I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central (#MC) for Pier 1 Imports. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and to thank me for participating.
We are full fledge in Summer mode around here! A few weeks ago we decided to have a “just because” outdoor dinner party with friends. It may or may not have coincided with my husbands birthday, but he will deny that was the cause of the party. I find when you have some quality staples on hand you can pull together a party of any type at a moment’s notice. So, even if you happen to throw an “Unbirthday” party, you can be prepared.
Here are some essentials to have on hand for ongoing Summer parties:
1) Comfortable seating:
We currently have a table and chairs that will seat 6. I’d love to add an outdoor couch and a few extra stand-alone chairs to our collection soon. We had fun browsing the outdoor furniture selection at our local Pier 1 Imports. This seating arrangement would add so much personality to any yard!
I’d also love to add at least one of these lovely swings. They come in several colors and patterns, and can either be hung or supported by a stand. As you can see, husband wanted to camp out here during our shopping adventure!
Our yard is pretty small, so we have to be selective about our seating options. But, for those of you with larger yards, Pier 1 has some lovely collections. The Cuidad sectional is by far my favorite. It also wouldn’t hurt to have that view!
2) Indoor/Outdoor serving-ware:
We have some nice platters that we received as wedding gifts, but they’re a bit too fragile to take outside. This Summer we added a few platters and other dishes that will work for both indoor and outdoor purposes. I love the pattern on this large serving tray we got from Pier 1 Imports:
3) Decorations that add a little personality
I debated whether or not to have our outdoor decor match the style of the inside of the house. Ultimately, I decided to have more fun with the outside. It’s a smaller area to decorate so why not add a bit more color and go for a mixed-pattern look. Here’s a inspiration board from the outdoor decor items I liked best from Pier1.com. I like a combo of neutrals, with a pop of color, and a bit of trendy style.
I originally thought I’d go for the blue and yellow motif, that jumped out at me during my online browsing. But, as soon as I went to my local Pier 1, I knew I had to add some of the bright colors from the Summer 2014 collection (as you may have already guessed by the lime green serving platter). The addition of a brightly-colored accent piece is a budget-friendly way to make a big impact!
4) Protection from the elements:
This will vary depending on where you live. We have a SERIOUS mosquito problem here in Texas so we opted for Citronella candles of all shapes and sizes. Even the table-top lanterns had Citronella tea-lights in them. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about the combo of style and function until I saw the tea-lights near the checkout.
If we were planning a day-time even I’d also plan on adding a festive umbrella to block the sun.
You have a few options in the lighting department. You can go for decorative strings lights, candles, permanent outdoor lighting or some variation. Since one our main concerns with our backyard is bugs, we decided not to use much of our outdoor lighting and go for candles. The ones we got from Pier 1 actually served a double purpose and ended up deterring mosquitos.
The following items can be handled as soon as you decide to have a party. Whether that’s one day’s notice, or even a whole week.
If you’re truly the spontaneous type you might end up texting several friends letting them know to stop by at a particular time in the next day or so. We opted for a Facebook invite since we had a couple of week’s lead time. If you want to be more official, or spontaneity is not your thing, you can of course mail invitations.
Food can be a huge consideration for a party. We decided to make our Summer party a bit of potluck style. We put on our invitations that we’d cover the mains and asked our guests to bring either a sider or a drink.
Here’s another area you can spend quite a bit of effort. We opted for beer, wine and just a few cocktails. Fortunately our friends also brought some beer and liquor to share.
I think for our next party, I may have to get this drink canister and plastic jars.
4) Eating Essentials
Pier 1 has a whole selection of stylish paper napkins, plates and cups. We decided to go the disposable route, mostly for the ease of clean up. Plus really, how great are these colors?
Last but not least, you’ll want to have a general idea of what type of entertainment you will need for your guests. A few of our friends brought little ones along, so the preferred entertainment ended up being bubbles.
All of the products mentioned in this post are available at your local Pier 1 Imports. You also have the option to browse from the comfort of your home and either have the items shipped to your local Pier 1 Imports or delivered to your house. I will warn you though, if you go the 100% online route, you will miss out on the amazing wall of pillows. Here’s just a portion of the outdoor pillow selection.
Hey and good news for you… I have a $25 Pier 1 Imports Giftcard to giveaway! All you have to do is visit Pier1.com and pick out your favorite outdoor item. Come back here and leave a comment with your favorite and a winner will be chosen at random by July 2nd.