DIY Dining

In going with the theme of summer, warm weather and social get-to-togethers, I was in search for some tips on how to create an elegant dinner party (in the hopes that someday, I can pull off one of these!)

An avid follower of real estate and home décor, I recently came across an article by Marian McEvoy of the Wall Street Journal, who offers up seven easy tricks for throwing the perfect outdoor dining event:

1. Too many electric lights eradicate a sense of being outside, overpowering stars and fireflies. Plus, they attract insects.
2. A platform created of fine gravel, wood planks or stone helps define the boundaries and shape of your outdoor room and assures that your high-heeled (or nearsighted) guests won’t sink or fall through the cracks.
3. Outdoor “ceilings”—an awning, a covered trellis, a tent or an umbrella—help block out sun and rain.
4. Square- or rectangular-shaped outdoor rooms benefit mightily from hefty pots and planters placed at each corner.
5. Add poetry to sundown and evening outdoor cocktails and dinners by including white, pale lilac and pale blue flowers throughout your garden. They attract and reflect light better than deeper colors.
6. Do not use flowers on the table that don’t come from your own garden. I once bought a ton of fluffy pink peonies for an outdoor table bouquet when my garden was filled with the dregs of the last fading hydrangeas. It was pretty yucky. Better yet, don’t use any flowers on the table: Your garden is your best form of décor.
7. For those with limited winter furniture storage space, do not buy chairs, tables or benches that are not weather resistant. Wrought iron, teak and wicker look-alikes will last through umpteen cold snaps, deluges and blizzards. Anything else will fall apart in three years. Maybe less. Trust me.

You can find the full article here.


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