We have a color for every fan. Look good on game day.
We at Hen House Linens hope you have a safe, enjoyable, (sunny!), relaxing Labor Day filled with the people who make you happy. As we prepare to gather this weekend, thoughts of good food, pretty tables, lovely flowers come to mind. We grabbed these arrangements from local markets. E A S Y. Enjoy!
Our friend, Kit Pollard, over at the Baltimore Sun let us share some tips with her readers in her recent feature about the growing popularity of outdoor rooms and outdoor entertaining. Kit found people are shaking up traditional outdoor living spaces by adding grills, tables, gazebos, pergolas, wet bars, and stoves. Some people are opting for large tables that can host multiple families. Other folks are using big, deep seated chairs around small tables for a more intimate gathering. Whatever the scale, the outdoor living spaces are proving to add a feeling of escape from the ordinary for the people who use and install "outdoor rooms".
Here are the tips for entertaining Kit collected:
"Entertaining outside can be a blast, but it requires a slightly different touch than hosting gatherings indoors. Local entertaining experts and designers offer their tips on how best to entertain al fresco.
Use the good stuff: Plastic plates and paper napkins are great, but don't be afraid to use real china and silverware outside, says Jenny Davids of Hen House Linens; doing so makes an outdoor table look especially lovely. 'It makes a big difference. When you go outside and set a table like you would inside, it's always stunning.'
Consider staging logistics: 'You do have to think about the logistics of serving your meal,' Davids says. She solves that problem by setting up a side table for drinks, to stage the food before setting it out and to stash dirty dishes after dinner. She dresses that table with linens to match the main table, so it is both functional and stylish.
Go big and comfy: 'I recommend buying the longest table you can fit in your space,' says interior designer Michelle Miller. 'There is nothing like having a large group of friends and family over to enjoy a great meal together.' She also suggests seeking out comfortable dining chairs so guests will want to linger over dessert after dinner.
Focus on hors d'oeuvres: Outdoor entertaining doesn't always have to involve dinner. 'It's a pain to lug stuff outside and especially to rooftop decks,' says Michael Wright of MiY Home in Fells Point. 'So a lot of people prefer deep seating and doing appetizers on trays and sitting like it's a living room more than a kitchen.'
Invest in carriers: Since Reisterstown resident Debbie Mays does not have a dishwasher in her outdoor kitchen, she uses plastic rolling drawers bought at Target to cart dishes and other items from her indoor kitchen to her outdoor space. 'I keep dishes in them and roll them in and out, so I don't have to worry about bugs,' she says, noting that she also uses oversized, sealable plastic containers to keep chips and other food bug-free.
From design to technology, local experts have spotted several trends related to outfitting outdoor entertaining spaces:
Gussed-up grills: As interest in food and cooking increases among people of all ages, homeowners are gravitating toward fancier grilling and smoking products, says Mark Ramos of furniture store Offenbachers. 'People recognize the value of going with a higher-end grill with a longer-term warranty,' he says. 'It gives you a better quality of food.'
Sleek and contemporary: Historically, outdoor furniture options have been fairly traditional, but in recent years, manufacturers have introduced more contemporary and sleek designs. 'A lot of people are decorating more with chrome and brushed steel in their homes and that is showing up in the outdoors, too,' Ramos says.
Mix it up: 'Earlier this summer, we completed a terrace overlooking the harbor in Baltimore and mixed several different styles of woven furniture from Janice et Cie,' says interior designer Michelle Miller. 'Using different collections creates a visual treat for the eye. Don't be afraid to mix materials and colors for a more dynamic space.' Miller also notes that fabric makers like Schumacher and Holly Hunt have expanded their outdoor offerings in recent years, including textures like linen and velvet, all in outdoor-friendly finishes.
Advanced tech: Not only have outdoor fabrics improved in recent years, cushion and frame technology have gotten better, as well. 'There's foam that allows cushions to drain and dry really quickly and spring technology that goes right back into shape,' says Ramos. 'Furniture has to stand up to the outdoors, and what's under the hood is really high-end.'"
Read the full story here...
The versatility of runners make them my favorite decorating prop. They add color to a table without overpowering any setting. Used alone or in tandem, a runner can serve as a place setting, centerpiece, curio display, or swath of color to tie together all the elements in a room.
Stopped by my favorite garden shop today. Picked up my pallet of herbs to plant up to take me through the end of summer. But, prior to getting these lovelies in the ground, I let them take a spin on my table.
I can play in the dirt tomorrow.
I think the pollen is just about gone. Fingers crossed. Ready to shed the layer of yellow on my porch and get back in the swing of things.
Just the right mix of gray, green and blue. Calms, soothes, relieves. Get your daily dose.
It's all the rage in fashion these days. A mod plaid with a floral. A gingham check with paisley. I love it. Bring the same energy to your table. Give your favorite plate a worthy color mate. Make Nana's chintzy china boho-fabulous. Anything goes!
My neighborhood knows how to put on a party. We live on the Severn River in Maryland and share a community dock and shelter where we like to gather as soon as the weather gets warm. One of the best parties we throw is a barn dance. And we do dance. Want to shake up your next neighborhood get together? Close down your cul-de-sac, fire up your grills, hire a square dance caller and get to getting. Promenade!
Here's how we do it.
FOOD: Fixins Bars! Hot Dogs, Taters and Popcorn with all the toppings you can imagine! Inexpensive, easy to prep for the masses and a gloriously fun mess of deliciousness. Dessert is an easy to eat crisp served in individual mason jars.
DRINK: Set out big tubs of ice and have everyone stock with their favorite beverages. We have several neighbors that are home brewers and love to share their hoppy experiments.
DECOR: Gussy up picnic tables and benches with cloths. Throw a few tablecloths on the ground and on hay bales for upscale picnic dining. Simple arrangements of wild flowers, twinkle lights and clever signage for the fixins' bar finish off the look. Oh, and cow bells. You need more cow bell.