A Chic City Celebration with Domino Magazine

Urban entertaining with Domino magazine

We’ve partnered with the editors at domino magazine to help you kick your outdoor entertaining game up a notch! To inspire your next summer soirée, the editors at domino have designed three gorgeous outdoor spaces using products from Ballard Designs to create the perfect setting. Learn about their inspiration for these spaces, their best-loved ways to create a comfortable space, and even some of their must-make summer recipes!

Summer weather is fast approaching, and at domino, we know there’s no better way to celebrate than by throwing an outdoor fête. Whether you’re working with an expansive backyard or a tiny terrace, there’s no reason you can’t transform your space into an oasis that’s perfect for hosting friends. The key is to decide what will work best for your lifestyle while following a few simple steps that guarantee you’ll see your sunny shindig through. With a little help from our friends at Ballard Designs, we pulled together a gorgeous pool party with a seaside ambience—no sand or saltwater required!

Rooftop party and entertaining ideas from Domino magazine and Ballard Designs

step one: seek out inspiration

Are you hoping for a nautical party, complete with oyster hors d’oeuvres and seashell accent pieces? Or maybe you’re thinking of a fabulous fiesta with delectable mini tacos and hanging paper lanterns? Whatever look you’re going for, keep the theme of your party in mind to ensure you stay on track with your vision. Look through issues of your favorite shelter magazines, or visit domino.com for galleries of images and ideas.

Rooftop party and entertaining ideas from Domino magazine and Ballard Designs

Rooftop party and entertaining ideas from Domino magazine and Ballard Designs

For our pool party, we wanted to create a scene that offered the airy ambience of outdoor brunch with friends, paired with the cool appeal of a day at the beach. So, we made sure that we chose furnishings, decorative accents, and a menu that suited this laid-back vibe.

Rooftop party and entertaining ideas from Domino magazine and Ballard Designs

step two: get set up

Once you’ve settled on the style of your party, your next move is to find furniture and seating that will accommodate your vision. We went hunting for functional, affordable pieces that could easily seat a handful of guests, and we fell in love with these patio pieces from Ballard’s Madison Teak Collection. The line’s super chic curved lines and warm mellow tones seat guests in style and fit the budget. With a mixture of chairs, tables, and ottomans—all handcrafted from water-resistant teak—we were able to forge a beautiful blend of elegant natural pieces that cater to all styles.

Mini lobster rolls for summer party

Blue tostado with chicken mole

step three: mind your menu

Perhaps just as important as finding functional weather-resistant furniture is picking a menu that suits the theme of your soiree. Carefree summer days beg for simple bites, in-season fruits and veggies, and refreshing cocktails. For our party, we selected a menu that spoke to the season: mini lobster rolls, garnished melon bites, and a mint mojito that’s about as cooling as they come. When hosting this season, remember that the extra attention spent choosing a signature cocktail and a spread of bite-size snacks will create a perfectly laid-back mood, allowing guests to nosh, chat, and move about with ease.

Rooftop party and entertaining ideas from Domino magazine and Ballard Designs

Urban entertaining with Domino magazine

Find all of the recipes for this party on our blog, How to Decorate, and find more entertaining ideas on our Entertaining Pinterest Boards.

For a chance to win $5,000 for the outdoor party of your dreams, enter to win our Summer Soirée Sweepstakes hosted by domino magazine and Ballard Designs. One grand prize winner will win $5,000 in Ballard Designs merchandise and three winners will receive $500 in Ballard Designs merchandise.


Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.



  1. Reply


    March 29, 2015

    Where are the orange striped fouta and wood trays from?

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      April 1, 2015

      Hi Sean,
      Unfortunately both of these items are discontinued. We are so sorry!
      The How to Decorate Team

  2. Reply


    June 14, 2014

    Love the look! It is so inviting.

  3. Reply


    June 14, 2014

    Beautiful & refreshing.

  4. Reply

    Dorelle Andersen

    June 13, 2014

    Could you kindly provide the recipe for whatever is on the black tortilla chips in the above pictures. Many thanks

    • Reply

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      June 16, 2014

      Hi Dorelle,

      Thanks for your comment. Happy to hear you’re interested in this recipe. It’s a Blue Corn Tostado with Pulled Mole Chicken. You can find the recipe here.

      When you make it, be sure to let us know what you think!
      The How to Decorate Team