Graduations, communions, confirmations, holiday barbecues, garden parties – even if we leave weddings and showers in their own special category, this is still the most popular time of year for entertaining. And there’s nothing like taking advantage of sunshine, gentle breezes and lush landscapes of the outdoors when hosting a party.
Here are five ways to balance natural beauty and contemporary design when you entertain outdoors.
- Let the vibrant colors of Mother Nature paint your backyard. Flowers provide a natural, colorful exuberance to complement the neutral colors of most contemporary outdoor furniture. If you can use flowers from your own landscape to create homemade centerpieces, that’s even better.
- Finely manicured landscaping with carefully pruned shrubs and plants bring an element of refinement to your outdoor space. Use natural stone or a group of similar shrubs to create borders and define each area.
- We all picture a sunny, 75-degree afternoon for our outdoor parties, but the weather doesn’t always cooperate. Prepare for rain and sweltering heat with plenty of shade and shelter. If you don’t have a covered patio, tents offer inexpensive yet elegant cover from showers and oppressive heat.
- Set the mood after dark with string lighting. This can be as simple as white lights that you would use to decorate your home for the holidays, or as upscale as lantern-style or globe-shaped string lights. This lighting can help to define areas and provide soft illumination around a porch, deck or gazebo.
- An outdoor fireplace or a simple, portable fire pit is a great way to keep the party warm when the sun goes down. Is there a better way to wind down a gathering than sitting around a fire, wrapped up in a light sweater with an after-dinner cocktail?
How do you mix natural beauty with contemporary design when you host garden parties and outdoor gatherings?