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Your Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting a Stylish Summer Soiree

Welcome Back, Fabulistas!

A poolside scene with prominent blues, a rattan poolside set of side table and two chairs. Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash

A refreshing seating arrangement in blue and white invites guests to converse.
Photo by Hutomo Abrianto on Unsplash.

Although I equally love all four seasons, summertime holds a special place in my heart. Dinners and drinks with friends and family can be enjoyed al fresco—what could be better than that?

With that being said, we should all take a look at our outdoor spaces and see if they are as fabulous as our interior ones.

Image of a decorated outdoor space on a balcony next to water. A wooden table is decorated with a brown planter and a plant and a rustic decorative tray. Photo by Angela Pham on Unsplash

Stylish tables make all the difference in outdoor environments.
Photo by Angela Pham on Unsplash.

Designing Your Exterior Space

I like to think of my exterior spaces as an extension of my indoor spaces, meaning that it deserves just as much care and consideration in the design process as my interiors: it’s my outdoor dining room! I want it to be beautiful, comfortable and enjoyable to experience for all my guests.

I also find it helpful to envision how the space will be used: for casual barbecues with friends, outdoor dinner parties or intimate fireside chats over a bottle of wine. This leads me to the type of furniture I need to choose, whether it's a large central dining table with chairs around it or smaller seating groupings of accent tables and chairs that can be conversationally placed for guests to relax and chat over a cocktail. 

An Aqua pillow with graphite accent, featuring a long pull zipper down the middle.

A pretty pillow adds a welcome pop of color.

Choosing Your Colors

When it comes to color, I often let nature be my guide. For summer, the classic combination of blue and white is the ultimate no-brainer; the mix of sea and sand hues evokes the allure of a summertime beach escape.

Whether you reside seaside or not, you can create the beach lifestyle at home by pairing endless varieties of blue and white. As a starting reference point, may I suggest my Serene Aqua Palette? Blue-green hues mixed with white and cream create a calm, clean and tranquil setting.

6 swatches of colors with their Sherwin Williams numbers and color names

The Serene Aqua Palette.

Regardless of the shades you choose, this foolproof pairing will make your exterior space feel like a holiday escape…. even though it’s only a few steps away!


Top down view of a tabletop with a scattered assortment of  bowls, cups, mugs, and one plant on it. Photo by Angele Kamp on Unsplash.

Feel free to mix and match your dishes in shades of blue and white to layer depth into your tablescape.
Photo by Angèle Kamp on Unsplash.

Creating a Photo-Worthy Tablescape

Once you’ve settled on your exact shades, it’s time to set the table and let the party begin! I love white because it’s so versatile (and it's also very easy to find white tableware, linens and so on!). If you can find a blue-and-white tablecloth, the more the better! Pick your plates, glassware, table linens and accessories several days before your party, so you can relax (and worry about the food!).

Image shows a blue vase with a bouquet of white flowers in it, sitting on a stack of books. Photo by Elena Putina on Unsplash.

Think of a vase as your centerpiece to design around.
Photo by Elena Putina on Unsplash.

You also want to think about vases and floral arrangements, candles and any other table décor. Again, I like to draw from nature here, so feel free to incorporate coral, collected shells or sea oats, for example, into your tablescape for a truly memorable—and super-stylish—dining experience.

Top down view of a wooden board with a plate on it. The meal consists of roasted eggplant, tomatoes, onions, and various garnishes. Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash.

Choose fresh produce for the best flavor.
Photo by Mariana Medvedeva on Unsplash.

Crafting the Perfect Summertime Cocktail

As for the food, I like to keep it fresh and in-season with the best my local farmer’s market has to offer. Also, I always serve my guests a signature cocktail to get the party started in fine fashion—in my case, the Barontini. If you don’t have your own special tipple, feel free to borrow mine for your next soiree!

Simply combine 4 ounces of vodka, ½ an ounce of Grand Marnier, 2 ounces of freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 1 ounce of simple syrup, ½ an ounce of cranberry juice and ½ an ounce of lime juice in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake. Serve upright in martini glasses, garnished with blood orange slices.

Cheers and happy summertime entertaining!

Close-up shot of a pink drink in a martini glass, with a garnish of a blood orange slice.

Try my signature "Barontini", a cocktail that tastes as refreshing as it looks!



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