Garden party chic
The sun is shining, you've wiped down the patio set, the grill's aflame, the drinks are chilled and you're ready to host a glorious garden party. Rally up your very best friends and all that's left to do is set out the following items and your affair will ooze that kind of garden party chic you only see in the glossy pages of your favourite home decor magazines.
1 Dreamy drapes
Give your outdoor living space the look of a beachside cabana with white cotton drapes. Offering sun protection, privacy and a cozy ambiance that defines your seating area, dreamy drapes offer maximum impact in style with simple and classic elegance. 84" solid outdoor drape: $49 at West Elm.
2 Stylish serving trays
The savvy hostess knows that successful and stylish entertaining is all in the details. So don't overlook your serving pieces when you're coordinating your tabletop decor. Impress guests with a simple yet sophisticated set of bamboo trays with ceramic bowls in an assortment of shapes. From $16.99 at Bouclair stores.
3 Outdoor rug
Instantly transform your backyard seating area into a cozy retreat with an attractive outdoor rug. Just as a rug in your living room defines your space indoors, an outdoor rug can easily do the same when placed under your patio furniture or centered in a comfortable seating area. 3'x 5' rug: $89. 5' x 8': $199. 8' x 10': $399 at westelm.com and at West Elm stores. Rug pad sold separately.
4 Garden ornaments
We've come a long way from garden gnomes! These striking terracotta soldier statues will look right at home in an Asian-inspired garden or add visual interest to just about any other garden scheme. True conversation pieces, they're just the things for your garden party guests to admire while you tend to your hosting duties. $23.99 each at Canadian Tire.
5 Critter candles
Bring oceanside items to your yard with these quirky "critter candles." Sure to gain admiring responses from your dinner guests, these interesting, unscented paraffin candles are sure to set your decor apart from the rest. $6 - $19 at Pottery Barn.
6 Wall decor
Bring life to a dull wall and make your backyard entertaining space look complete with interesting wall decor. This metal artwork adds a touch of endearing decorative flair to your set-up; the perfect finishing touch to take your outdoor living space from ordinary to extraordinary. $39.99 at Sears.
A cool blue pitcher keeps your tabletop looking chic and sophisticated and patterned matching glasses add visual interest to what could be an otherwise simple decor scheme. $4.25 - $19.95 at Pier 1.
8 Food domes
Sure, you grilled those burgers to perfection and the bugs know it, so they're bound to crash your party. You can expect that wasps, flies and other winged insects will like a taste of your cooking but guests won't want to share, so cover up plates of your precious meals with practical mesh food covers. Bugs, begone! Opt for a simple design that won't divert attention from your other tabletop accessories. $5.99 at HomeSense.
9 Lanterns for a warm glow
Lovely lanterns lend a pretty and functional aspect to your table as it illuminates and decorates. A dramatic iron finish offers an impressive contrast to light-coloured accents such as cushions and throws. These pointy pagoda lanterns add hints of ethnic charm, too. $12 - $30 small, medium or large at Pier 1.
10 Comfort in a warm throw
Your party is a success and guests don’t want to leave after the sun goes down. Give 'em something warm and cuddly to help them fend off the evening's chill. They'll appreciate your kind consideration as they snuggle up with these soft and inviting fleece throws. $9.99 at IKEA.
Want more inspiration to help make your yard the best-looking on the block? See Summer 2009 trends and 7 dos and don'ts for your prettiest patio decor at homemakers.com.
Jennifer Melo is the editor of homemakers.com and is a contributor to styleathome.com and canadiangardening.com.