Hosting Rules

Molly Sims’ Secrets to Entertaining

We got the supermodel, actress, and style guru to reveal how she makes hosting look effortless.

Tell me about your new book, Everyday Chic. “It’s a lifestyle go-to book, helping moms with the quick weeknight meal, or with great drinks to have at the party. It’s all about making things that take a lot of effort look effortless. I have a big neon sign in my house that says ‘happy mess,’ and my ideal is to embrace that happy mess and make it look good. It’s like Photoshopping your Instagram photos; making things look better than they do in real life. There are chapters on food, design, decor, and home organization, but the last chapter is about how to make that shit happen—how to keep your mind in order, keep your body in order. How to keep calm and carry on as a mom, as a wife, as a friend.”

Your first book was called The Everyday Supermodel. What does that “everyday” concept mean to you? “It’s something that kinda defines me. I’m just an everyday girl from Kentucky who just got lucky and made a lot out of her luck. I wanted to speak to the everygirl. I want you to be the best you can be on an everyday basis, without the hair and makeup. I’m just like any other girl; I just happen to work in a really weird business. I try to live my life with style and grace and a little bit of prayer and hope for the best.”

Can you share the single most important piece of advice you have for someone looking to throw a memorable party? “Great people, great music, and a lot of alcohol. Try to never run out of food, and never run out of alcohol. People make a lot of fuss out of entertaining but I think the buildup is worse than it really is. It doesn’t even matter what your stuff looks like. The devil’s in the details: You can literally just pour Coca-Cola in a glass but add a lime wedge. You can order delivery and serve it on the nice china.”

What do people tend to overlook when they’re hosting a crowd? “People who entertain often forget to invite themselves! They spend so much time trying to make everything perfect that they don’t enjoy their own party. And at the end of the day, it’s the people who make the party. That, and not having somebody designated to help you clean up at the end of the night.”

Is your home kitchen huge? “The kitchen is the biggest room in my house. It’s the hub. No matter if you have a 1,200-square-foot house or a 15,000-square-foot house, everybody is in the kitchen.”

Do you have any signature dishes? “I do kickass breakfast and brunches—egg white frittatas are a specialty. I also have a few go-to things that I don’t have to spend a lot of effort on: My husband loves football, and I make chili, and cheese dip, and put two kinds of beer in a bucket with ice.”

As the mother of three small children, do you have any advice on making kids feel welcome at a dinner party? “If you know there will be kids along when you’re entertaining, you have to prepare for that. It doesn’t have to be homemade, but whatever you’re serving, think of the kids. Cut pizza into smaller pieces; if you’re ordering sandwiches, make sure there’s PB&J. Pasta, chicken fingers, mac & cheese—all kids love that stuff.”

You live in Los Angeles but spend a lot of time in New York; what are your favorite places to eat and drink in both cities? “In L.A., I love The Tower Bar: great burger, great sandwiches, great cucumber cocktails. Soho House in Malibu is a great brunch for families. I love Farmshop—it’s a go-to place—and Pizzana with my kids in Brentwood. Huckleberry. Milo + Olive. Sweet Rose Creamery for ice cream, or Tender Greens for a salad. In New York: Le Coucou. It’s a great restaurant. The best chocolate chip cookie in the world comes from Maman, which is great for kids, great for breakfast. I also love old-school New York spots like The Odeon.”

Having grown up in Kentucky and attended college in Tennessee, how much do Southern hospitality and cuisine fit into your entertaining philosophy? “Family is very, very, very important in the South, so I guess it’s at the base of the whole book. My mom was a working mom, but she always had my aunts and uncles and cousins over for potlucks, dinner parties, whatever you want to call it. They made biscuits, they made cobblers. It was about having family and friends around, and we were always eating.”

I have to ask you as a Kentucky girl: Are you a bourbon drinker? “You know what? I’m kind of not. It’s kind of hard to admit, but I’m not. I’m a vodka/tequila kind of girl. My favorite drink is an Eastern Standard—cucumber, vodka, lime, and simple syrup.”

Molly Sims’ book Everyday Chic goes on sale Oct. 10.

Interview has been condensed and edited.