September 8, 2020

my tips for easy outdoor gatherings

Here's a fun little gathering my friend Laura and I put together for the current fall issue of Cottages and Bungalows magazine. We shot Laura’s entire house last August, and it’s been fun seeing it featured in three issues this year! 

Laura and her husband Dennis live in a cozy 1940’s cottage in Old-Town Orange. Together they transformed the backyard on their own to become a beautiful haven for relaxing in, growing fruits and vegetables, and hosting friends for alfresco dinner parties. 

For this photo shoot, I added a few cozy accessories like warm blankets and pillows that ultimately would make for a fun gathering spot for roasting marshmallows. We even have all the fixin’s for s’mores readily at hand... YUM!  

Isn’t the vintage croquet set cute? Laura and I share the same passion for vintage finds. Before this pandemic, she and I would get together several times a month and have a ball at our favorite thrift stores and flea markets. 

This setting was our last shot of the day, and after Dennis built a great big fire, we let it settle down a bit before shooting these pics. Even though this was originally intended as a summer layout, it works perfectly for fall.  

Check out my styling tips below...  

What are your top tips for entertaining outdoors in the fall?  
Fall is one of the coziest seasons of all, so when bringing the party outdoors during the autumn months, make sure to have plenty of comfortable seating. Make your guests feel welcomed with a signature cocktail and a few yummy appetizers to nosh on when they arrive. Decorating with pretty flannel throws does double duty when there’s an unexpected chill in the air. Nostalgic games like croquet keep the party lively and fun. 
What are the key pieces for this s’mores gathering seen here?  
As summer turns to fall, deep earthy colors are perfect for setting the right seasonal tone. Adding a few cozy plaid blankets in deep colors to a comfortable group of Adirondack chairs makes this backyard space more inviting. Arranging chairs around the fire pit makes for great conversation and gives everyone a prime spot for toasting marshmallows.  
What are some easy ways to transform a basic backyard spot into a gathering space in a quick pinch 
Gather seating around one central spot, but have additional seating available, if needed. It’s definitely ok to bring your indoor chairs out into the backyard. Throw pillow and flannel blankets instantly add a layer of comfort. If you don’t have a firepit, you can get the same vibe from a low coffee table set as the center point of the seating area. Just add a variety of different votives and candles and everyone will be just as pleased with the romantic glow given off by the group of candles. 

You can find this issue HERE and check out the rest of Laura’s cozy cottage in these three posts: 

ciao! fabiana 

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