Lift Spirits by Dining Outside

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?

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