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Summer Loving: Outdoor Entertaining

A favorite of kids and adults alike, yard parties are a great way to get to know your neighbors and make the most of the region’s four distinct seasons. With spacious backyards and plenty of green spaces, Embrey Mill is uniquely situated for outdoor entertaining. Make yours the best on the block with these helpful tips.

Light the Fireworks

Summer is the season for whimsy. If your outdoor entertaining area is a mix of serene stonework and natural grains, complement the space with disciplined pops of colors and patterns in your pillows, pitchers, and throws. While green and taupe are generally the go-to’s for outdoor accents, embolden your backyard bashes with splashes of warm reds and oranges (think Mexico), or bright blues and sunflower yellow for an ode to the south of France. And if you have a vibrant garden, choose accents that extend your flora scheme, not compete with it. Most importantly, have fun! This is the time to experiment with little investment. Whatever color scheme you go with, it will sure to be festive.

Get Intimate

It may seem counter intuitive to create smaller spaces or “rooms” throughout your backyard and patio, but as any landscape designer will tell you, these micro areas create a sense of warmth and togetherness in your gatherings. Take the fire pit area, already a show-stopper, yes, but add in a few intimate touches, and it becomes even more social. How? Place decorative stools or poofs in between a few of the larger chairs, or a bench along one side of the pit, then add large glass votives along the outside of the entire sitting area. The warmth of the firelight is extended and the mix of surfaces can be used for drinks or plates, or more people who can easily have one-to-one conversations around a wider circular pit.

Another charming way to add micro areas is to feature blankets and pillows in two or three spots throughout your backyard. Look to utilize odd spaces or angles like far corners or the top of a small incline or hill. If you are entertaining a range of age groups, you can add age-appropriate games at different spots so young kids and teenagers each have their own special playing grounds. Magical Lightening Lanterns hanging from tree branches and patio overhangs will create a dreamy setting. Keeping with the outdoor room theme, this light element creates the illusion of a ceiling. Unlike your interiors, balance is not necessary here. Play with inexpensive round paper lanterns in a variety of sizes hung at different heights. To create visual harmony, stay with one shade. White is classic, red dramatic and unexpected, blue cool. Or for an exotic touch, try Moroccan lanterns or jars in a range of jewel colors. If you go with a more bohemian vibe, extend it to your menu and music.

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