Take It Outside

Get the most out of your next alfresco affair.

Go ahead. Admit it. You want to hear those words as much as I do. “WOW! This is the most (fill in the blank here) fun, gorgeous, spectacular outdoor space I’ve ever seen!”

This time of year we throw open our doors and rush to live outside. We play, cook and entertain outside from before Memorial Day until the chill of fall arrives. Nothing relaxes us more than the camaraderie of the cookout, the revelry of a party en plein air.

Prep your outdoor space for that WOW moment with a few of these design ideas:

Mixology. Mixing patterns, textures and colors in a casual outdoor setting is chic and playful. Mix and mismatch the colors of outdoor pillows, tablecloths, napkins, candles, flatware and anything else.

Light It Up. Nothing says festive like illuminating strings of lights throughout your outdoor space as the sun goes down. Larger, round café lights or small, white lights can be strung through plants, across a veranda or around an umbrella to add a special touch of elegance. 

Add Touches of Nature. Skip the florist and cut greens and flowers from your own yard. Arrange them casually in simple glass vases or vintage Ball jars, available in abundance at the Long Beach or Rose Bowl flea markets. Make easy napkin rings with ivy, raffia or twine and tuck in a touch of lavender or another fragrant sprig when wrapping cloth napkins.

Get your Group On. If you’re having a medium to large crowd over, create a few different small seating areas so people can mix, mingle and float. Bring some of your indoor furniture out to create a seamless indoor/outdoor feel.

Enjoy the freedom and beauty that outdoor living brings this summer!

To see more of Valerie’s work, visit her at treasuresinteriordesign.com.

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