Even with these challenging shelter in place times, there is nothing to prevent us from celebrating spring by dining outside either alone, with family to lift our weary spirits. Here’s a few ideas to make it even more special.
A few years back, I was a brand ambassador for At Home so the accessories are mostly from this home goods store. These images are from our former Wichita, Kansas home that we called Cypress. Oh how we loved our screened in porch!
Here is the before photo.
It is a lovely setting without a doubt but made eating outside even more special with the following simple and very easy embellishments.
These photos represent their products except our antique furniture. This post has no affiliate links due to the fact that I am no longer their brand ambassador. Being an interior designer, this certainly was a fun experience for me. Shopping for blog posts was like giving candy for a baby!
Here are my easy, no-fail tips for outdoor entertaining:
1. Low Centerpiece
Centerpieces can ealevate any tablescape. Whether it be flowers, candles, seasonal items, or etc. One basic rule I follow is to keep the centerpiece below eye height when sitting down. If I have invited friends or family for a meal, I want to be able see them while enjoying our dinner time conversations.
And BTW, these stunning hydrangeas were from my gardens…sigh.
2. Outdoor Easy Care Fabrics
Can you believe that the tablecloth is an outdoor fabric? Plus, this cheerful apple green rug is olefin for outdoors as well. So, let it rain or let the drink be spilled, enjoying our outdoor time with others should not include having concerns over life accidents or rainy weather.
3. Okay to break stripes on stripes no-no rule
I remember learning or hearing that one stripe only was the rule not to be broken. Kinda like white shoes or pants before Memorial Day, remember? Well, thank goodness both of those silly rules have long been tossed out. I love the awning stripe tablecloth with the pencil stripe of the area rug. The key is to have the stripes be very different in width and this is a rule not to break.
4. Blue and green, colors of nature always a winner
The beautiful blue and green combo never fails to delight us. Again, the classic navy and emerald green is one of the iconic palettes . When we think of using these colors together, it should not surprise us that we continue to love it year after year. These varying blues of the sky, and the greens of nature were designed for us to enjoy prior to when “us designers” got involved!
5. Surprise elements to kick it up a notch.
Don’t you love it when not everything is expected in a space whether indoors or outdoors? Well, obviously I most definitely appreciate the creativity of finding that “where did that come from?” item to keep things interesting and sometimes even a surprise. Matchie matchie is soooo boring!
6. Melamine goblets and dinnerware take pressure off guests and hostess or host.
What is old is new again in all the fabulous melamine dinnerware that we are seeing pop up everywhere. Dishwasher safe, kids and sometimes husband safe, now outside dinnerware and goblets can be as wonderful as our indoor dishes and glasses. Now of course I’m refering to the casual settings and not the formal or Italian ceramics that I love for inside entertaining.
In many parts of the country, outdoor entertaining is very special for us since we do not have this opportunity or even say, luxury, of doing this year round. So why not make it more than the same old same look?
It only takes a little more time and effort to show our family and friends that we care and value our times together by going the extra distance whether food or tableware. I hope you do because again, I always say, we so often get more than we receive, no matter what avenue that may take us.
Shelter in place and this horrible virus sadly attacking so many unfortunate ones WILL NOT LAST FOREVER! What we can do now is tomake even our small outdoor gatherings of those we live or even being alone a very special time indeed. I believe that this will lift our weary spirits to be thankful for these outdoor times of renewal. After all, isn’t this what springtime is all about?
Don’t miss any of my relevant and inspiring blog posts by signing up here!
P.S. Please Be sure to follow me on Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest, and like my Facebook page
Thnak you Elizabeth! I love to do tablescapes even on ordinary days. Even if no one else is affected, it lifts my spirits!
Your tablescape is beautiful and your advice impeccable. We should create happy, special moments each day, now more than ever.
thank you Lisa! you are spot on that creating happy moments however this looks like, is essential for us during these extreme days we all are experieincing.
Great idea….The colors are so fresh. I feel like I’m missing the spring. My favorite time of year..
thanks you Antoinette! i hope that in your mind or attitude you can create spring to help ease you over these very trying times.
So Pretty, Mitzi, and making every (well almost every…) meal an event is our mantra! Outdoor dining has a limited season here, so we celebrate it to the fullest whenever we can! It hasn’t quiiiiite arrived yet this year, but we live in hopeful anticipation!
I am not surprised at all Janet that your meal times are special learning what a fab cook you are .Plus your creative spirit always working brings even more to the table…literally!
This is so refreshing and inviting! I can imagine sitting down to a lovely meal, being serenaded by the melody of birds and a soft breeze lilting through! You know how to make a space come to life with color and carefully chosen accessories that bring a sense of calm! Adore the hydrangeas!
thank you Andrea! And if I could beam you over right now I would to enjoy exactly what your poetic words describe the complete description of what you would experience. This will happen!
and oh how I miss my hydrangeas, peonies, and roses but change is just that very thing. I will simply find other ways to enjoy flowers around me.
What a beautiful space, Mitzi. I am a huge fan of blue and green so this entire post really spoke to me. We have a pretty limited outdoor season here but our outdoor space was on our ‘to do’ list for this summer (prior to our worldly event happening). I’ll have lots of time to plan out, and your post will come in handy to refer back to!
Thank you Sheri and I am honored that my post can help you in your future outdoor sanctuary. Especially with your limited outdoor times, when you are fortunate to experience these time having all the elements will enhance those times even more.
And yes, we never tire of this blue and green color combo!
Beautiful! Love the blue and green color palette and the stripes on stripes is just right!!
Thank you Mary Ann and as I wrote, this is one of my timeless favorites. Stay safe and be well!
As always your outdoor screen porch makes me swoon. I have always wanted a screen porch but the configuratiion of our deck wouldn’t work. It’s so lovely and in Houston heat, you would need a ceiling fan of the BIG Ass fan variety! Ha! I love your posts, love you for your shares!
Thank you so much Diana for ALL your kind words!! We had 12 glorious years of enjoyment on this porch. And like you, now we have no options for one. However, I am working my little designer brain on how to make our tiny back patio be an oasis of outside restoration that we all need.
Having family in The Woodlands, I know exactly what you mean about a fan…whew…your heat!
And BTW, I love you back!!
It’s so gorgeous Mitzi! I do love your plants too. I do not have a green thumb so that makes me especially jealous.
Thank you Julie Ann! I bet if you kept on trying with good advice on which plants are easy care you would be able to grow and love your plants as I do, they areally do bring me joy!
Such a happy space!!! The colors are so fresh and cheery!!! Love it!
thank you Leslie! I was hoping these images would inspire exactly what you said. Thank you for commenting!