In March 2010, Molly and Jason Mesnick were married in front of millions of people during a two-hour live-TV special. Four years later, the couple, who met on ABC’s reality dating show The Bachelor, have a few holdovers from their celebrity days. For one, they co-host a radio show, This is Reality, in their home of Seattle and, in true Bachelor form, they know how to throw a good cocktail party. “I live for entertaining,” says Molly.
But otherwise, they have a decidedly normal existence. They have two kids: daughter Riley, one, and Jason’s son Ty, eight, from a previous marriage. Jason has a job in business development, while Molly hosts a radio show of her own, Bender Nation, and writes a lifestyle blog, Reality Through My Eyes, where she focuses on everything from fashion advice, to family-friendly crafts, to her favorite home decor. “I always have a house project going on,” she says.
Did your decor change after having children? If so, how?
Yes and no. All of the candles in our house that are in arms reach of the baby have turned over to the battery powered candles. I’ve also had to switch our wood coffee table into a plush ottoman so that Riley doesn’t bonk her head! At the same time, I also want our house to maintain a sense of style. Our living room shouldn’t have to turn into a playroom just because we’ve got kids in the house!
As a mom of young children, have you learned any tips for creating a stylish space that’s also family-friendly?
This just in…kids come with a lot of stuff! Pack-n-Plays, swings, bouncy seats, high chairs. Now our little Riley is filling the room with plastic shopping carts, scooters, stuffed animals and beyond. All of this being said, however, I have made a point to not let my home turn into a play room! The toys are around, but I contain them in everyday decor items. For example, I have a wood shelving unit, stacked with woven bins. Looks pretty normal to the average person, but pull one out and it will be full of building blocks, balls and books. This is a very easy way to keep your home clean, organized, and decorated.
Do you have a current work in progress in your home or a project you’re working on?
In the days of Pinterest, I’m always getting new ideas and inspirations. I’m currently attempting to make an ottoman out of wood pallets. We’ll see how it goes!
What are three items (related to decorating and/or entertaining) that you can’t live without?
One is throw pillows. They can liven up any room. Two would be mirrors. They’re a great way to make a room feel larger than it is! And three is area rugs. Like throw pillows, area rugs can completely change the look of a room.
How has life in Seattle influenced your design style?
Seattle is a very casual city in general, so I’d say my taste is a bit “fancier” than the norm, but I don’t let that stop me from being drawn to crystal chandeliers. My style will hold no matter where I live.
Do you and Jason entertain often?
All the time! I grew up in a house with an “open door policy.” We always have friends coming in and out, which I loved, so we do the same thing now. I’m always thinking about the next “reason” to throw a gathering. I even went as far as throwing a “Real Housewives of Seattle”-themed dinner party, just so that my girlfriends and I had an excuse to dress up and have a sit down dinner!
What is your go-to dish when entertaining?
I have so many that I circulate through. My most recent appetizer that has wowed guests is Pear and Gorgonzola Crostini. Although I’d like to take full credit for the recipe, I actually called up a local restaurant that serves this (Lucia, to be exact) and begged them for the recipe. It’s that good!
Tell us more about this Real Housewives of Seattle party…
I invited 15 girlfriends over for a sit-down dinner party. Cocktail dresses were required! I had a signature cocktail as everyone entered the house (a cotton candy martini). The tables were decorated with large flower arrangements, fake diamonds, and clear vases with up-lighting and more flowers. We “cocktailed” for an hour or so, with some appetizers and lite bites. Then we all sat down for a plated dinner (beef tenderloin, mushroom/asparagus risotto, and salad). We finished the night with a Real Housewives trivia game. All of my friends are big fans of the show, so we thought it would be a great excuse to get together and get all dolled up!