Did you realize that Memorial Day is this weekend?!  Yeah, we didn’t either! But we couldn’t be more excited because the holiday weekend means feel good times are right around the corner. But instead of doing the typical Memorial Day BBQ  – hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and beer – we’d like to treat our guests {and let’s be honest, ourselves!} to what we like to call BBQ’ing Chic.0. Whether you’re spending the holiday glamping in the woods or planning to let the good times roll in your own backyard, we guarantee you’ll throw the best Memorial Day party ever by adding a few twists your guests won’t forget. The best part? It’s a whole lot easier than it looks. It’s simply a matter of setting the picnic table with a little extra flair and cooking up the weekend’s traditional dishes with a touch of elevated style!


Entertaining starts with the table decor and when you’re outdoors, we say embrace it! Nature has so much to offer, there’s no need to over think it! Our favorite and probably easiest styling trick is to collect pretty river rocks or wood pieces to adorn your tabletop. Picnic tables can also be rather blah, but tablecloths are a bit formal, so a super simple sprucing-up idea is to hand paint paper placemats. On thick paper, Kim from Bright Room Studio created summer night’s sky themed placemats. We love the way the splatter effect turned out! Even simpler, make a placemat statement by painting thick stripes inspired by the American flag.


We glammed up the natural elements on our table with gold lanterns, gold silverware and with pretty all-white flowers. These touches instantly elevate a picnic. And there’s no need for fancy flower arranging – simply pick blooms straight from your bushes leaving the stems long and the greenery on for a beautiful organic look!

With a simple tablescape as our base, we really let the colors and presentation of the food do the talking. In this setting, garnishes go a long way in elevating traditional barbecue dishes. Everyone’s favorite pulled pork sliders are brought to an epic level with a little brie and arugula. A salad is a must and our radish and pea shoot salad is definitely a stunner. It’s also surprisingly just as easy to make. For sides and snacking, corn nuts and blue corn chips ease salty cravings while the season’s first cherries and sweet white corn give you that fresh summer taste! Tip: leave the husks on the corn while grilling and sprinkle with a little parsley to add flavor and sophistication to your cob.


And a barbecue wouldn’t be complete without guests getting a little boozy! Our favorite warm weather drink is a perfectly chilled sangria! Easy to make in big batches, it’s the ideal cocktail for a party and our white wine based recipe is especially refreshing. It’s packed with a sparkling punch aka sweet summer fruits and bubbly champagne! Yum.


So who’s ready for a season full of gorgeous outdoor parties?? We hope this is getting you in the summer spirit!

And be sure to check back in tomorrow. We’ll be sharing all of the recipes and how to whip up the gorgeous sangria for yourself!

produced by bianca sotelo // original photography for apartment 34 by to wander & seek // floral + food styling by natasha kolenko // placemat art by bright room studio

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  1. I love this! The food looks so fresh and healthy and not at all heavy like traditional barbecue food. Refreshing to see something different (and way delicious).