Text: Lonni Paul
Simple tips to elevate your next outdoor soirée
From Interior Designer Lonni Paul
Interior designer Lonni Paul is known for her fresh, sophisticated, and simple aesthetic. Here, seven fun ideas to make your next outdoor party memorable.
Lighting can make or break your summer get-togethers. Elegant or fun, whatever your party theme, lighting will set the tone.
Tip: Fill a vintage tray or shallow metal bucket with greenery while leaving a small circle in the middle empty for a pillar candle. Drill four holes into the opposite sides of the tray and insert rope or metal chains to hang the fixture from your trees or deck. The lights will add an elegant yet vintage ambience to your gathering.
Tip: You can also make your own ambient lighting by using paper lanterns. Line your garden path with paper bags weighted down with sand and outfitted with battery-operated candles for a subtle, elegant glow. You can also add a string of Christmas lights with small paper balls around them to your outdoor trees. Try spray-painting the paper balls to add an extra pop of color!
Tip: Paint mason jars in bright or pastel colors—or leave them clear—and fill with wildflowers or your favorite store-bought blossoms. Group the jars together or let them cascade down the center of your table as a floral table runner. Another idea is to use small strings of LED lights bunched in clear jars as a centerpiece. They lend a fun “firefly in a jar” effect.
Tip: Everyone loves s’mores for backyard barbecues, especially during the summer! Create a fun dessert display by placing marshmallows, graham crackers, and a few pieces of chocolate in a cute recycled strawberry container from your local produce stand. For a pop of color, insert a pretty patterned napkin to personalize each container and tie in the rest of your party decor.
Tip: Plan a party around a summer read! Hang a branch with “blossoms” made from pages photocopied from a book that relates to your theme (Endless Summer, The Fault in Our Stars, Beach House, One Summer). Fashion the pages into paper blossoms, and hot-glue them to the tree branches. Or hang threaded crystals from the branches of your tree to add some extra sparkle. They will appear to be floating in air while adding a touch of glamour to your outdoor space.
Tip: You can also line a pathway or fill your garden bed with flowerpots painted using a color that ties in your party decor. They’ll brighten up your surroundings and set a festive mood. Fill the pots with water and float flowers or candles in them for a creative floral or lighting arrangement.