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Is there anything more fun than summer entertaining? Cool drinks and sun-kissed skin are part of the picture, but I’m here to offer up the party decor basics so that the party lives up to your expectations. I love the glamorous setup above. Not only did they decorate their yard as if it’s a room in the house, even down to the table lamps and credenza, but they have used it as a focal point for the buffet. Did somebody mention food? Well, it’s one of the basics.
If you ask me, food is very important to summer entertaining. This summer try to make an effort in creating a coherent look to the food you serve. I don’t mean, kitschy theme stuff, rather, make the food make sense. For example, this pool party buffet looks stunning because everything is coordinated. The serving items all match and the desserts are displayed neatly and seem to be based on lemon.
Another example of unified party decor is this rustic buffet. All the display and serving items are similar which create a comprehensive look. I never thought about using desk drawers to create different level for a display, but it is amazing. Multiple layers and levels also make a buffet pleasing to the eye.
Serving drinks and food on trays is a design basic. This set of rustic trays would look fabulous on a country theme table or at a BBQ. Even piled high with napkins or bar items, trays are always in style and are truly functional.
Lighting is key when it comes to party decor. Whether you take advantage of your existing outdoor light fixtures or introduce special lights such as stringed fairy lights or paper lanterns, make sure there is enough so that your guests can see the bar, buffet, and walkways.
String lights even make drinks at dusk a special occasion. The bohemian decor of this deck feels so relaxed.
Can’t get to Greece this year? Why not paint the ocean on some board and improvise? The rattan string lights echo the natural materials of the table and chairs and are the perfect source of light for the summer dining table.
White paper string party lights make every party enchanting. From pool decks and in trees to the underside of umbrellas and cabanas, they add just the right amount of mood lighting.
I love these brightly painted folding chairs. Not only would they be easy to make on your own, but they would be really fun at any outdoor party. Make sure you have ample seating for summer entertaining whether for dining or lounging.
Speaking of lounging, this most be one of the most comfortable outdoor spaces for entertaining I’ve seen in a long time. Not only is there a place to relax, but it’s near the outdoor grill and bar.
It may be a luxury, but flowers are a decor favorite for summer parties. A great way to stretch your dollar would be, like in the image above, to fill hurricanes with colored sand or rocks to match the flowers you have chosen.
Even if you place a simple bunch on a side table or bar, flowers will add elegance and sophistication to your next summer fete. By the way, did you notice the cute trays?
Images: B Festive, Rue, House of Fifty
Rob is a Los Angeles-based designer who has a background in art history and was an expert at Sotheby's auction house. Formerly the host of "Inside The Auction" for the Fine Living Network, speaker for The Learning Annex and contributing editor for Valley Magazine and LA Bride Magazine, he has spent years bridging the gap between the world of design and the general public.
His design sensibilities are varied and can work in both traditional and contemporary styles. His interiors have most recently been published in Renovation Style Magazine.