If there is one thing I love, and most especially during the Summer, it’s entertaining.
Like everything else, I enjoy a simple, rustic, and effortless approach to gathering. The best evenings are spent when friends pop over unexpectedly, we break out some snacks and beverages and just enjoy good company. And with 2.5 kiddos I find this no-fuss approach to be particularly important.
1. Mix + Match
Have a stockpile of pieces that you can easily mix + match. Rather than buying colorful prints and patterns or holiday-specific pieces, I source versatile serving pieces in all shades of white and cream, wood and metal so I can easily pull a piece off the shelf that will do the job. You know I love a good neutral palette, but it always looks timeless, pulled together, and perfect for any occasion.
2. Stocked Pantry
Keeping essentials on hand that will stay fresh and be ready to pull at a moments notice helps keep me prepared. I think this topic (and my absolute obsession with pantries …) warrants it’s own post to fully flush out but a few of my favorites are fresh nuts, crackers, honeycomb, a seasonal jam, pesto or chutney, a stocked bar with essentials, a special non-alcoholic beverage option, a chilled prosecco in the fridge and a red wine ready to pop, and something fresh and seasonal that can always be pulled in. I love having a few go-to simple dessert ingredients on hand so that I can pull together something simple and fabulously homemade to satisfy any sweet tooth.
3. A Touch of the Season
Summer is the perfect time to add a touch of freshness for your guests. I love pulling in a few blooms from the garden for the table or cutting some fresh herbs to add a sprig of mint to drinks or dessert. Simply lighting a sea salt or citrus candle can also help set the scene if you’re lost on a green thumb.
4. Fun to Be Had
The most spontaneous evenings are always the best, so having a few things handy to create simple or nostalgic memories are often those that I’ve often found to be the biggest hit. More formal activities like a yard game, basket of cards or checkers make it easy to grab and go – or even simply having a flashlight handy for exploring or keeping a glass jar for catching fireflies on hand so it can be spontaneous and kid-friendly. I love keeping a basket or galvanized bin packed with a few things on our porch, so kids and adults alike can grab and go. A ball, a blanket, maybe even a little bug spray and we’re all set with everything we need at an arms reach. And, music in the background to set the mood is always a must.
5. A Great Space for Guests
We love to entertain on our front or back porch and they’re all set for casual mingling. Though we are still working on these spaces having just moved in, the key is having flexible and comfortable seating options so your crowd can grow as needed and chat together. A few tablespaces for setting out some nibbles and for keeping drinks close. Conversation pieces that keep the chatter interesting – like the huge pile of antlers we have as a centerpiece on our backporch table – pretty + purposeful. Comfortable additions like outdoor-friendly pillows, blankets and even a little fireplace for the (rare) cool night.
I’d love to know your secret for effortless entertaining and things you like to keep on hand that make it easy to always be entertaining!