July 20, 2016

Pottery Barn's Courtney Lake Gives Us His Tips on How to Host the Perfect Garden Party

Courtney Lake, Pottery Barn's Social Media Editor and design guru in his own right, shares his secrets on how to host the perfect garden party!

by New York Spaces

Pottery Barn's Courtney Lake Brings Us His Tips on How to Host the Perfect Garden Party!

Summer is here, and it's time to celebrate the sunshine by throwing an unforgettable summer party. Organizing and enjoying your own little soiree involves getting a variety of things spot on—from planning the perfect refreshments to choosing between outdoor pillows and wicker furniture.

Revolutionary refreshment

Pottery barn
Reimagine Favorite Cocktails.

A chilled glass of wine or beer will always be popular on a sunny day, but there are many fantastic ways to freshen up what you offer your guests and surprise a few people. If you're looking to offer cocktails, reimagine an old favorite, the mojito, with a twist—add blueberries and ginger syrup for a spicy, fruity kick. As a non-alcoholic option, spritzers are always popular. Get creative with strong, zesty flavour combinations, such as blackberry and mint or rosemary and citrus.

Food-wise, it's sensible to provide snacks throughout the afternoon, and if the event is carrying on into the evening, introduce a fresh, light buffet that guests can pick and choose from, and return to if their appetite demands.

Keep it comfortable

To guarantee that all your guests are comfortable, it's sensible to offer adequate scope for them to relax—this

Outdoor Pillows from Pottery Barn.

means ample room to sit, stand and even recline if they should wish! In sunny weather, shade is essential—position outdoor pillows or wicker furniture beneath the grandest tree in your garden, or deploy elegant patio umbrellas, to give guests the option of taking a break from basking in the beautiful weather. As sun sets, it's time to change the atmosphere—lighting is key, and there are a range of fantastic options for creating a calm, welcoming and social feel.

Make it about everyone

pottery barn umbrella
Pottery Barn.

Every guest's experience matters—so try to see off their stresses and concerns at the door, and focus on bringing fun to the fore. If there are kids coming along, make sure they have something safe, simple, and engaging to enjoy that'll give their parents a bit of time to enjoy themselves. Carve out a corner of the garden as a designated play area, or set up a table for a few messy arts and crafts—everyone will appreciate it. For the adults, forced fun can often have a negative impact on the party's atmosphere —but the careful introduction of music as the party progresses, perhaps even with a live acoustic performance in the afternoon, can help to pitch the tempo of your celebration.

A photo booth may sound like the preserve of big corporate events and weddings, but they can be as simple as a decorated bedsheet, a bunch of dressing up gear and a camera—and they can often capture, in unique and often delightfully weird ways, the feel of the party and the relationships you share.

Got any more suggestions on how to host the perfect garden party? Share your top tips below!

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