LEXINGTON, N.C., July 30, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Outdoor entertaining is everyone's favorite summer party mode, but only when the host is smart enough to beat the heat. Designers from coast to coast get creative with tips on surviving the dog days of summer with al fresco celebrations that refresh and replenish. How to know your party's a success? Home and décor expert Kathy Wall says when neither you nor your guests break a sweat.
Cool Down With Special Summer Cocktails
Thirst quenching sangria and margaritas are refreshing seasonal staples but for Claudia Giselle Tejeda in Brooklyn, it's a fizzy St. Germain Elderflower Cocktail. In Richmond, VA, Gary Inman enjoys spirit-laced granita—a grown-up version of a snow cone—as his cool-down drink along with home-made popsicles for kids. While in Las Vegas, Lisa Escobar recommends Plum cherry ice pops spiked with bubbling champagne.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. "I definitely will have a classic lemonade in a mason jar drink dispenser with a spout," says Tejeda, who likes to label all her beverage containers for easy i.d. and provides dry-erase ink pens so guests can mark—and keep up with—their glasses. San Francisco designer, Chanda Seymour, favors creating water bars with a selection of diffused waters. To prevent ice from diluting her guest's drinks, Seymour suggests freezing cubes from the same beverage as the drink (lemonade ice in lemonade). "I love using Govino's shatterproof, reusable, recyclable glasses so I do not worry about accidents," Seymour concludes.
Another one of Escobar's summer party staples is the Coolest Cooler. This handy cooler on wheels not only keeps refreshments chilled but is also party ready with a built-in ice-crushing blender, lively Bluetooth speaker, and even an LED lid light for ambiance.
Tasty Tidbits From Garden To Table
Serve refreshing and healthful foods in addition to hot dogs and burgers. Gazpacho, fennel mint salad with mustard seed, and watermelon with arugula are Giselle's best bets. Inman is a disciple of fresh and local, which means simple. "Goat's cheese, strawberries, walnuts, fresh figs, drizzles of honey—unlimited combinations. Crostini or bruschetta with garden ripe tomatoes are perfect for passing on trays or displayed on tiered presentation dishes," says Inman.
Southern Entertainment Is All About The More The Merrier
Don't skimp on the seating. Christi Barbour, in High Point, NC, says "always be ready with extra seating for when more friends and family pop in." Her favorite new outdoor addition is a teak sling from Serena & Lily.
Also, from the South, Vicky Serany, in Cary, NC, advises to "keep it simple. Find a shady spot with a cool summer breeze along with a beautiful view and allow the conversation and laughter to flow." Adding an oscillating misting floor fan takes the edge off of the brutal North Carolina summer heat and humidity while keeping the party going.
Make Your Backyard Party Central
Escobar also recommends adding shade to cool things down. "Gray Malin, one of my fav artists, sells colorful umbrellas which he showcases in his unique one-of-a-kind photos," Escobar adds. Use string lights to create a wonderland around or between trees, the umbrellas or along the deck. "Simple solar lights hanging from trees look magical at night," notes Patti Johnson, in Lebanon, OH.
"At our house in Florida, where the heat and insects are ferocious, we blend a mix of essential oils with witch hazel in a spray bottle," shares Lisa Kahn-Allen. "We mix rosemary, citronella, mint and lavender. It actually smells nice and really works as a natural insect repellant without the chemicals that are found in commercial sprays."
Let Plants Rule
"We like large potted succulents such as agave or even a planter full of bamboo," says Escobar. Johnson gravitates to pots of blooming color. "Arranging potted flowers is an easy, inexpensive way to add pops of color." Keep flower arrangements simple, warns Inman. "I love floating roses or peonies in beautiful bowls," he says.
California designer, Lauren Jacobsen, in Toluca Lake suggests trying your hand at inventive DIY seating. "For a fun, unique way to seat your guests outdoors this summer, try covering that old Adirondack chair in faux grass. A little cutting and gluing will take your outdoor entertaining to a new level in delighting your friends and family." Or, don't have the time but do have the budget, you can purchase the chairs direct at Mecox.com.
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SOURCE Kathy Wall