Welcome to the second day of our “7 Days of Suiteness.” We hope you’re enjoying our little coming-out party for the re-launched Life is Suite. And speaking of parties … it’s summer and time to turn things inside out. So why not move the living room to the garden and the dining room to the porch? Whether hanging solo with a good book or throwing a midsummer night’s soiree for 50 friends, here are a few recommendations from Kimpton’s design team to make your outdoor space more inviting, comfortable and stylish. Ave Bradley leads our design team, and she and her crew always enjoy a good party, especially outdoors. So they really know what’s what.
First tip: Start with the landscape. Frame your space in green, naturally. No ground plots? No problem. Use planters, potted trees, vertical wall gardens, and botanicals in vases. This also allows you to move your greenery as the sunlight changes with the seasons. Even a tiny fire escape can rock some foliage with hanging air plants and terrariums.
Next, to anchor your outdoor space, use an exterior rug. You can go as simple as a Japanese tatami mat or plush with an all-weather shag carpet. Beyond tying together loose pieces of furniture, it’ll lend a little softness underfoot. After all, what’s an outdoor party if you can’t kick off your shoes?
Outdoor furnishings are often sold in sets — convenient sure, but why not go big? An eclectic assortment of furniture in different colors, shapes and styles exudes style and fun. Mix and match these outdoor dining chairs in natural materials like rattan and bamboo from Maison Midi. For the horizontally inclined, hammocks are like catnip. This fave Etsy shop features ones from Nicaragua with a fun ’70s vibe.
Everybody needs a soft spot to land, so adorn your alfresco furniture or even the ground with colorful accent pillows and cushions. Crate and Barrel has an excellent selection of bum bolsters in vibrant hues. On chilly nights, use a few blankets to up the cozy factor and leave no one in the dark by stringing globe lights overhead. If you don’t have access to electricity, go pioneer with lanterns. Restoration Hardware has a luminous selection.
Once guests are settled, it’s time for snacks and drinks. Use large trays for edibles and oversize pitchers for fresh-squeezed juices and pre-mixed cocktails. Look for wide bottoms for stability and mid-weight items so they’re easy to carry, but not so light that the wind will mistake them for a kite.
Every outdoor experience needs a soundtrack. May we recommend this free mix from one of our favorite selectors, DJ Pumpkin, playing open-air festivals like Coachella and Lightning in a Bottle all summer long.
Finally, when it comes to outdoor living and entertaining, know that the sky’s the limit. Have any tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them.