Living in paradise, aka Palm Beach, Florida, eliminates a lot of the guesswork in entertaining for Liza Pulitzer Calhoun. (She’s the daughter of Lilly—famed for her splashy, iconic, neon-print fashions—and Peter, of the publishing Pulitzers.) With her family heritage layered into her own breezy-chic style and lush, tropical surroundings, Liza’s parties embody the best of her colorful, come-as-you-are philosophy.

Liza Loves…

COLOR. Growing up under my mother’s roof meant color was just a part of life. Right now I’m loving purple. It’s rich but almost comes off as a neutral. I have parrot-green lacquered walls in the dining room and purple ikat–covered chairs, so I tend to use my white dinner plates as a kind of color pause. Plus, food always looks good on them.

Liza Pulitzer Calhoun’s light and colorful dining room features her signature color purple, parrot-green lacquered walls, and floors painted by her sister, Minnie McCluskey.

Liza Pulitzer Calhoun’s light and colorful dining room features her signature color purple, parrot-green lacquered walls, and floors painted by her sister, Minnie McCluskey.

COOKING. I like everything about cooking—it’s creative and relaxing for me. My mom always said to never be afraid of cooking for lots of people. My ace in the hole is to make enough food that if there’s ever a total disaster there’s always something else to eat, and I never want to run out of food when I’m entertaining.

Hors d’oeuvres are as simple as fruit, cheese, crackers, and summer sausage on a majolica serving plate.

Hors d’oeuvres are as simple as fruit, cheese, crackers, and summer sausage on a majolica serving plate.

FRESH GRAPEFRUIT. My dad had orange groves, and we always had fresh citrus around. Then my mom sold the fruit and juice at a stand, and that’s where the Lilly shift was born—to hide the juice stains. I love to squeeze fresh grapefruit juice for cocktails. It’s so Florida and refreshing.

Liza preps grapefruit for the refreshing Salty Dog cocktails she likes to serve.

Liza preps grapefruit for the refreshing Salty Dog cocktails she likes to serve.

TROPICAL LEAVES. My go-to flower is actually a monstera leaf, just one in a plain glass cylinder. I use palm fronds too. There’s so much greenery growing around our house, I hardly ever have to buy flowers. I’ve planted lots of purple blooms—imagine that. And there’s a climbing bougainvillea that I cut from too. Easy is my motto.

Fresh-cut pink bougainvillea in a white ceramic pitcher pairs well with the lime and turquoise on the bar.

Fresh-cut pink bougainvillea in a white ceramic pitcher pairs well with the lime and turquoise on the bar.

GUESTS IN THE KITCHEN. I always prep and serve from the big island in my kitchen and ask my guests to help rinse, chop, and plate the food. It’s more fun because then I have company during meal prep, and everyone has a good time. Plus, it seems like people tend to congregate in the kitchen anyway, so I might as well put them to work.

Liza decorates her table with green ferns in pots cleverly wrapped in ginger lily leaves from her garden.

Liza decorates her table with green ferns in pots cleverly wrapped in ginger lily leaves from her garden.

DOGS AND CHILDREN. We think they should be seen and heard at our parties—we’re really informal. I like the feel to be kind of like you’re just walking into my life, and the table is already set for you.

Her son Chris Leidy’s dreamy underwater photography lends a dose of cool to the spicy-colored kitchen/sitting room where Liza gathers all her tableware and later, her guests.

Her son Chris Leidy’s dreamy underwater photography lends a dose of cool to the spicy-colored kitchen/sitting room where Liza gathers all her tableware and later, her guests.

 

By Margot Shaw | Photos by Jessica Lorren