It’s official – it’s May – five months into the year people! – and that means the heart of outdoor entertaining season is upon us. But between work, family, chasing a 12 month old – trying to find some me time perhaps – it can feel overwhelming to even figure out how to feed yourself, let alone invite a bevy of friends to join you. But that doesn’t mean you have to turn into a hermit. You can in fact enjoy entertaining in your outdoor space with almost no work at all. Don’t believe me? Well, here’s proof.
It starts with breakfast. Everyone eats it. In fact, on a Saturday or Sunday morning they’re willing to wait hours for it. So why not skip the brunch lines and instead invite everyone over to enjoy some breakfast treats in their bare feet? It’s the easiest meal to bring together. But I will get back to the food in a second.
While you do want to set a scene for your gathering, you don’t need to worry if you haven’t decked out your backyard with a complete outdoor patio set yet (although this one rather nice). Having just moved into our house a couple of weeks ago, we definitely haven’t gotten our outdoor space together. But you can easily repurpose a few of favorite indoor pieces to create a cool, casual seating area! Side tables, ottomans or poufs do the trick rather nicely. I used two Nate Berkus for Target side tables to create a “table” in our new backyard(!). A killer carved wood tray created my serving area. All I needed was a couple cushions and throw pillows (loving this one and this one) for seating. I even flipped over a large seagrass basket to be a chair! You don’t even have to think about florals when there’s no fancy table to set. I brought my new favorite plant, the cactus, out to add a pop but when you’re outside extra foliage often isn’t necessary.
I do find it helpful to have an indoor/outdoor rug (or two – I’m a sucker for the layered look). If you don’t have tons of seating it offers people more places to lounge and is nicer on your feet. It’s kind of like throwing a picnic in your own backyard.
As previously mentioned, breakfast is the perfect meal for entertaining because there is no need to stress about the food. Ain’t no shame in some store bought pastry – albeit hold out and grab the good stuff! Almond croissants & scones from B.Patisserie come to mama. Add in some granola and yogurt for DIY parfaits, maybe a bit of fruit or even avocado toast if you really feel like you must “cook” something. That’s really all you need for a nice morning hangout sesh – without ever having to run to and fro.
To make your tasty treats feel “fancy,” serve everything up in nontraditional vessels. Trays, Decorative wood bowls, metallic platters, porcelain plates and details like cloth napkins and cool flatware elevate everything. I’m obsessed with this flatware set with wood handles – they added a nice rustic chic touch to my breakfast set up ( these are fab and these are hot too).
One easy place to throw in some extra effort is with your beverages. I created an almond iced coffee recipe (that I’ll be sharing later this week!) to offer a delicious extra special touch. And I’m sorry, but use your real glassware outside. Everyone freaks out about it being breakable, but you’re not throwing a rager at 10AM and I just find drinking out of plastic to be such a downer. If you lose one high ball it’s not the end of the world. This set is crazy affordable.
And that’s really all there is to it. You can take advantage of the season and quickly pull together an al fresco hang out sesh with friends without having to slave away. I feel a backyard brunch club coming on!
original photography for apartment 34 by ashley batz