Meet the Host: Darryl Carter

Article: Steele Thomas Marcoux

Hometown: Washington, D.C.

On his plate: Releasing my second book and opening a home-furnishings store in the Shaw neighborhood of D.C.; darrylcarter.com

Every Southern dining room should have... Candlelight

What makes a dining room Southern? Spirited guests

Favorite way to personalize a room: With unique objects chosen for the enjoyment and fascination of the guests—something to get the conversation started!

Dining room palette: bold color or muted neutrals? If I had to choose, I'd say neutrals, because they'll endure the test of time. Blue-and-white toile is so classic, it's almost a neutral!

Dining room table: round or rectangular? Round, if it works in the space. It’s more egalitarian.

Go-to fabric for upholstering dining chairs: It depends on the setting. I always try for something forgiving, and I never opt for anything too precious. I want guests to feel comfortable, not like they can’t sit down and enjoy themselves.

Host chairs: do or don't? Do, if you want, but always designate them for guests.

Favorite flourish in his dining room: Tough one! Probably the alabaster pendant light for its shape, delicate carved detail, and the soft light it casts in the evening.

His silver pattern: A mix of different patterns I've collected over time.

His china pattern: Antique flow blue transferware

His crystal pattern: I prefer to keep it less formal with Roost’s Birch glassware.

Who’s on his Thanksgiving guest list? Close friends

Last words of advice: Simple style and casual entertaining make everyone feel at home—no need to overthink or overdo it.