Alfresco Dining Keeps Outdoor Entertaining Fresh
For many families, it takes the warm defrost of spring to finally recover from holiday entertaining.Â Though the lights and candles have long been put away, the rest of winter rarely inspires a lot of party-hosting.
But, the longer days and warmer afternoons of the spring season will always beckon dedicated entertainers to host a grand get-together.Â Take advantage of the budding flowers and take dinner parties outdoors for an alfresco dining experience.
Moving outside of the dining room's comfort zone can strike hosting anxiety in the hearts of even the most experienced entertainer.Â Follow these simple tips to ensure your alfresco dinner party goes off without a hitch!
The Furniture: The furniture used for outdoor entertaining must do more than just provide enough seating for guests; it can truly set the mood for the entire event.Â The outdoor furniture has to fit the occasion.Â A solid A-frame pine picnic table is great for backyard bashes and cook outs.Â But, upscale alfresco dining will benefit from a cedar patio dining set or a teak outdoor dining table.
The Table Dressing: Marcia Blake, outdoor living space designer, encourages decorators to celebrate the outdoors with table dressings. "Add small fresh flower bouquets or miniature plants in low vases across the table to give the illusion of a large arrangement," she suggests.
"For a dressed up table setting use ivory cloth placemats, topped by beautiful glassware, stemware and china, preferably antique or traditional in spirit." Blake advises, "If you are planning a more relaxed get together, try mixing and matching different color glasses, ceramic dishes and fun silverware to create a playful atmosphere. Use multi colored placemats, napkins and chunky pillar candles."
The Seating Arrangements: "Determine your seating arrangement then use hand-scripted place cards to caringly identify each setting," suggests Blake.Â Adding personal touches to place settings makes everyone feel valued and at-home.