by Kelsey McCracken
Summer is a time for entertaining! Whether you’re hosting a graduation party, a birthday party or a “just because” party, there are four things to consider as you prepare: seating, food placement, entertainment and mood. Each is just as important as the next, and getting it set up just right will make the whole event run smoothly.
Arrange comfortable seating in a way that encourages conversation. Consider creating a few dining areas and spaces for casual conversation. Get creative with your eating spots! If you don’t already have outdoor furniture, use two sawhorses and an old door as a table with a pretty tablecloth and cut flowers from your garden or local flower shop. If you have a deck, clamp a 10-inch or deeper piece of wood to your railing, haul your barstools outdoors and voila! You have an outdoor bar! Create another seating area around a fire pit with lawn chairs for after dinner festivities.
This is a great place to use a bar cart if you have one; set it up by the fire as a s’mores station with all the fixings so your guests can help themselves to a treat.
Avoid a traffic jam during dinner by separating the food and drink stations. This encourages your guests to move about the yard and join in on new conversations. If you need extra places to set food, bring out a console or sofa table. These are generally a perfect height for creating a drink station outfitted with glasses, mixers, cute napkins and an ice bucket!
Keeping your guests entertained is essential when hosting a gathering. Spread activities throughout the backyard, such as outdoor games, a selfie station and
People will stay longer and have a better experience if they have something fun to fill their time. Plus, it will help the people in your life connect and form friendships as they have fun together!
The final aspect of hosting a party this summer is setting the right mood for your event. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, including lighting and tablescapes. Hang dazzling string lights over dining and seating areas to create ambiance. String paper lanterns and tea lights in jars from tree branches or group candles on tables to create a seating area suitable intimate conversation.
Kelsey graduated from Kendall College of Art and Design with a BFA Interior Design. She has a passion for historical home preservation and mixing multiple colors and textures in the spaces she designs for her clients.