Set for Summer

Set for Summer

Photography by Tony Lewis Jr.



Annapolis Home asked Amanda Chando, Owner and Creative Director of Details + Design, to set a summer table for us and share her thought process about what makes a dinner party truly successful and memorable. Here is what Chando has to say:


As the host, your gathering should be very thoughtful, and you should encourage your guests to feel at home in their surroundings. So, spend time to set the mood; this will affect the tone of the evening and will encourage people to enjoy themselves and
stay awhile. 

For this gathering, I chose a calm, outdoor setting surrounded by towering trees and tons of greenery. Therefore, when building our tablescape, we wanted to incorporate very natural, whimsical layers, like our surroundings. Then, your gathering does not feel like a theme party but truly feels intimate. Some of the key elements we consider when hosting a thoughtful dinner party are as follows:

What food do you want to serve? We personally love the longevity of a beautiful charcuterie board. It is not a heavy meal that needs to be consumed in a timely manner but is a mouth-watering appetizer that allows your guests to relax, have great conversation, and leisurely enjoy something that looks as good as it tastes. 

What will your tablescape look like? We love to use this over-the-table rod and build a canopy of fresh wildflowers over the table. Large centerpieces can tend to crowd the table and block conversation, so we tend to add this creative element to make the design feel intentional. We will then add tiny vases on the table that feel more like they are part of your place setting than the central focus of your tablescape.

What drinks do you plan to serve? We love stemware that feels special, so we think what you choose to fill your glasses with should 

be just as unique. In the summer, we love to add fresh fruit, like blueberries or raspberries, to water for a hint of color and flavor. You don’t want your guests to get up from the table unless they must, so a table side bar cart stocked with decanters of water and champagne is the ultimate touch.

What does your place setting look like? We love to pay special attention to flatware. It is an opportunity to bring in color, style, and function and is always a talking point during our dinner parties. In this case, we loved the soft pink flatware that incorporated some of the tones we chose for the flowers.  It has a summery, modern feel that paired nicely with the antique cutting board and recycled glass. We also think a pretty cloth napkin is an option and will tend to pair a neutral fabric with a gorgeous napkin ring or a pretty pattern to play off of the glassware.


Visit Details + Design at 413 4th Street, Annapolis, MD 21401, to find most of the items we used to set this table, including flatware, plates, napkins, and stemware. A second location on Spa Creek with a new showroom is opening very soon. For details, check out






The Perfect Charcuterie

By Leigh Hannan



Confused about what truly makes a stellar charcuterie? Leigh Hannan of the Severna Park-based CharcuterLeigh notes that variety is the key to success. She shares her choices for assembling the perfect charcuterie.


When creating a board, variety is key. One way you can get variety on a cheese and charcuterie board is through the milk source of the cheeses as well as the style of the cheese: soft, hard, and semi-soft. The three cheeses I used for this table had different milk sources:



1. Saint-André:  I love to include soft cheeses on all of my boards. Saint-André is a triple crème soft cheese that is buttery and mild. It is made from cow’s milk.

2. Gouda:  I used a semi-firm goat’s milk Gouda from popular cheese maker, Beemster. It has a very mild flavor. I find that most people like me who aren’t big goat cheese fans enjoy this.

3. Manchego:  A super popular sheep’s milk cheese from Spain that is a crowd pleaser. 



Prosciutto, Coppa, and salami with fennel seed 



Fruit adds a sweet component to the board. Pick what looks the best and is in season. I used plums, strawberries, pine berries, grapes, and cherries. 


Nuts and Crackers

Provide some crunch to the board and offer different textures. I used marcona almonds and Lesley Stowe Rainforest Crisps. I also used Rustic Bakery olive oil and sea salt crackers. 

Olives: Castelvetrano green olives 

Pickles: Cornichons

Jam: Fig jam, which is the classic Spanish pairing with manchego


Tip: If you are making a board early in the day for an event, dinner, etc., do not put crackers on the board, as they will soften in the refrigerator. It’s nice to have a separate cracker board as everyone loves carbs and they get eaten quickly. That way, you can easily refill it while entertaining.


For more information or to order a charcuterie board for your next gathering, visit CharcuterLeigh’s Facebook page or email Leigh Hannan at



© Annapolis Home Magazine
Vol. 14, No. 4 2023