The address is 6 Gateway Drive. Not exactly the most romantic of addresses in literary history but not as lame as our own. Then again, it’s possible we’re still slightly taken with the address because of its previous owner and historic luxe. After all, 6 Gateway Drive was home to F. Scott Fitzgerald and the setting that helped inspire The Great Gatsby.
Just look at this patio. It had to have a pool at some point, no? If we bought the gorgeous six-bedroom home in Great Neck, New York, you can bet we’d install one similar to the one used as Jay Gatsby’s near-final resting place in Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby.
Image: Caldwell Banker/Zillow
According to Fitzgerald biographers, F. Scott and his wife, Zelda, held the kind of parties at 6 Gateway Drive that would easily trump those fictionalized in Fitzgerald’s greatest work. And for a cool $39 million, you can buy the recently remodeled digs and recreate those parties. And just imagine sipping on mimosas in this chef’s dream of a kitchen.
Image: Caldwell Banker/Zillow
As a matter of fact, let’s keep imagining, shall we? We may not have the funds in our back pockets, but we always have dough for a party. Whether we live in what Zelda referred to as a “nifty little Babbit-home at Great Neck” or that regular old three-bedroom row house that’s downtown-adjacent, we can still get our Gatsby on.
The color scheme
The Great Gatsby was set in the Roaring Twenties when, if you had money, everything was glittering, golden and luxurious. Keep it simple but sparkling with a strict four complementary color scheme: black, white, silver and gold.
You could go all out if you want to and have some place like Papyrus or a local paper merchant design your own invites, but if you’re trying to do Jay Gatsby on a Nick Carraway budget, something pre-made might be best. Luckily, there are more affordable customizable options out there. (Target, $30 for 50) If you’re going all out, consider printing up the RSVP card as a ticket with the guest’s name, required for admittance. It’ll make it seem exclusive. Or for $100 for 100 invites, you can design something online like this:
Everything should be over-the-top, shiny and sparkling. If you’re filling your home with every person you ever met, no one will fault you for going with plastic cups but at least buy gold and black. If you’re keeping it more intimate, consider hitting up a glass outlet and adding to your own glassware collection. Since you can’t go out and buy all new furniture to match the color scheme, try adding shimmer with a roll or 10 of metallic fringe to hide cabinet faces and wrap around the edges of tables. Use old vases you’re less than in love with and spray paint them in chrome or gold. Add height and fun with balloons in your colors, and if you have plenty of time, consider going two-toned. And never, ever underestimate the power of confetti. (Or the dedication you’ll need to get it all cleaned up later.)
Image: Warner Bros.
The hostess dress
The whole reason we like parties is so we can dress up, right? The best place to find a Gatsby-worthy dress is going to be ModCloth, thanks to its vintage obsession. But for just one website, it has plenty of options to choose from. Our three favorites: Cabaret of Light ($160), Le Chic Noir ($90) and Lingering Glimmer ($160).
We all know one friend who can swing dance, right? Ask him or her to teach everyone else a few key moves and then crank up the tunes. (There are a million brilliant Spotify playlists with dance-friendly songs from the era.) While you’re cutting loose, put the TV to good use by rolling either of the Gatsby movies. It’s better than a big black rectangle on the wall, isn’t it?
The most important thing to remember for a Jazz Age party is to live for anything cheesy and over-the-top. No party horn creates too much noise, and no fake cigarette holder is too much. Go big… or stay in your cottage, Carraway, and let someone else be Gatsby. You can still look at the rest of Fitzgerald’s former home on Zillow, though.