The long, sunny days of summer are here, and it’s motivating us to channel our inner Martha Stewart as the hostess with the most-est! What is it about summer that makes people swoon over lemon-adorned decor (guilty as charged) and go all out on magical summer soirées? Whatever it is, we’re here for it! Today, the decor experts here at Third & Main are sharing 4 tips for stylish summer entertaining.
Create the Space
Creating an inviting entertainment space outdoors follows many of the same rules as indoor entertaining, which means you need to be mindful about creating intentional zones. Spaces to dine, lounge, or stand around to chat help create a relaxed flow that will keep your event going long into the night. Think beyond your patio furniture itself to decor pieces like rugs, planters, even potted plants and lighting, all of which subtly divide the space into intentional areas.
Creating different zones helps your outdoor space feel larger and more organized, with a specific purpose in each spot. Be clear about the intended use of each area. That means cozy touches like pillows and throws in lounging zones, an outdoor rug anchoring a patio table set with tableware and summery centerpieces, and a drinks cart or fire table that encourages people to linger.
Create Ambience with Strategic Lighting
The sun may set later in the summer, but you’ll likely need to factor for outdoor lighting at some point. Stringing bistro lights adds a touch of festivity, and paper lanterns you can hang from nearby trees can be whimsical too. Cluster candles in large lanterns placed strategically throughout your entertaining area, and take advantage of fire pits or outdoor fireplaces if you have them! Pro tip—light a few citronella candles that you can scatter around to help keep biting bugs at bay.
Serve Appropriate Food and Drinks
Not every meal does well outdoors, so think through your menu carefully. If you’re serving a meal buffet style or just laying out appetizers, choose a shady spot to keep foods fresh. Keep in mind that dishes that serve well at room temperature, like vinegar-based salads, noodle dishes, grilled kebabs, tend to be a great option. There’s a reason pasta salad is a picnic staple, after all! Whatever you choose to serve, this is an opportunity for bright, cheerful serveware. Cloth napkins add a touch of class, but look for glass and ceramic substitutes to avoid the potential for broken dishes.
Plan for Children
If your guest list includes little ones, think through a few creative ways to keep them entertained. A kids table, complete with butcher paper and crayons, can be a good idea. If you have space, lawn games, hula hoops, or even bubble sets are another easy option.
A little planning goes a long way, so think through your event and what you hope to get out of it. Planning ahead will help you feel organized and relaxed so that you can enjoy yourself too! If you’re looking for a little inspiration, remember that all of our Third & Main summer subscription boxes are curated with an entertainment theme in mind. That means you can use the pieces in our boxes to jumpstart your summer soirée ideas. Happy summer!