Summer is just two days away, which means that July 4th weekend is right around the corner.
It’s time to create that outdoor hospitality room for summer entertaining and cooking. Whether you have a lovely patio or small yard, there are many innovative ideas for creating an outdoor living room that family and friends will enjoy all summer long.
Tuesday Morning has come up with some great tips for garden, deck or patio entertaining with flare.
• When you invite family and friends to your festive affair, make sure you specify this is a casual, active party!
• When hosting at your home on July 4th ~ or anytime during the summer, think about lighting after dark. Tiny white lights add a wonderful touch, as do candles, tiki torches, paper lanterns, and oil lamps.
• Entertaining in your yard? For a picnic setting, introduce a mixture of patterns and textures through floor pillows, toss pillows and blankets.
• To delineate a portion of your picnic area as a serving space, layer a contrasting area rug in the center, then utilize the surrounding space for lounging.
• Provide shelter from the sun. If you’re hosting a daytime party outside, provide your guests with options for escaping from the sun. Whether it’s a rented tent, chairs placed under a shady tree, or tables with umbrellas, your guests will appreciate a place to escape from the heat.
• When it comes to summertime parties, running low on cold beverages is simply not an option. But this doesn’t mean the host should play bartender all day. Keep the fun flowing and guests hydrated by filling colorful steel tubs with ice and assorted bottled drinks, and let everyone help themselves.
• One of the big challenges of outdoor entertaining during the summer is battling the bugs. But don’t let that discourage you from hosting a backyard dinner party. Cover appetizers with pretty glass domes to keep creepy crawlers away and preserve the food’s freshness. And keep insect repellent close by for guests to use.
• If you’re making barbecued chicken, grill the chicken first and brush on barbecue sauce just for a minute or two at the end of cooking.
• Make sure you have great outdoor games for the kids and adults. Badminton, croquet, horseshoes, lawn bowling, touch football and water games add to the fun.
• No party is complete without music. With digital music players, it’s easier than ever to create a great music mix that will appeal to everyone at your party.
In addition to these tips, while enjoying your party it is important to ensure safety for your guests especially if there are little ones running around. Make sure your grill is in a safe place where you can keep your eye on it so tiny hands don’t get burned. If you have dogs enjoying the festivities, have plenty of water available and all food out of Rover’s reach. Food that is apt to spoil quickly should only be on the table when being served; otherwise it should be refrigerated and easily accessible for refills.
Use fine netting to cover all food on the table that is not under a cloche or dome, anchored down to keep the bugs away. Have plenty of paper towels and a large spray bottle of water or seltzer to quickly take care of any spills or mishaps.
To add charm, beauty and aromatic scents to your table(s), place small terra cotta pots of floral plants and herbs as a centerpiece intermingled with citronella candles (great for keeping flying insects away). For another festive touch, add lots of vibrant colors to your table settings and tableware, as well as with colorful outdoor pillows scattered around for guests to cozy up on.
For outdoor living spaces to dream about or inspire your designing instincts, visit HGTV or Houzz. To locate a Tuesday Morning in the Jersey Shore area, jump here.
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