Padma Lakshmi's Etsy Edit for Entertaining Is Beautiful & (Mostly) Practical

But we are here for the completely extravagant crochet macrame umbrella

Padma Lakshmi poses in an outside dining area featuring entertaining items she curated for Etsy


Are you stuck or uninspired when it comes to your home? Do you dread having people over because you know that your indoor and outdoor spaces are just … lame? You’re not the only one. Whether your house has looked the same for years or you’ve attempted to spruce things up and the vibe still feels off, it’s only natural to look for ways to purposefully reimagine your space and create a little spark.

That’s why we’re so inspired by this latest Etsy Edit featuring Emmy-nominated TV host, chef, author, producer, and mother, Padma Lakshmi. In this behind-the-scenes exclusive, she shares some of her favorite Etsy items and how she uses them to create and curate spaces—both indoor and outdoor—that truly feel like home.

Here are some of our favorites to hopefully inspire you to reimagine your own space with intention.

  • 01 of 06

    Family-Sized Serving Tray

    a wood and marble serving tray sits on a wood table with bread, cheese, and almonds

    Etsy / The Crafty Swirl

    “What I enjoy most about food is that it brings people and communities together,” Lakshmi says.  

    As such, Lakshmi’s perspective on table decor is a mix of vibrant color (without being too much) mixed with laid back, family-style items to create a sense of connection. Having gatherings—large or small—requires intentionality, not only in how you prepare your physical space and seating areas, but in how you present your food.  

    That’s why one of Lakshmi’s favorites is this 24-inch serving tray from The Crafty Swirl. It can hold everything from breads and cheeses to the main dish. It can also double as a table centerpiece, she says, by adding florals or a simple vase.  

  • 02 of 06

    Hand-Blown Glassware

    Moroccan style handblown glasses


    Choosing the preferred glassware for a gathering or event can be a lot harder than you think. There are so many sizes, variations, and colors, and depending on the layout of the home, color scheme, or indoor vs. outdoor space.

    For Lakshmi, the glassware decision is all about creating a statement, catching the eyes of guests, and sourcing products made from sustainable materials. Her favorites are made from recycled wine and beer bottles, adding a splash of (eco-friendly) color to the table setting. These are from ShopMuirwood.

  • 03 of 06

    Eclectic Pillows

    Upcycled Vintage Asooke Pillow

    Etsy / xNStudio

    Having people over isn’t just about the food (although that helps, of course). It’s also about the experience. Lakshmi prides herself on making mealtimes meaningful. “When entertaining,” she says, “I want every piece on the table to be just as meaningful and impactful as the food, company, and conversation itself.”  

    Pillows can make a huge difference in a seating area. However, more often than not, we tend to focus on the *pretty* decor pillows rather than the functional (or comfortable) ones.

    “Make sure you’re thinking about how things feel rather than how they look,” says Lakshmi when asked about setting up her seating areas. Whether inside or outside, pillows can and should have two main functions: provide a comfortable place to rest (first) and give a pop of color (second).

  • 04 of 06

    Cotton Throw Blanket

    throw blanket with tassels

    Etsy / FINEGRID

    Just like pillows, a cozy blanket—like this one from FINEGRID—can change the feel of a seating area from rigid to welcoming. Regardless of the temperature (because, let’s face it—you don’t have to be chilly to enjoy a good blanket!), it adds a softness to the space that makes guests feel as if they’re in their own home, kitchen, patio, or even bedroom.

    When paired with rough furniture, harsh outdoor wicker chairs, or other outdoor elements (concrete, brick, etc.) a good blanket can create a perfect balance of materials and textures that help guests to relax and unwind. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Colorful Vintage Rug

    Padma poses outdoors with a dining table, settee and beautiful accessories, including rugs, an umbrella, and throw pillows


    Having people inside your home is exciting, fun, and probably a little crazy at times … but entertaining outdoors is another animal. When it comes to outdoor entertainment, though, Lakshmi recommends a colorful vintage rug paired with a neutral crochet macramé umbrella.

    Why? The contrast of colors, tones, and materials create a varied and fun outdoor aesthetic.

    Because you have the rugged outside elements mixed with the neutrals and vivid colors, you can easily make an outdoor patio, table, or even yard feel just like the inside.

    Add a space heater for cold locations or a fan for hot ones, and you’re set!

  • 06 of 06

    Crochet Macramé Umbrella

    macrame umbrelly sits among a settee, and colorful rugs and throw pillows


    This macramé umbrella is another favorite as it pulls in the soft, natural tones of the outdoor space to give all the beachside *feels* while offering shade. Paired with a shag blanket and light-colored dishes or glassware, it looks intentional and perhaps even a touch shabby-chic. This one is made by sunshadowla.