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5 Entertaining Details That Are Important For Fashion Interiors' Gela Cornelissen

Whether she’s hosting dinners in Manila or in her home in Holland, Gela Cornelissen admits she loves hosting casual sit-down dinners, keeping in mind her husband’s preference for European cuisine. “To entertain is quite easy for me. I really take the time to make the menu and do everything from scratch. I cook every dish from appetizer to dessert. In Holland, I would host dinners once a week. I would gather different friends that we think would get along and be interested in who they are with that evening,” she says.




Having collected décor from various countries during her travels, Gela says she enjoys conceptualizing everything from the lighting down to the music played during her dinners. Her background as a former CCP singer makes it a natural process for her. “It depends on the mood, but I like it lavish. Music helps set the mood so I think of the music to put on, but most of the time, I have a pianist at home. I sing if the crowd would like to have singers. But I just like lounge music if it’s just a typical relaxed evening. Lighting is very important too. I have a LED light in the house that sets the kind of mood I like. There are also many other details to look at, including the flowers and candles,” she shares.

Creating the mood for guests is not just about the right food and décor but giving them an overall experience they can remember. Creating a homey feeling for all the guests is standard at the Cornelissen home. “I think the camaraderie and friendship are enough reasons to get together. As long as I can see my guests enjoying each other’s company, that for me is the reward. Of course, the food comes next. Eating is also part of the Filipino tradition. We like talking about and enjoying food (laughs). That rounds off the total evening,” she explains.

Coming up with the perfect dinner party is easy as long as you have the right accent pieces. Here, Gela lists the important details to check out when she’s entertaining at home:



1. Porcelain set. She has a collection accumulated from her travels, with beautiful designs from France, Italy, Germany, and a couple from the Philippines.



2. Baby grand piano. Having started her career as a singer, naturally, Gela would choose the piano as a key accent piece in her spacious living room. Guest pianists also provide live music during sit-down dinners.



3. Wine cooler. She and her husband are wine lovers so wine is a staple during parties. They have a preference for mostly French and Italian wines.



4. Table setting. Gela collects napkins and placemats of different colors and designs, which come from Bangkok. This goes well with the Chinese and Indonesian dishes she serves, for that added Asian touch.



5. Chocnut. A personal dessert favorite, Chocnut is a staple at Gela’s parties. Yes, even if she makes chocolate mousse to die for! These sweets are usually spread around the table along with small chocolate pieces that double as giveaways.


Photos courtesy of Metro Home & Entertaining