Summer has arrived! It is the season of the year that I think we all look forward to. With children out of school, it is a time to slow down just a little and enjoy time with family. Vacations and time outdoors allow us to relax and rejuvenate.
For those of us that live in the South, hospitality is a natural part of life. We love to entertain family and friends throughout the year but summer just calls to have that picnic or dinner party all the more. Whether you live in the South or not, an outdoor space is the perfect place to entertain throughout the summer. So, let’s discuss several ways you can create a beautiful space for your friends and family to gather.
The number one item at the top of the list is seating for your guests. Ample seating is a must! You want everyone to relax and enjoy their time together. If you have a large patio, porch or deck you may want to consider multiple seating areas. Group sofas and chairs around a small cocktail table so that each person has a place to sit as well as a place to put down their drink or plate of hors d’oeuvres. Or, you may want to consider a large table that everyone can sit around while eating. There is a wide variety of outdoor furniture in all price ranges today that make it easy to find something within your budget. Companies like Grandinroad, Ballard Designs and Summer Classics are known for their outdoor furniture. Outdoor fabrics have changed over the years. They are more durable and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Subrella, Tommy Bahama and Waverly are just a few of the names that are associated with outdoor fabrics. This is the type of fabric that is recommended for pillows, cushions and even drapes that will be outside in all kinds of weather.
Another aspect of outdoor entertaining that you might want to consider is lighting. As the sun begins to set, lighting will set the mood for an evening of conversation and good food with those closest to you. A vintage chandelier hung from a tree or a bamboo light hung from a porch will add will not only add beauty but will illuminate your outdoor area. You could also consider solar lighting for yards and patio areas. There are even string lights that will twinkle and transform your space. My favorite type of outdoor lighting, however, is candles. I love the soft glow and ambience they provide. Candles come in all shapes and sizes. You can set them on a table or place large ones in lanterns around your entertainment area. You can choose real or LED candles, whichever you prefer.
With summer comes margaritas, mojitos, lemonade and sweet tea (if you are from the South😊.) I think it is a great idea to set up a designated bar area for guests. You can have a special drink for the occasion or a variety of choices. This allows guests to help themselves and get more when they are ready. It is also a great place to set up appetizers. An area just for drinks and appetizers gives a relaxed feel that is so prominent during summer. I love the look of bar carts for outdoor entertaining. However, you could also designate a table just for this as well. Add a tablecloth or fabric then layer with flowers, greenery, candles and voila! You have the perfect bar area.
Now that you have the essentials that you need it is time to decorate your outdoor space. You might want to add an outdoor rug for pattern and texture. Throw pillows are also fun to incorporate this as well. I enjoy adding flowers and greenery with tea light candles to a table. You can even add pots with flowers or types of greenery. This is a simple way to incorporate color. If you have a patio or porch with walls that need to be filled consider mirrors or some type of art. This is a great way to add depth to your space. I love to shop HomeGoods for outdoor décor. They always seem to have such a great selection at reasonable prices.
Now that you have a beautiful outdoor entertaining area, it is time to invite family and friends over to help you enjoy it. They will appreciate that you have taken the time to make such a special space to celebrate summer. Enjoy the slower pace with those closest to you. It is a great time to make new memories with those you love.
Until next time,