31 May, 2017

Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-According to LiLu Interiors

By Lisa Peck, ASID

Create Connections between Indoor and Outdoor Spaces

Today we are talking about our designer tips for summer entertaining at home. In the summer, you can entertain larger groups by using your indoor and outdoor spaces together to throw a party.
A key focus in giving a fantastic summer party is to create connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. A few simple things can help you do this. First make sure there is a simple direct traffic flow from the interior of your home to the exterior. Play the same background party music inside and outside. If you need a simple system to do this we recommend a wireless system like Sonos. As you move from indoors to outdoors have some transition space. Permanent solutions like a pergola or temporary like a tented space, give guests shades but outdoor spaces to enjoy.

Rearrange the furniture

On Monday, the LiLu blog featured an outdoor space arranged for everyday living and for entertaining. If you want to have a great party, consider how people will navigate the party, how many people might want to engage in one conversation and rearrange your furniture accordingly. Maybe you want to have dancing at you party? Roll up a rug and make a space for a dance floor. Taking the time to pay attention to how your party will flow and planning a new space plan for your event will make your party memorable.
Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-rearrange your furniture

Create a variety of spaces

Think about the best parties you have been to, they probably had people at them that you wanted to chat with for a few minutes and some friends you wanted to speak with at length. When you setup for you party consider designing a variety of spaces to allow your guests to enjoy themselves in a variety of ways. High-top tables you can stand at to have an appetizer and a drink while chatting. Dining tables for people who want to linger over a plate of food and enjoy a longer conversation and lounge areas with comfortable seating should all be part of a plan for a great event.
Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-variety of spaces

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Serve food and drinks in more that one spot

The main complaint I hear from clients is that their guests never leave their kitchen. The easiest solution that I know is to set up different serving stations in other locations to draw guests out of the kitchen. You shouldn’t linger in the kitchen either. So think about serving appetizers on the porch, drinks in the back of the yard, have the main buffet in the kitchen and think having desserts in a different location all together. By having food service in a variety of spots you will encourage people to move around the party and not clump up in the kitchen, hanging around the island and eating.
Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-drink and food stations Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-variety of spaces

Add a little extra

Have some fun things for your guests today as they mingle with each other.  Perhaps it is an outdoor game of jenga, playing cards or beans bags.  Games get people up and moving around and always add a little humor.  Remember small touches go a long way.  Is the party going to continue once the sun goes down?  Offer up blankets.  Is your yard sunny and you don't have an option for a tent?  Put out a baskets of umbrellas to let guests shed off the afternoon heat.  They will thank you and remember those little details for years to come.
Designer Tips for Summer Entertaining at Home-extras

Style the spaces to create continuity

So you party is taking place in a variety of spaces that may each have a slightly different décor, especially if you are moving from inside to outside. To create continuity, pick a theme or color and style each space your guests will occupy in keeping with the theme.  You can have just a touch of the color or theme in one spot, like your kitchen or living room and go a little bolder in spaces with temporary tables and seating.  Check out our blog on Friday for ideas and unique must haves for your summer parties!