Freshen Up Your Outdoor Look This Summer By Lauren Aitken
What better way to celebrate summer than to invite friends over for an alfresco soiree. Here are some of the elements you will need.
Hamptons entertaining maestro Ina Garten advises hosts to always create the mood with music. Whether you want groovy background sounds or more in-your-face dance vibes, the folks at Klipsch have you covered with their all-weather speaker line that delivers “more sound per watt than comparably sized speakers.” Just make sure you invite the neighbors.
An outdoor bar is sure to be the heart of any summer party. Pottery Barn’s Outdoor Chatham Bar is designed with the same features and functionality as their indoor bars. Crafted of FSC-certified eucalyptus and mahogany, it features ample storage for barware and spirits, plus a cabinet to fit a mini refrigerator. I’ll drink to that.
For your outdoor living room you’ll need everything you have for your indoor equivalent:
Guests who aren’t mingling will want to stretch out on a couch. The Oleander Outdoor Apartment Sofa at Fishers Home Furnishings in Sag Harbor not only provides comfortable and stylish seating, but also comes with a canopy – the better to protect guests from the elements. Options include topstitching, brushed aluminum feet and throw pillows.
You’ve got to have something on which to rest your libations. Hildreth’s has an assortment of outdoor occasional, side and coffee tables made of such rugged materials as teak, wicker and aluminum. The Mod Collection by Lloyd Loom has great eye appeal – cool lines and a ‘Mod’ aesthetic. Or you can always put your feet up on it.
Sag Harbor’s Sylvester and Co. carries a line of all-weather outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic (mostly milk jugs) by Loll Design. Loll’s modern picnic-style Alfresco Dining Table comes in assorted Crayola-worthy colors from leaf green to sunset orange. Foolproof if kids get their crayons out.
The Sundial Side Chair from Wainscott’s Serena & Lily makes a stylish statement at your table. Available in white, black or striped, the all-weather Sunbrella® slipcovers are draped over an outdoor-grade birch frame. And the chairs were tested for the elements by throwing them into Lake Michigan. We presume that they would even hold up to the vagaries of our South Fork climate.
Scatter these comfy seats (basically upholstered stools) all around. Southampton’s Homenature has a selection in braided grass or weather-treated natural fabrics. We all need to feel like a pasha now and again.
Of course you will want candles galore. For a coastal theme go with the Sea Urchin Candle by Aerin. With three wicks it provides ample illumination while valencia orange blossom infuses the air with a subtle floral fragrance. Of course you will need to light it. Aerin also sells a stunning brass sea urchin match striker.
You can’t hang art outside, but an outdoor carpet acts like an underfoot painting. The Carpetman of Southampton offers a collection from Dash and Albert featuring various patterns, colors and materials. Now you can say you’ve stepped on a work of art.
For your guests’ inner child, Sag Harbor’s Urban Zen features gorgeous stone and horn games – checkers, chess, tic tac toe – handcrafted by global artisans. Would someone please make a stone Scrabble set.
If it should rain on the eve of your event, no need to get a tent. A pavilion or pergola provides stylish coverage. Chris Hall of Pembrooke Fine Landscapes will be happy to build you one.
The new must-have backyard accessory. A dramatic way to wow your guests with homemade pizza arrayed with your toppings of choice. Think: shaved asparagus, smoked pancetta, pickled onions, and, if you must, sautéed kale. While gas is easy, wood-fired ovens give true smoky flavor. They come in an assortment of styles from classic brick to modular steel. Woodlanddirect.com