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I’m the first to admit that I’m a Type A personality. As such, things usually have to be as close to perfect as possible for me. However, this summer I am attempting to be more "spur of the moment" and enjoy myself with friends and family. In preparation, I have started collecting a few ideas that will help me create those special touches that I enjoy adding to any gathering -- without all the stress. Here are a few ideas from my summertime entertaining playbook. What do you think?
Everyday items can often be easily transformed into second duty. Luggage tags, D-ring buckle belts cut down, old napkin rings sprayed with chalkboard paint, and labels with a special logo all can serve as napkin rings, place cards or even a charming memento of that special summer’s day.
A sheet tied to four poles will provide a refuge from the sun. Empty bottles can double as vases. Use strong string or wire to suspend these from trees or a pergola. Use craft paper as a table cloth -- add some crayons and you can create personalized place mats and hours of fun for the kids or the kid in every adult. Have an old rug? Spruce it up with some outdoor paint.
As the sun goes down, strike up the candles. Floating candles in a mason jars decorated with raffia create a casual look. Place a candle inside a vase and then surround it with corn, peas or rice. Or try this quick and easy tip - turn a wine glass upside down and place a flower under the “bell” and then place a candle on the base. Attach a favorite photo on a can and with an awl or nail trace the image. Remove and you’ll have a custom candle holder.
If you have some quick and easy entertaining tips, I would enjoy hearing from you.
Images courtesy of Etsy, BlingCheese, The Cottage Chick, 1800recyling, ohdeedoh, Living Etc., and The Haystack Needle
Michael Murphy is a Los Angeles based interior designer and television producer. His 15+ year career includes serving as Supervising Producer on TV design guru Christopher Lowell's "Work That Room." Recently, he has completed projects with celebrity designer Kenneth Brown and fashion icon Heidi Klum. Follow Michael on Google+