Much has been said about designer, entrepreneur, fashion school co-founder and mom of three Amina Alunan. Countless articles about her beauty regimen, personal style, work ethic and experience abroad can be read at a click of a button. In time with the launch of her home line here in Seek The Uniq, we decided to pay the busy mom a visit at her home to pick her brain on everything hosting at home-related from her choice of poison, to music, to setting the mood for a perfect night in. We also show how she does it with effortless style featuring her charming pieces that fit right in at any chic abode. Read on, get inspired and bring back a piece of Aranaz Tú with you.
Amina at home arranging the accessories at her living room table wearing the Ereciera skirt.
STU: Describe your hosting style.
A: "I would say more elegant and dressed up. I love to bring out my silverware, I don't wait for special occasions to use it. Fabric napkins over paper, always! Unless it's a children's party...but even for my kid's parties I still tend to go all out!"
STU: How often do you entertain at home?
A: "It used to be a lot more, like once a month. Most of our get-togethers are here at home with my neighbors who have become our friends. My in-laws live in the area too so we usually do house-hopping, alternating on who hosts after-work drinks or if it's more planned, we have dinners."
STU: What is a staple dinner dish you love to prepare?
A: "Sopa de Gallego that's actually a meal in one: it has beans, vegetables, beef, chicken, pork, chorizo that's quite heavy and can be eaten on it's own or with rice. Everyone loves it so it's become my go-to when I don't know what to serve."
STU: What music do you play to set the mood?
A: "Depends on who the guests are and the occasion. Spotify is my and everyone's best friend. If it's a lunch, I prefer more soothing music like this album of nature sounds featuring classic songs like Moon River. If we're drinking at night, I put on a playlist of chill out music with a beat and heavy bass."
STU: Favorite Drink?
A: "The past year, it's been gin and tonic. If not that, I also drink wine and recently, began to learn to appreciate beer."
Coral linen napkins give her coffee tray a pop of color.
STU: What do you normally serve for tapas?
A: "A friend of mine makes the best tapas so I don't want to mess with that! But I do serve fried marble potatoes in olive oil and garlic, adding cilantro and salt. Sometimes, I also serve it with a dipping sauce of sour cream and spicy bacon."
STU: Who inspires you in terms of hosting?
A: "The first person who left a mark was Tina Maristela-Ocampo. I was modelling for The Black Shop and Fish at that time and the shoots would be at her house. She'd come out with a bar cart with iced tea slush and basil mixed in and snacks. It was always so well-presented. Even the way she dressed was so chic. I was in awe. That really stuck with me and became a source of inspiration for entertaining at home. I also love the Barefoot Contessa (Ina Garten) and follow her no-fail recipes and enjoy how she sets up the table with natural ease."
A: "Hahaha! I think I've slowed down. I've been super stressed the past ten years but now I'm easier on myself. It was a conscious effort because I was getting burned out. It helped that I got to build my team unlike before when everything was DIY and a one-woman show. I had to learn to trust them and when things didn't go my way, I decided not to be so hard on myself."
Family comes first for the busy mom as she enjoys downtime with sons Lucas and Diego.
STU: What do you do to de-stress?
A: " Hosting helps. I also have an occasional drink alone at night to unwind. Spending time with friends, my family and kids. My parents recently moved down south and I love going there on weekends and tune out from the world. I try to go every week because it feels like I'm out of town when I'm there. I also choose which events to go to now."
STU: Is there anything else you want to do?
A: "Learn Italian! I lived in Milan and never really mastered it. I was back in Italy last summer and I loved hearing them speak, trying in vain to converse. Also, Spanish because I've learned it my whole life. I tried to get back into painting but yet still need to find time to do it regularly."
Until our next home visit!
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