We had a group of friends here for an early Fourth of July party. Everyone brought a dish and we had such a good time. This is what greeted everyone at the end of our driveway. I've started putting any gate decorations on with zip ties, as some have been stolen. Grrrrr.
I tied this little tag on the front door so no one would have to keep an ear out for the doorbell. I think it also set the tone that this is a casual event.
The color is awful on this photo, but this is the dining room table. We ate outside, but served buffet style from the dining room.
This was earlier in the day before I put the centerpieces out. I cut lots of hydrangeas from the cutting garden and the rest came from Kroger. Super simple. I learned the hard way to wait until the evening to take these outside, as the afternoon sun will wilt them, sure as can be.
Also on the dining room table, I placed a stack of plates and sets of flatware tied with twine. Yes, I have 20 melamine red, whit and blue plates, napkins, and flatware, but the mix is the key.
When everyone brings a dish, you never know what serving pieces will be necessary, so I always try to put some out. It saves digging while everyone is waiting to eat.
Also in the dining room, I placed a bowl and hurricanes with shells and sand.
We set up a drink station in the bar. This jug has cucumber, lemon and mint water and it was very popular. The big copper container is filled with ice to nestle beer and wine.
Sweet and unsweet tea is a must in the south.
This runner is from Ikea and the festive napkins came from Party City.
It was meant to be a self-serve station, and for the most part, it was.
Outside on the round white deck, we put two tables.
The long one had our wooden chairs from inside, so that if the rain returned, it would just take a second to get them inside.
The outdoor lines were a mix, too. Who needs a bunch of all one thing?
Checks are always picnic appropriate, and blue and white pots go with just about anything.
On the upper terrace, around the pool, we served all of the appetizers. We were all so glad to be outside and we were grateful for the lovely weather. I used the chairs from this table down below, so people sat on the stone wall. It is the perfect height. If I ever re-do an outside area, I'll be sure to remember that.
The lower terrace held ten more seats.
Do you love our new chairs? Target!!!!!
And an old quilt top covers this table for six.
Inside in the breakfast room I set the table for dessert. One bachelor brought home made ice cream and it was such a hit!
Here's my appetizer before I took it outside. It's a clam dip with chips and veggies. I've never served chip and dip when it wasn't devoured. Sometime the old standards are really appreciated.
It was a fun warm up for the Fourth!