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Summer Entertaining Series: Alfresco Dining

June 25, 2014

Warmer weather means a new canvas for entertaining as we move outside. Eating outdoors may conjure visions of paper plates and tiki torches, but we’ll show you how to take alfresco dining to a whole new level.


Bring the indoors out for summer entertaining


You’re not limited to using only vinyl tablecloths and other items designated for outside use. Cotton placemats and fabric napkins in our Linen Room are washable, so don’t be afraid to layer them out on the deck for a sophisticated table settsummer-entertaining-salt-peppering. Add outdoor whimsy with items such as salt & pepper shakers in summertime shapes. We used a big red ant. Don’t forget to make your Nora Fleming platters summer entertaining-ready with red Solo cup, patriotic, and other summer-themed minis.


We have several summer entertaining items that look like they belong inside when in fact they’re made with outdoor dining in mind. New indoor/outdoor placemats by Jason are lightweight and waterproof. They come in beautiful nature-inspired themes that you’ll want to use year-round. In Housewares you’ll find a colorful collection of acrylic dinnerware. The detailed patterns are so beautiful, you just might forget they’re break-resistant.


Add atmosphere to your summer entertaining

Lumizu (2)When the sun goes down, nothing adds warmth to the atmosphere like flickering candles. They don’t even have to have an actual flame. One of our favorite ideas for outdoor candles are Lumizu luminaries. The lanterns are made of reusable plastic in various designs. Pour water into them and drop in one of the water-activated tea lights. Each set comes with 4 bags and 4 lights so it’s easy to create an impressive display for only $12.50 a set. We made this video last year, starring Barb in our Gift Gallery, to show you how easy they are to use: Lumizu Outdoor Luminaries Video.

If you really want to set your outdoor atmosphere apart during the summer entertaining season, consider a tabletop fountain. It doesn’t have to be large or expensive to lend the soothing vibe of moving water. Our Conservatory is loaded with indoor/outdoor fountains in a variety of sizes and shapes. This video shows a sampling of the types of fountains we carry. (This video was made a few months ago, so the exact styles in stock right now may vary).

Little Traveler
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