How To Host A Carefree Summer Party

While there’s a time and a place for formality, we feel that entertaining in the summer requires a more relaxed state of mind. To us, that means taking cues from our surroundings, mixing in elements that offer a more casual vibe, and keeping things simple—without sacrificing on style, of course. Here, TSG Co-founder Christy Ford shares her advice for hosting a carefree summer dinner party, from tabletop décor to kid-friendly desserts.

Reach for the rattan. As someone who tends to stick to a pared-down palette, Ford likes to add warmth and texture to her tables with rattan or woven placemats in the summertime. The look and feel are perfect for the season, and they add just enough interest without being overpowering.

Accessorize with what’s in season. Taking inspiration from what’s available in nature at the moment is a recommendation that holds true year-round. Ford always suggests decorating with seasonal fruit, and in the summertime that means plums, peaches, or apricots in a bowl on table. When it comes to florals, “Flowers from the garden are best,” she says. “I like to keep things natural to the environment, for it to look like it was effortless and just picked.”

Incorporate elegant elements. Just because we take a breezy approach to summer entertaining doesn’t mean we don’t like a little elegance in our tablescapes. Add a touch of formal flair by bringing the indoors out via silver candelabra or traditional glassware. It’ll make any occasion feel more festive.

Keep the menu simple. As we mentioned in this TSG Tip, opting for an easy, seasonally-driven one-dish dinner lets fresh ingredients shine through—and allows you to stay out of the kitchen during the hottest days of the year.

Cater to the younger set. Let dessert double as an activity for your young dinner guests. After all, summer entertaining means you’re likely outside, so who cares if things get a little messy? “We have an outdoor fireplace and often roast S’mores,” Ford says. “Another favorite is ice cream sandwiches, which we make with homemade cookies. It’s always a crowd pleaser!”

TSG Tip 273 from Christy Ford, Co-Founder of The Scout Guide.