If you’re a local, you know Washington’s season of delightful spring weather to be excruciatingly short—which means when it’s pleasant outside, smart ones head straight for the patios. In preparation for these upcoming outdoor gatherings, we asked hostess extraordinaire Amanda McClements of Salt & Sundry to share her secrets for making a backyard shindig shine. Her five best tips for flawless outdoor entertaining:
Bring the inside out: Use your favorite pillows, throws and lamps from indoors to dress up your outdoor space for the evening. Lamps make a huge impact on ambiance.
Lay a foundation: Place an outdoor rug under the table or on the lawn to define the space and add color.
Create a serve-yourself bar: Set up a simple bar with pitchers of a pre-batched cocktail, wine and beer on ice so there’s no running inside to the fridge.
Stay hydrated: On hot summer days and nights, be sure to have plenty of ice water on hand so guests can help themselves. Hinge-top glass bottles make pretty containers.
Keep it green: Use lightweight reusable plates and glasses instead of disposables to cut down on waste and elevate the look of your party.