Invite friends over for an impromptu gathering, as the Arsenaults often do. Here are 10 ideas to get your outdoor living space ready.
- Replace tired annuals with coleus, marigolds, or perennials such as fountain grass or sedum.
- No time to mow the entire lawn? Try cutting a double-width swath of grass only along the walk and around the patio’s edge.
- Fill large vases with cut branches of seasonal fruit such as apples, persimmons, or pears.
- Keep things even simpler by filling clear vases with varying heights of water and adding several drops of food coloring. Deepen hues in several of the vases to add interest.
- Start early. Not all parties have to take place at night. Morning light can be moody and wonderful. Keep the menu easy with coffee and pastries picked up from the bakery.
- If the thought of rising early is more than you can bear, keep it late--just add lots of candles. Buy multiple shapes and sizes on sale.
- Encourage guests to kick off their shoes and dangle their toes in the pool while you bring them cocktails.
- Ask guests to download their favorite songs. Play a mix during the party to keep everyone happy.
- Cover a less-than-lovely table with a great tablecloth. Don’t shy away from using your best linens.
- Strategically space appetizers at various locations to keep folks moving. Unless they’re dining, the last thing you want to happen is to have everyone sit down.
"Just Relax" is from the September 2008 issue of Southern Living.