What's the best part about an outdoor fête? When good weather and friends are the main attractions, the food can be anything but formal. With the help of IKEA's latest collection of tabletop essentials, we hosted an alfresco weekend luncheon in a snap. Read on for our tips, and watch the video below to see how it all came together.
MAKE IT WORK
1. Create a Low-Stress Menu Keep it simple! We headed to our local grocery for a healthy mix of our favorite prepared foods—pasta salads, popcorn, olives, and cherry tomatoes—plus salad fixings and easy-to-grill veggies. Celery green stoneware, a black-and-white striped platter, and large white serving bowls established a crisp color palette for the table.
2. Garnish with What's in Season Elevate simple dishes with fresh farmer's-market ingredients. Add mint or slices of lemon to upgrade a carafe of ice water; snip a few sprigs of potted parsley to finish off a citrus-and-goat-cheese salad.
3. Make 'Em Mingle Set up a beverage station opposite your main table to encourage guests to move around and interact. We delineated the bar area (a barrel repurposed for the day) by hanging a cluster of solar-powered pendant lamps above.
4. Be a Mix Master The barrel bar was stocked with a few carafes of watermelon and pineapple juices, allowing guests to refill and customize their cocktails as they pleased. Guests topped off their drinks with watermelon wedges and colorful paper straws.