How the Founder of Rifle Paper Co. Entertains at Home

Rifle Paper Co. founder Anna Bond and kitchen workwear maven Ellen Bennett celebrate their new collaboration with a springtime brunch—and swap easy entertaining tips.

Gold and Wood Studio
Photography by Marcus Nilsson

Anna Bond’s gouache paintings of rich blooms and velvet-like leaves are synonymous with artful vintage style, yet the Florida home she shares with her husband, Nathan, and son Ford (with a baby on the way) is surprisingly minimal. “I like things serene and clean,” says Bond, who keeps a light-filled studio for Rifle Paper Co. designs in a spare room of the house. “I do most of my creative work at home, and I need it to be calm.” 

Black and White Food
Flowers by Katy Stuart of Gatherer Floral Co. Thomas O’Brien Bryant 4-Light 26-inch Bronze Chandelier Ceiling Light $630 visualcomfort; Landscape Drawing Print by Claude Lorrain; Smith Flatware 5-Piece Set $34; Brandywine Dining Table $1,875; Knot Chair $528  Photography by Marcus Nilsson

That blank canvas provides an ideal backdrop for entertaining. “Hosting is an extension of doing anything artistic,” explains Bond. Her circle of friends and collaborators share a similar life-as-art mind-set. Case in point: Bond’s good friend Ellen Bennett—the founder and CEO of Hedley & Bennett, a cult brand of handmade aprons worn by everyone from David Chang to Martha Stewart.

Bennett and Bond met in New York years ago and make a point of catching up over meals whenever their schedules find them in the same city. A believer in connecting over food, Bennett assembles a rotating guest list of creatives, chefs, and entrepreneurs for monthly “Bennett Brunches” at her Los Angeles home. “People bring ingredients, nobody knows one another, and we all cook together,” she says. 

White Portrait
Herb Garden and Rosa Aprons by Rifle Paper Co. × Hedley & Bennett $98 each; 10-Piece Glass Mixing Bowl Set $40
Photography by Marcus Nilsson

A fan of easy-to-prep, healthy ingredients, Bennett elevated a store-bought hummus with spices, seeds, and good olive oil—while the crudité plate and cucumber salad with pickled onion required not much more than a mandoline. (Another trick: Salt the water before freezing it and your ice will last longer.) Plus, six-minute eggs mean no messy pans to clean up after.

Gray and Green and Orange Food
Flowers by Katy Stuart of Gatherer Floral Co. Italian Washed Linen Tablecloth $150; Coupe Dinnerware from $19 Photography by Marcus Nilsson
Taupe and Wood Studio

Black and Pink Studio

This spring, as Bond and Bennett launch their first collaboration—a line of aprons, recipe boxes, and chef’s notebooks, each adorned in Bond’s signature, saturated florals—the pair celebrated with their own laid-back gathering at Bond’s home in Maitland. Bennett, putting the new aprons to good use, planned a menu of fresh, crisp spring fare, including a citrus salad, six-minute eggs, lamb with rosemary, and bright crudité platters. “Ellen brought in color and texture with the food, and I find endless inspiration in the shapes of flowers,” says Bond.  

Black and Green Food
Photography by Marcus Nilsson

From fabrics to food, there’s no lack of inspiration at Bond’s home. Her free-flowing floral paintings dress the new Rifle × Hedley & Bennett aprons, and fresh Florida ingredients star in the spring meal. Bennett serves a citrus salad made with a trio of oranges (blood, navel, and cara cara) to add subtle variety in flavor and color. Her zippy apple cider vinegar–based dressing, spiked with lots of chopped garlic and Dijon mustard, cuts the sweetness. 

Black and White Studio
Famille by Wayne Pate; Gerard Desk Lamp $350; Folded Textiles and Ombré Book Set
White Portrait

Riffling on Bennett’s eclectic brunches, Bond invited a fun mix of local friends, including chef Andy Corton of Orlando’s much-loved Cuban restaurant Black Bean Deli, who arrived with heapfuls of local strawberries and lettuce. Everyone settled in the home’s airy main room, a central space that the Bonds renovated to create one open layout for cooking, dining, and hanging out—where Florida sunlight streams through the windows and all-white walls frame views of Lake Minnehaha. At the table, guests grazed on bowls of olives, market-driven small plates, and vibrant finger foods. “I like things you can eat with your hands,” says Bennett of the meal’s casual vibe.   

Black and Blue Portrait

Photography by Marcus Nilsson

To finish, Bond served a white buttercream cake she decorated with roses, ranunculus, delphinium blooms, and berries. Glasses in hand, the party moved outside, and the crew finished the afternoon by taking a boat out on the lake. “I have such a regimented schedule every day; this lets me enjoy a free afternoon with no agenda,” Bennett explains. “I love brunches because there’s no end time.” 

Gray and Green Food
Photography by Marcus Nilsson

A roasted asparagus and leek salad gets a garnish of shaved Parmesan and delicate pea tendrils. And the garlicky yogurt dressing includes a little lemon zest to make the dish really sing.

Brown and Orange and White Food

Photography by Marcus Nilsson

The key to the brunch menu is balancing heartier fare with fresh ingredients (especially come spring)—like lamb chops with rosemary and preserved Meyer lemons seared in butter. 

Black Study
Casement Black Tall Cabinet $999; Bibliotheque Candle $145; Ceramic Bowl 
Taupe and White Living room
Maxwell Corner Sectional from $2,095; Ivory Pillow; Gordon Coffee Table $1,150; Totem Vase $24; Serge Chair $750; Great Jones Floor Lamp $659; Round Seagrass Wicker Decorative Basket by Threshold $32; Wide Desk Vase by Amy Merrick for West Elm

“My home is a blank slate, a calming environment. Food and flowers bring in color,” says Bond.

This story originally appeared in the Spring 2018 issue with the headline "Garden Party."

For more spring entertaining inspiration: 
A Wildly Colorful Ranch That'll Make You Want to Visit Texas ASAP
Tips to Make Your Backyard Brunch Instagram-Ready
Three Stunning Centerpiece Ideas That Will Make Your Spring Table

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Published on March 24, 2018 - 5:00am EDT

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