time to entertain, I want my guests to feel Mother Earth’s soothing energy. One way to accomplish this is with your table setting. Besides serving wild game, there are many ways to bring nature to your dinner table. Incorporate natural elements with wood serving pieces, touches of metal, cotton linens, accents of wild bird feathers, fresh flowers and greenery.

I like to add a little wow factor to the table as a conversation starter. For this party statement, I placed shed antlers down the center of the table that were blinged by hand with Swarovski crystals by local artist Bradley David Swanson. Add in some candlelight, and the shine off the antlers turns this table setting into a naturally chic display with a twist of glam. If you can’t get your hands on Swarovski crystals, you can always take your own shed antlers and dip the tips in gold or silver metallic paint for a similar effect.

I also believe when you’re entertaining that music is a key component. One way to bring in the spirit of the earth is through Native American flute music. It’s calming yet enchanting, soulful yet spiritual.

Taking the time to cook and share a meal with family and friends in a beautiful space unites us as one for that moment. Asking a question for all to answer is another way to encourage connection. One of my favorites is, “In what way has nature been your spiritual teacher?” You’d be surprised by the unique answers, as everyone has experienced her blessings.

For your next gathering, keep it natural. Set the tone with your decor and let your guests absorb the beauty of the great outdoors brought inside while connecting over conversation. It’s guaranteed to create a plateful of joyful memories. 

Laura Schara is a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and cohost of the television series Minnesota Bound. You can find her blog at

Read this article as it appears in the magazine.

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