Throw summer parties with these ideas as it approaches and the temperature begins to rise. With these chic and easy ideas for your next summer dinner party or BBQ, you’ll want to keep the party going well into the fall.
Inexpensive dishtowels make perfect BBQ napkins – guests won’t be afraid to get them nice and dirty. Simple and chic styles can be found online for less than $10.00 each! They’re so much better than a paper napkin, not only because they’re much more stylish, but because after the party, you can wash and reuse them again and again. They also make great hostess gifts.
For a casual BBQ, use a simple roll of paper as a tablecloth. It sets the perfect laid-back vibe for your guests, is ideal for a messy feast, and makes for effortless cleanup. But just because your tablecloth isn’t formal, that doesn’t mean your can’t step up the look with gorgeous dinnerware and glassware. Creating that balance between casual and elegant always makes for the most inviting tables.
For a late-summer dinner party, it’s a nice touch to put out a basket filled with a few throw blankets for guests to use. Anticipating your guest’s needs is the mark of an excellent hostess, and there’s inevitably that one person who forgot to bring a sweater.
A petite potted citrus tree is an easy summer centerpiece, and its height gives your table a nice sense of occasion. Rather than the plastic pot, try repotting it in an inexpensive blue & white container from your local importer. While you’re there, pick up some blue & white rice bowls to fill with loose fruit (hopefully the same citrus as the tree), place them down the center of the table for a colorful alternative to flowers.
Guests always feel special with a little personalized detail, and I love using place cards, even when entertaining outdoors. For a fun and casual look, wrap your silverware in linen napkins and tie it together with pretty jute twine. Then write each guest’s name on a beautiful hole-punched place card and thread the twine through for a place setting that does double duty.
With their sturdy makeup, outdoor rugs are ideal for summer entertaining. Any pattern will pop against the grass and the rectangular dimensions act as a dramatic stage for your dining table. For a little Moroccan flair, ditch the table and chairs and use a few outdoor throw pillows (regular pillows with removable and washable covers will also work well). They’ll encourage guests to lounge and linger for hours.
When hung from trees or a balcony, hanging lanterns always set a festive tone for a summer soiree mood. And with the solar-powered versions on the market (they look just like a standard paper lantern but have mini solar panel hidden on top) that come alive all on their own when the sun goes down! I’d recommend all white lanterns for a more sophisticated summer look.
Patio Decor Ideas
If you have a patio, relaxing and hanging out with your family can get better. Spruce up the outdoor set-up with these ideas we spotted on BHG:
Water: Create a serene and peaceful atmosphere by incorporating water into your patio set-up. Consider adding a water fountain or make a patio-size water garden – we recommend using a small recirculating pump so you can enjoy the relaxing sound of trickling water.
Plants: Plants can help you create shade and also give your patio summer-long color and interest. Try adding shade-creating plants around your patios such as hostas and caladiums. Additionally, incorporating flowers that have fragrance can help create a relaxing feel to your patio. Tall, arching stalks of flowering tobacco, hyssop and moonflowers will fill your backyard with a calming, pleasant aroma.
Patio Carpet: Pull your patio look together with a weather resistant outdoor rug. They come in a variety of colors and styles so you can find one that fits your personal tastes. For green individuals, there are plenty of eco-friendly rug options made from recycled materials.
Lighting: In the warm summer nights ahead, you’ll likely be spending time on your patio after the sun goes down. Give it personality at night with lighting – whether you’re illuminating a dark space or adding ambiance to your favorite seating area, outdoor lighting gives your patio a touch of nighttime pizzazz. Environmentalists, consider using solar powered lighting or low-voltage, energy-efficient bulbs.
Charming Accents: Accessories are a perfect way to add some personality to your backyard space. Try adding charming accents such as a wagon filled with potted plants, garden statues, planter boxes or bird feeders. Give your yard a musical touch with wind chimes that provide a pleasant sound while adding a bit of a style to your garden. Also, consider investing in a fire pit, perfect for gathering around with friends and family to toast marshmallows or keep warm.
Privacy: Create privacy and shade with a pergola. You can soften its look by adding climbing plants such as clematis, chocolate vine, wisteria, and ivy. Once they grow, the vines will provide a cozy and shady summer haven.