Decorating Outside When the Sun Goes Down

From our Savvy Scoop designer Shelley Herod, here’s some great scoop on outside decorating this spring and summer.

As the days grow longer, typically the party moves outdoors. The backyard sets the scenery for summer barbecues, holidays, reunions, etc. Decorating the outdoors for your guests can be accomplished effortlessly with a little elbow grease and creative thinking.

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* A plan of attack is always crucial. Prepping the backdrop should be step one.

* Clean up the yard and flowerbeds

* Store stray items out of sight

* Since the party is going to be outdoors, typically the guest bath, entry, and kitchen are the only indoor spaces that guests will see. Concentrate on those areas for interior cleaning.

* Make sure the grill is clean and functioning. Inventory the propane or charcoal, and have the right grilling tools, including a meat thermometer.

* Prepare as much of the food in advance as possible. Marinating meat early will enhance the flavor.

* Don’t let mosquitoes be uninvited guests. If you use a mosquito service, make sure the service is up to date. Also, incorporate citronella candles and have repellent on hand.

* Everything is looking manicured and in working order. Pay attention to the details and leave decorating for the final step.

* Make sure to have enough seating for your guests. Add a few indoor chairs or sport chairs if necessary.fcd4f6ff27c3b8e8e0c4e24ea57054fa

* Have a sound system set up to add a musical touch.

* Have a trashcan conveniently located.

* Being creative and re-purposing items that you already own will impress your guests. The decorative touches are what make the party look festive.

* Cut flowers and greenery from your lawn to create bouquets. Use Mason jars, ceramic pitchers, empty wine bottles, or burlap-wrapped pots instead of typical glass vases.

*If your gathering is for a holiday, add items to the bouquets respectively. For example: flags or sparklers for patriotic holidays; photos for reunions, team parties, or birthdays.

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* Lanterns are trendy this year. Combine different shapes and sizes scattered around and hang inexpensive ones in trees. Use Mason jars with votive candles to make your own. As the sun goes down, they will produce a party atmosphere.

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* A wheelbarrow topped with a wooden shelf creates an additional serving space.

* Use terracotta pots to corral the silverware.

* Re-purpose the birdbath: create a chic water feature by adding a few floating candles and flowers.

* An assortment of containers filled with annuals always adds a splash of color and elegance to any outdoor space.

Now the outdoor stage is set and everything is in order. It is time to relax and enjoy the fun!

Shelley Herod is the owner and designer for Designing Women, LLC from Woodstock, Georgia. She has been a local designer for the past 20 years. She graduated from Butler University  with a degree in merchandising and design. Shelley is a certified home stager and recently was selected by Executive Who’s Who. She is the veteran interior designer to the Junior Service League of Woodstock Christmas Home Tour, where she has been active for the past 10 years. She also works with wedding and special event venues as design coordinator to make dreams become reality. Designing Women is an active member of the The Atlanta Bridal Connection. Shelley can be reached at (770) 235-5640 or on her Facebook page: Designing Women.