Entertaining Outdoors With Sandra Espinet
by New York Spaces
With the summer months finally here, I am excited to share my passion for design and my pleasure for outdoor entertaining with family and friends. Decorating to entertain is expressive. It allows you to reflect the more carefree energy of summer, to inspire a sense of community, and it conveys the convivial nature of the season. Summer also permits me to transform my Cabo home into an outdoor paradise that encourages leisure and pleasure. And you needn’t fear city dwellers, there are plenty of ways to utilize your urban landscapes too.
As a life-long gypsy I feed exclusively off of exotic trends and styles that tend to blend into my signature look. The colors and patterns that excite me the most are typically loud, bold and whimsical, or, translucent, sheer and soft. All of which best translate into a specific summer style. Infusing design with my love for entertaining is what it’s all about for me.
Terraces, and pool decks are the perfect spaces to entertain and to host parties. Use the spaces available to you and morph them into a luscious oasis filled with life, and quirky summer items. Make it a space that is an extension of the interior of your home. Today's market is full of furniture and accessories with a variety of options for transforming your exteriors. Indoor/outdoor fabrics and rugs have changed the way we live and can now accommodate our luxurious lifestyles outdoors.
With my love of white, airy fabrics (for both fashion and décor) and with the summer in mind, I recently hosted an all-girl, all-white cocktail party at my house. We took full advantage of the great weather and the beautiful exterior ambiance. Choosing cool summer foods, lsuch as tuna wrapped in cucumbers, melon soup, and chilled wedge salads is the perfect way to bring forth the intoxicatingly joyful feel of a summer gathering.
I dressed the table in delicate white placemats that framed my white ceramic china, aqua blue water glasses and champagne flutes. Finally to finish the look I wrapped my silverware in ruffled linen napkins that were tied in a simple shell napkin ring.
If you happen to be spending your summer in the city, I encourage you to work with what you’ve got! Be it a patio, terrace, or even fire escape, there are plenty of ways to summer-ize your space for entertainment purposes (okay, so this MIGHT be trickier with fire escapes). Or even better, bring the party to a park. Arrive early with your linens (to throw over a picnic table or two) and a couple of handfuls of wild flowers or daffodils to throw into some mason jars. If you are able to wrangle in a friend or two to help, bring real glasses (aqua blue water glasses will work for wine or champagne) and silverware with you too. Even if your guests are each bringing a dish, you will still look like the hostess with the mostess just by adding these simple, yet effective, details.
Summer will be gone before you know it and the cool weather will return. So enjoy that sunshine whenever you can and wherever you can! Make the season memorable!
Sandra Espinet is an interior designer whose style embodies a relaxed luxury and a casual international style. Her first book, "The Well Traveled Home" (Gibbs-Smith, August 2013), reveals the soul of luxury homes blending fabulous objects culled from around the globe.