It’s summertime, and the living is easy. So take your family and friends outdoors, and serve up a feast that takes advantage of Colorado’s beautiful warm weather and clear starlit evenings. Entertaining outdoors offers a refreshing change to the long dark months of more formal indoor get-togethers.  Gone are the days of standing before the charcoal barbecue, slugging beer from a can while flipping burgers and dogs. Say goodbye to the plastic checkered tablecloth, flimsy plastic silverware and traditional paper cups and plates.  Your next outdoor dinner party can be so much more, and can be a reflection of sophistication, good taste and beauty. Fortunately, you won’t require the services of a professional party planner to achieve the effect. Here are some tips that will make your next outdoor gathering both memorable and easy.  When hosting a dinner party, appearance is everything. Make sure your table design and décor are welcoming, updated and practical. The days of the disposable dinner party are gone; thankfully they’ve been replaced by a huge array of colorful options designed to enhance even the most mundane of outdoor settings.

The menu, admittedly a bit more complicated, should overflow with fresher, healthier and more colorful ingredients that can tempt even the pickiest of palates.

When it comes to planning your next outdoor party, keep one thing in mind. Let your imagination be your guide, and keep it simple, fun and relaxed.  Your guests will love the experience, and you’ll be amazed at what a good time you’ll have at your own party!

Serving pieces should be varied and fun. A simple artisan-type glass pitcher can be cleverly placed in a large aluminum tub for a different effect, or water can be poured from a large colored glass bottle for a more casual look.  A ceramic bowl filled with fresh organic cherries, and an oversized tray of succulent grilled fish, provide a light and tantalizing fare. Dessert is all about ice cream, whether in the form of sandwiches, sundaes or small bowls garnished with fresh berries.

1.)  Large white porcelain platters complement stunning painted china, in hues of gold, yellow and green. The platters are chunkier and less delicate, and blend perfectly with an expansive outdoor venue. Heavier rustic, artisan-type glassware add a more updated look and feel to the setting.

2.) Centerpieces should be minimal and heavier; more elaborate arrangements should be relegated to the great indoors. A rustic hammered copper vase showcases a bunch of sunlight yellow sunflowers. Freshly picked flowers from your own garden can add a splash of color and beauty to any table, and can be artfully arranged in a huge variety of containers.

3.) Cloth napkins, encircled by sunflower napkin rings, adorn simple bamboo mats.  Serving pieces should include a variety of textures, including wood, stone and even ceramic for a more interesting and amusing effect.

From The Collection Magazine
“Garden Party”