Outdoor entertaining should be enjoyable for both you and your guest. With a little extra effort you can turn your lanai, porch, deck, patio or balcony into a “Party Venue”.
The first thing to do is “Plan a Theme“. Most people think planning a theme means planning around an occasion or holiday; but you can also theme a party by color. Select your favorite color – then build your table decor, flowers and food all using the shades of the color that makes you shine. No holiday necessary!
Next, “Set the Scene“. There is strength in numbers, so repeat your favorite color at least three times on the dining table. For instance, if green is your go to color, begin each place setting with a natural color wicker placemat or charger. The warm color and texture of the wicker will anchor the setting. If you have a round table it is easiest to work with a round charger. Top each charger with a decorative green plate. When working with green, I like to use a leaf-shaped plate, but a simple dinner plate can be just as striking. Unique and decorative plates are widely available at your local home decor store, or discount decor store. Next select a crisp linen or cotton napkin in the shades of cream and grass green. Napkins can be hard to find so check your local fabric store for that perfect fabric. You can also use a simple kitchen hand towel in the place of a napkin. Remember just use linen or cotton, No terry cloth! Your guest will appreciate the larger size especially if you are serving crab! Then splurge on some great green glassware. Something a little heavier and hand-blown looking will coordinate beautifully with the wicker but will also survive that unexpected evening breeze.
Last but not least is your centerpiece. Outdoor entertaining should be a little more relaxed, and your flower arrangement should reflect that. Find a great crock or pitcher and fill it full of one of the seasons best. Peony Tulips are my favorite because their young buds are a striking apple green. Contrast that with the sunny yellow flower and you have the perfect finishing touch for your table.
Another tip “Landscape Your Bar“…..The bar serving your guests is one more opportunity to carry out your theme. There are many signature drink recipes available that will impress your guests, but it is how you landscape your bar that will create the most buzz! Be creative! Use thick wooden cutting boards to elevate the wine you’ve selected. This will add height and interest to the bar. Place freshly shined glasses on a great framed mirror for some sparkle. Again to add interest, pour your cashews in a tall, over-sized martini glass, to achieve variation in height. Finally, don’t forget “your theme is green”. Place more limes than necessary in a silver bowl on the bar. It will complete the look and send your guests home….green with envy!