Is it beginning to feel like spring yet? It sure is here at MyChelle! The days are longer, the weather’s warmer, and we just can’t wait to celebrate – outdoors, of course! In preparation, here are some of our favorite tips for entertaining al fresco:

Keep it casual.
garden-deck_300Sure, it’s possible to hold an extravagant sit-down, multi-course dinner party outdoors – but you really don’t need to. One of the best things about outdoor entertaining is how easy it can be. Spread a tablecloth over a picnic table, lay out large bowls and serving trays of food to be passed around family-style, and keep the details rustic and homey: Lanterns and hurricanes, a bouquet of wildflowers, and mismatched table settings can create a surprisingly cohesive and festive atmosphere. Now, that doesn’t mean that you must do away with all the glamour; antique candlesticks, fine china or even a strategically placed chandelier can be a delightfully unexpected addition to an otherwise down-to-earth décor!

 

 

Keep it comfortable.
Of course, this is a classic rule of all entertaining. However, it is especially important to keep comfort in mind when hosting outdoors. Why? Well, because every time you throw a fête outside, you are not just inviting your cool-outdoor-area-ideas_17honored guests but the natural elements as well – and with them come an array of possible hazards. If your outdoor entertaining space does not provide any sort of shade, you may wish to rent or purchase a large umbrella. If you are expecting a windy day and have a tablecloth, be sure to weight the corners so as not to distract or bother your guests. Also, consider the seating: Large, plush cushions are inviting and comfortable. You could also repurpose furniture from your own living or dining room. Pictured here in Real Simple is a great example of bringing the inside out for the day. If you plan to keep the party going after the sun sets, you will also want to make sure your outdoor venue has plenty of light. We adore the pretty pastel lanterns shown here on InteriorDesigning.net.

Keep it colorful.
Nothing says spring or summer quite like bold, eye-catching colors. imgres-1Outdoor entertaining is the perfect opportunity to incorporate this, either with a specific color scheme or a wild array of rainbow hues. Fresh flowers lend themselves beautifully to this, as do decorative accents like these miniature glass vases, available in so many fun shapes and colors from Luna Bazaar. Along the same lines, keep in mind that many traditional party themes (a Hawaiian luau, an “Alice In Wonderland”-style tea party, a Moroccan soirée) are made even more festive by an outdoor setting. Don’t be afraid to get creative – and have fun!

For more great tips and outdoor entertaining inspiration, be sure to check out our new Pinterest board. And while you’re at it, drop us a line below! We’d love to know: Do you have an outdoor space that you use for entertaining at home? If not, do you have any general entertaining tips or tricks? Join the conversation in the “comments” section on this blog, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free gift from MyChelle!*

* Sorry – Free gift offers are only available within the Continental United States!

By Liana Orenstein