With Memorial Day in the rearview mirror and we look forward to the 4th of July weekend, I am planning, dreaming and scheming about outdoor entertaining. I felt way too cooped up this past miserably cold winter and now I am ready to be outside as much as possible. Most of my client time is spent designing indoor spaces but if you have a home with a backyard – it is essential to expand your living space to the outdoors. Whether it’s with comfortable and weather resistant outdoor furniture with plenty of shade or including water features like pools and ponds, creating comfortable, usable, fun outdoor spaces is essential to enjoying Summer to it’s fullest. Architectural Digest‘s recent article featuring outdoor spaces created by top designers proves how important it is to take time to design outdoor living.
I think about designing outdoor spaces in much the same way I consider interior design. Creating gathering spaces that are comfortable, relaxing and reflect the way my clients like to live. These are two VGI designed outdoor spaces in Greenwich, CT and Summit, NJ. Both make relaxing and entertaining accessible and inviting.
Now that you have a great outdoor space, it’s time to get the party started! Invite friends and family, fire up the grill, and mix up some refreshing cocktails. My go-to entertaining gurus are Barefoot Contessa, Martha Stewart, and here’s a real outlier – Weber Cookbooks from the grill master’s themselves. Ina Garten always has the perfect recipes for entertaining large and small groups. Her website is loaded with full menus from Summer BBQ’s to Garden Parties to Clambakes. And, she gives you everything from soup to nuts – so to speak. I love Martha for all her creative ideas on simple DIY decor and some great recipes, as well. And, if summer means outdoor grilling to you then there is nothing better than the recipes from the Weber Cookbook – they work well on grills made by other companies too. I included the links to all of these sites, so you are off to a good start.
Here’s the thing – we all know what makes a great party is the quality and quantity of cocktails!!! Refreshing, fresh and cold summer drinks are my fave. Make beverages from the bounty of fresh fruit and ingredients available only in summer. Here are links to a few great summer drinks from Food Network and Food & Wine. I am sharing my signature summer beverage recipe called a Bichon Frise – ENJOY!!
1 oz vodka
1 oz St Germain
2 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
top with prosecco
There you go – all the elements for a great summer of relaxing, entertaining and enjoying the outdoors!!!