Summer Party Decorating Checklist for the Beginner Planner

August 26th 2010

list Summer Party Decorating Checklist for the Beginner Planner

Planning a summer party can be intimidating for a beginner. You have so many things to look into that it can seem like a never-ending stream of concern, issues and worries. Yes, this is true even when the party is a relatively small one.

Fortunately, you have the following summer party decorating checklist to get you through the planning stage. With this checklist on your side, you can organize a successful party with less hassle, less cost and less worry.

Table Settings
The tables are important components of a summer party for the simple reason that the guests have to eat on a comfortable platform. We suggest looking at the following aspects to make for great table settings:

• Crisp table cloths or table runners in summery colors
• Paper or cloth napkins to coordinate with the table cloths
• Dinnerware, which can either be casual or formal depending on the theme
• Flatware from forks and spoons to steak knives and butter knives, if necessary
• Glassware including glasses, mugs and cups as well as water pitchers
• Barware like assorted cocktail glasses, coasters and mixers are also necessary, if you intend to offer alcoholic drinks
• Salt and pepper shakers

And of course, don’t forget the chairs either. Your guests will appreciate comfortable chairs to rest on after the dancing and singing of the party.

A summer party decorating checklist will be incomplete if it does not include the decorations for the venue. Said décor will depend on the theme of the party, which can range from just a few summer plants to elaborate lights setup.

• Place candles and lanterns in strategic places like the tables and the trees to provide light as well as act as insect repellants (citronella)
• Set the ambience of the venue with the right music, which can either be provided by a live band or with a DJ using a CD machine
• Scatter inflatable toys on the pool if you are planning a pool party. Add in a few palm plants, mini-torches and even seashells to add a tropical feel

Your choice of decorations should complement the theme of the party. There is no need to go over the top of your budget is tight.

The star of any party is almost always the food since there is no sense in inviting guests without offering sustenance. After all, even you will become hungry with the activities, games and hobnobbing.

We suggest looking at the theme of the party and the tailoring the menu on it. Thus, if your summer party is the tea party kind, then teas, sconces and pastries are the order of the day. If it is a beach or pool party, go for finger foods, soda and lemonade. If it is a barbecue party, meat and beer are on top of the menu.

There are other things that should be on your summer party decorating checklist, of course, like favors. But if you already have these three important things on the list, then you should be alright.

Posted by admin under Decorations & Summer Entertaining | 3 Comments »

Fall Is the Perfect Time for Backyard Dining

September 20th 2009

Fall Colors

Fall is one of my favorite seasons for entertaining. You can finally venture outside without fear that the heat, humidity, and mosquitoes will drive you back in before you can finish a glass of wine. The days may be getting shorter, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy dinner outside. Dining al fresco is a wonderful way to relax. There seems to be a restorative quality about being surrounded by nature even in your own backyard.

The leaves changing into dozens of colors on the trees creates a dramatic backdrop for cocktails or a full dinner. Using a tablecloth really dresses up the table when you are dining outside. Bring out your good china and wine glasses too. It’s just another way to escape a weekday rut. You will find yourself looking forward to eating outside as much as you do your favorite restaurant.

Since it’s getting dark earlier, you may want to add a few candles when you set your table. You can enjoy the gradual darkness as the sun sets, and have a match handy to light them just as you need that extra light. If you are on a deck or in a garden, go ahead and put a few votives around the area surrounding the dining table. Light them before dinner and you can use them to further emphasize the setting sun.

Find some colorful leaves and use them to decorate your table. Make sure that you check them well so you aren’t bringing any unwelcome guests to the table! You could also fill a large vase full of the leaves, if you’d prefer to not leave anything to chance. Make sure to not crush the leaves, but allow space to stay between each one. This creates a one of a kind centerpiece that you or your guests won’t soon forget.

A great and easy mid-week fall dinner is soup and a salad. You can make a simple vegetable soup from scratch, use pre-made, or even soup from a can. The china will dress it up no matter which route you go. For a quick, delicious salad buy a bag of pre-washed baby spinach, Mix spinach in a salad bowl with a handful of toasted walnuts and dried cranberries. Toss with crumbled goat cheese in a balsamic vinaigrette. Serve with a warm crusty baguette and softened butter on the side.

Mark your calendar for a fall dinner escape outside this week. You and your friends will be glad you did!

Posted by Myriam under Fall Entertaining & Recipes | 3 Comments »

Make your own Coasters

September 13th 2009

DIY coaster

When you have a houseful of guests, it is a good idea to make sure you have coasters displayed on your table tops. Encouraging guests to place their drinks on coasters rather than your nice stained table, will save you clean up and the frustration of trying to get those “rings” to disappear. I am liking this do it yourself coaster project from Martha Stewart. Pressed flowers dress up an ordinary coaster and table top. With Fall approaching, you can even try this with pressed leaves.

Posted by Myriam under Holiday Entertaining & Hostessing & Table Setting | 1 Comment »

Accent with Linen Napkins

September 6th 2009

An easy way to add a bit of pizazz to your dinner table is by accenting with linen napkins. Choosing linen napkins that have a bright pattern, an elegant detail, or a vintage flair can add a uniqueness to your dinner table settings. Here are a few examples of linen napkins that would definitely spice up your table top.

wintage print linen napkin

Vintage Floral Print from Plum Party

Stiched linen-napkins-

Hemstitched Detail from Country Living

bright floral napkins

Bright and Bold Floral Print from Casa Sugar

Changing out small details (such as linen napkins) is an easy way to change the look and feel of your table top. You an also get creative with napkin rings which would provide even more interesting detail the next time you are setting your table.

Posted by Myriam under All About the Home & Table Setting | 1 Comment »

Creative Menu Idea

August 16th 2009


menu Creative Menu Idea

I love the idea of getting creative with your menu display. The gourmet goddesses over at Sunday Suppers came up with this rustic (yet sophisticated) option for displaying your individual menus: a paper bag.

Other creative menu displaying ideas are  mini chalkboards and/or small framed menus. Have fun and get a little creative when it comes time to let guests know what you’ll be serving.


Posted by Myriam under Occasions & Party Food & Table Setting | 1 Comment »

Dinnerware with Personality

August 8th 2009

counter 170 Dinnerware with Personalityserveware 170 Dinnerware with Personality

If you want your looking for  dinnerware that has a punch of personality, check out the Fiesta collection that has an art deco feel. Not only are these pieces bold and vibrant, they are very practical.

- Dishwasher safe

-Oven Safe

-Microwave and freezer safe

The Fiesta dinnerware collection comes in 15 fabulous colors; a little something for everyone!

Posted by Myriam under All About the Home | No Comments »

Serving Up Summer!

June 11th 2009

Here are some bright finds for your summer entertaining!

polka dot platter

outdoor party decor

summer placemats


Entertaining outdoors is a great excuse to use bold and bright accent pieces. Here are a couple that I have had my eye on.

Summer outdoor accessories: Polka dot serving platter, bright glass oil lamp stakes and round summer place mats.

Posted by Myriam under Summer Entertaining | No Comments »

Celebrate… Just Because!

May 29th 2009

Pink Table Setting

Sometimes we need to celebrate…just because. Here are 3 ways I have created celebrations out of typical days.

1. My daughter lost her tooth so I made a fancy dinner and hung party streamers and we called it a “Farewell Tooth Party.” My daughter thought it was so fun!

2. I set the table with our fine dinnerware and we celebrated “Wonderful Wednesday.” During dinner each family member mentioned something they thought was wonderful that day.

3. After having a typical weeknight meal, I reset the table with fancy linens and lit candles and we had a “dessert party” which was a big hit!

What are some creative ways you have turned ordinary days into big celebrations?



Posted by Myriam under Occasions | No Comments »

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo?

May 1st 2009

cinco de mayo party theme

Get inspired to celebrate this Cino De Mayo with these bold party ideas!

The Setting – Create decor using vibrant colors such as different shades of yellow, red, blue, pink, orange, and green. Anything bright will be perfect. Bright and bold paper lanterns would do the trick!

Table Top – Give your party that fiesta flair by using items like sombros or even small piñatas as centerpieces. If using flowers choose a flower like a gerbera daisy that can be found in many bold and bright hues.

Appetizers- For an authentic appetizer, try these mango skewers… YUM!

Cocktails – A festive Cinco De Mayo themed drink is a must! Make variations of tequila margaritas or even fresh mojitios would be appropriate. You can also place ice buckets full of Mexican brand beers on the tables. For non-alcohol sips the fruitier and more colorful the better! Think pineapple, mango, and strawberry drinks.

Posted by Myriam under Occasions | No Comments »

Entertaining Outdoors, It’s Spring!

April 30th 2009

The sun is out, the breeze is mild and the air is filled with the sweet smells of spring. Where better to host your next dinner party (or luncheon) than outdoors? Taking your party outdoors almost makes it easier to plan. The blue sky and surrounding greenery offers instant decor, the springtime fragrances fill the air and replace your need for candles. Outdoor surroundings fill up your space which means you are required to do less, buy less, and make less. I say, gather a few things you have around already and repurpose them for entertaining. Here are two great ideas courtesy of Martha.

garden party ideas

I love this simple idea. Transform flower pots into serving dishes and platters. This is a great way to pull your outdoor dinner party together and in a very frugal way.

garden party details

It doesn’t get easier than this! Pluck a few leaves off your outdoor trees and you have instant spring coasters!

Here are just a couple decor ideas for your outdoor entertaining. We would love to hear how you celebrate spring outdoors as well!

Photos via Martha Stewart Living

Posted by Myriam under Table Setting | No Comments »

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