One of our favorite ways to enjoy the gorgeous Spring weather Mother Nature has finally shared with us is to host an outdoor get-together for friends or family. An outdoor brunch, under the blossoming trees and sunshine, is the perfect way to enjoy the company of loved ones, which is why we teamed up with Danielle Rollins, entertaining expert and author of Soirée Entertaining with Style. Danielle pulled together a gorgeous table which celebrates color, and she shared her entire inspiration with us, below.
Inspired by my love of France and my favorite season, I created a stunning but simple table setting for a luncheon in one of my favorite garden spots, surrounded by cherry trees in full bloom. I chose Ballard Designs Bistro Dinnerware with its blue band, as well as their French Market Linens with its elegant stripe – a nod to Parisian café life. The blue dinnerware also inspired the table’s color palette.
I chose a color palette of navy and pink for my outdoor table, and I tied these colors through from the linens to the dinnerware and even into the cocktails! I absolutely love color and mixing patterns and textures, as well as using items in creative ways. I used the Toscana Ikat fabric as a table covering, layered with a white Hemstitch Linen tablecloth, and the Callistro Stripe fabric on the chair cushions. In the past, I’ve also use a shower curtain or a bedspread to make a great last minute table covering in a pinch!
When choosing a spot outdoors for your brunch, take into consideration these: ample shade so your guests don’t become uncomfortable and a visually pleasing location with beautiful trees, flowers, and other greenery. I chose an intimate space in my garden that creates a cocoon of camellia bushes around the garden table.
When hosting friends or family outdoors, I prefer to blend indoor elements into my garden. I’ll bring linens and dinnerware outside, but I also like to use relaxed elements like kitchen herbs or woven chargers to blend the inside and out.
Playing off the French theme, I used a square of French-themed tissue paper which looks just like a Parisian newspaper. Subtle details like these bring fun and whimsy into my table settings!
A self-serve bar is perfect for an outdoor brunch because guests can serve themselves. It’s not too fussy. But I do still like to make the bar feel special, not an afterthought, with linens, basket trays, and a floral arrangement. To do this, I look at things with the perspective of, “what do I need this to do?” I don’t always use items in the way they are intended! For example, on this occasion, I used an outdoor urn for an ice bucket and used my ice bucket to hold flowers clipped from my garden. Using things I already have in unexpected ways creates more visual interest.
For this occasion, I served my Pink Grapefruit Vieux Mot Cocktail to play up my pink and navy color palette and also because it’s just a refreshing complement to a light brunch menu!
Danielle received Ballard Designs merchandise through this partnership, but her opinions are her own.