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Kevin and Martha
When Kevin Sharkey throws open his apartment doors for his annual holiday open house, friends are greeted with glittering decorations, bubbling cocktails, and modern takes on old hors d’oeuvres. The loosely structured, afternoon-into-evening affair lends itself perfectly to Kevin’s entertaining style. “I make sure there’s great Champagne and delicious food on hand at all times,” he says. “I want people to feel comfortable, whether they stop by for a few minutes or stay the whole time.” Amid a forest of feathery trees, a herd of silver deer, and endless savory treats, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to leave at all.
Here, Martha and Kevin make a toast surrounded by pink-feather trees.
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Entrance to the Party
“First impressions last even longer when there’s fragrance and flicker,” Kevin says of his entryway, with its aromatic spruce wreath framing deer antlers.
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Deer are also a recurring motif in his holiday decor.
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Champagne is passed, then Kevin circulates with a bottle to top off glasses. “I don’t want anyone to have to stand and wait for a drink,” he says.
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Martha catches up with designer Thom Browne.
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Living's deputy creative director, Ayesha Patel, leans against the mantel, with its array of shimmery gold and pearly white candles.
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“Croque-monsieur are life sustaining,” Kevin says of the double-decker mini sandwiches he serves alongside three-cheese gougeres and endive leaves filled with spicy, creamy Peppadew dip.
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Classic Cocktail-Party Food
“I love classic cocktail-party food,” Kevin says. “I want everything that’s served to be simple and delicious.” Here, celery and radishes topped with cream cheese and fig jam rest on a silver-rimmed tray of pink quartz.
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Kevin loves the fluffy coconut coated treat with a sophisticated twist: Mounds of chocolate cake are brushed with almond syrup, topped with pale-pink seven minute frosting, and covered with shredded coconut.“I would never let an opportunity to serve snowball-style cakes pass,” Kevin says of this chocolate confection, a favorite from childhood.
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East Meets West
Kevin’s Guan Yin Bodhisattvas flank two of his glammed-up pink-feather trees. “I saw the trees in a shop’s postholiday sale and, of course, turned what could have been a bargain into a buying frenzy by purchasing a dozen -- every last one in the store.”
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Having a Good Time
Kevin and his friend Bette share a laugh next to one of his pink-feather trees.
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Kevin's friends Douglas and Kathy chat beside a coffee table, above right, that serves as a bed for shiny reindeer. “Whenever I find deer, I coat them with craft glue and cover them with glitter,” Kevin says.
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When a friend shows up wearing a pink stole, Kevin jokes, “She fits right in with the decor!”
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Chilled and Ready to Serve
Kevin chilled the Champagne by leaving it on the terrace in the brisk December air.
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