Thursday, May 9, 2013

Outdoor Entertaining Tips

Article by Jennifer Adams

Entertaining outdoors, festive barbeques, kids playing croquet, summer memories are particularly fun. Whether in your backyard or a picnic in the park, keeping everyone happy outside isn’t any more difficult than indoors, with a few considerations.

Here are some things I recommend when someone asks me about entertaining outdoors.

1. Holiday lights aren’t for only for Christmas any more.
 Remember being sad when the holiday lights come down? Merchants and shopping districts first figured out that leaving the lights in the trees look festive year round. They will look nice at your house, too. Hang from the fence, around your patio cover, from a tree or even around retaining walls and other outdoor structures.  Checkout these beauties from Target.

2. Dishware should be durable.
Even if you don’t have kids, dishes seem to get banged up more often outside. And, plastic ware has come a long way from the ugly stuff we had growing up. Plastic wine glasses and barware come in as many sizes as the finest crystal, and this outdoor collection from Pottery Barn rivals the prettiest china!

Paper plates have come a long way, too, but it’s more elegant to go with something reusable. Trays and carts keep drinks, food and bar ware handy, and make it easy to carry in and out of your indoor kitchen.

3. Accessorize just like you do inside.
Lanterns stand in for electric lamps, though those are available too. Lighting Universe has about a hundred! Some are battery operated, some plug in. Most look like ones you’d use indoors, too.

Throw pillows look inviting and add color, and throw blankets are useful when the evening chill comes on.

Candles, shells, trays, artful pieces of wood and stone, anything that can be outside make great decorative items on tables and as centerpieces to feather out your patio as nicely as your living room.

4. Heating and cooling, patio style.
Even though you’re outside, it’s nice to be comfortable regardless of the weather. Costco has a nice collection of patio heaters fueled by propane, many can heat an area up to ten feet away.

Shade is the ultimate way to stay cool. Umbrellas, trellises, large trees and patio covers all help add shade. Vines or panels of fabric hung like airy draperies at the edges of a structure will also help keep the sun from being too bright.

Misters help you stay even cool if it’s really hot and dry. Misters can be attached to umbrellas or at the perimeter of your patio or trellis. Target has a nice selection of misting kits.
If you have humid weather, add a ceiling fan for an architectural look if you have a patio cover or trellis. Contact a professional electrician for proper installation and fixture selection.

What are your favorite outdoor entertaining tips? Share them with me, I'd love to hear about it!

Photos courtesy of Target and Pottery Barn. 

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posted by Jennifer Adams Design Group Blog @ 12:01 AM 


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