BHG Style Spotters

The Hottest Trends for You and Your Home

entertaining

With warm weather right around the corner, it’s time to get your back patio ready for outside entertaining. Al fresco dinners, lazy Sunday brunches, and afternoons hanging out with great friends and ice cold beverages are a delight when your patio has all the essentials. So what does a backyard patio need to be a success? I’ve thought of 5 things that are key to having a patio that is comfortable and well-appointed, and ready to tackle all of your outdoor entertaining needs this Spring and Summer.

Make sure your patio is outfitted for the summer season with these 5 essentials...

#1: Light

Good lighting is important for every room in your house, and it’s equally important outside of your house as well. Nothing kills a good backyard BBQ faster than pitch black darkness. But you don’t need flood lights to make a backyard patio fun and inviting. Some beautiful string lights, hanging paper lanterns, a collection of candles, and even a cute fire pit provide plenty of mood lighting for your backyard soiree, and add to the decor and ambiance too.

Every backyard patio needs pretty lighting!

SOLVINDEN Light Chain Globes
BORRBY Lantern
SOLVINDEN LED Solar-Powered Pendant Lamp
STABBIG Lantern
BROKÖ Fire Pit

#2: Seating

Comfortable seating is a must for any backyard patio. Whether you have a whole dining set complete with matching chairs and tables, or just lots of cute outdoor seats, a place for you and your guests to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery is essential.

Comfortable seating is essentail for your backyard patio

ÄNGSÖ Table with Arm Chairs and a Bench
ÄPPLARÖ Drop-Leaf Table and Reclining Chairs
KUNGSHOLMEN / KUNGSÖ Conversation Set
IKEA PS VÅGÖ Chair

#3: Greenery

If you aren’t blessed to have acres of rolling, green lawn and gorgeous trees, a touch of greenery is still important to make your backyard patio look lush and natural. And thanks to potted plants, you can add beautiful greenery regardless of your patio size. If you want plants that can live permanently on your patio, make sure you get outdoor plants that are appropriate for your climate. But even your potted houseplants will enjoy a little time in the fresh air. Just make sure you treat them gently–no direct sun, no extreme temperatures, regular watering.

Every back patio, large or small, needs beautiful greenery. Try adding some beautiful potted plants to your patio for a lush, natural touch.

DRACAENA MARGINATA Potted Dragon Plant
SPATHIPHYLLUM Potted Peace Lily
PACHIRA AQUATICA Potted Guinea Chestnut
CHAMAEDOREA ELEGANS Potted Parlor Palm
REVENEA Potted Majesty Palm

#4: Shade

No one likes sitting outside in the sun on a sweltering day, or trying to enjoy a drink and a nice conversation while the sunset is blinding them. A little shade is an important component for any backyard patio. Cute patio umbrellas and canopies can help you create shady spots in your yard that will help you enjoy your yard all day.

Every backyard patio needs a little shade. Canopies and umbrellas are great ways to add some easy shade.

SAMSÖ Umbrella
BAGGÖN / SVARTÖ Hanging Umbrella
DYNING Canopy

#5: Serveware

Well-appointed back patios are tailor made for entertaining, but most people don’t have a full-scale kitchen in their yard. Instead, make sure you have cute serving trays on hand so that you can easily carry drinks and snacks outside. Don’t rely on your stash of old cookie sheets! Get some cute serveware, and let the festivities begin!

Stock up on cute serving trays for this year

KVITTERA 3-Tiered Serving Platter
ROMANTISK Tray
PROPPMÄTT Chopping Board
APTITLIG Chopping Board
SOMMAR 2016 Tray
ARV BRÖLLOP Cake Stand with Lid

Is your backyard patio ready for summer entertaining? Find out what 5 essentials every backyard patio needs!

For more inspiration, visit the IKEA Spring brochure.


Gift guide for the home

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The gift giving season is upon us. I am sure there is a pattern loving betty in your life (or maybe it’s you!). The thing I love about pretty patterned gift items and accessories is that they really are great to give all year round. These gems work great as bridesmaid gifts, hostess gifts, office gifts, and even little somethings for those occasions when you need to get something pretty for yourself!

Even the most minimalist design can use a bit of pattern and texture to complete the space. Not a minimalist? Go for full on saturated color and interesting pattern in your accessories. Go on, you will be happy you did! This is often the kind of thing someone may not do for themselves unless given a little gentle nudge. Help someone you love get inspired to experiment with a little pattern with these lovlies for the home.

gift guide accessories

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I love to go pretty basic (and chic) for a lot of my clothing. It is in the accessories that the pop and personality really come through. Patterned accessories are such a great gift because you don’t have to worry about sizing and the person can really make them their own. They can pair with something simple for a pop or work into a more pattern on pattern ensemble. You can never have enough patterned accessories to mix into your wardrobe!

gift guide paper enthusiast

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We all love our devices. I am the queen of to do apps and productivity apps. However, there is still nothing that replaces the feeling and the connection when I take pen to paper. This is true absolutely for the administrative things that need to get done. This is also true for the times when I get to daydream. This especially true when I want to connect with someone and share something from the heart. There is just nothing like a hand written note on something pretty and inspired. It is breath of fresh air.

box of chic

Subscription box lovers this one is for you! Have you heard of the latest? You’ve got to check out Box of Chic from noted interior designer Jennifer Wagner Schmidt You get a curated and of course super chic array of items for the home in a great box. This one is totally gift ready! You will probably want to grab one for yourself too!


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It is almost time for turkey, pumpkin pie, and egg nog.  Can you believe it?!  We are closing in on the holiday season, friends, and it is a great time to keep your eyes peeled for fun pieces that can become part of your holiday decor and tablescapes. Before you can start collecting take some time to figure out who you want to be this holiday.  For some of you this may be obvious.  Maybe your are hollywood regency through and through and this style is clear throughout your home.  Perhaps some of you enjoy taking a bit of a departure from your everyday decor during the holidays or when you throw a sweet soiree.  Either way having a general direction in mind will keep your eye focused when you hit the antique markets, thrift stores, or ebay!

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This concept certainly has a feminine edge so make sure you’ve got a nice scotch handy for the boys in your life! Think the softer side of holiday colors if you want to go pretty to the max.  Soft pink and minty greens and muted gold accents.  Balance out these soft tones with deep burgundy, deep jewel toned teals, and warm leathery browns.  Bring in some soft texture with these sweet throw pillows.  Chose pieces that whisper ladylike.  Beautiful crystal barware and a lace inspired table runner will do the trick.

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Is sleek and clean where you like to hang your hat?  Keep your party modern and chic with lots of black and white with hints of metallic.  This look is a great place to mix those metallics.  Keep layering and patterns minimal and let the repetition of black and white and textures lead the way.  I LOVE a good white out when it comes to holiday styling!

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I just love the easy “I woke up like this” feeling of a bohemian home.  This look feels as though it has been collected over a lifetime.  To achieve this look you can not shy away from color and pattern.  Layer, layer, and layer some more!  Be sure you have an easy going organic element.  Keep arrangements light hearted and not over worked.

 


Patterned accessories for entertaining

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Summer is in full swing. There are many lovely long summer nights filled with cocktails and good company still ahead. In that spirit these are some of my favorite finds for infusing a little pattern into your summer celebrations. I love these pieces because they can fit so well into your existing accessories. Something as simple as a pretty patterned pitcher like this one found on Waiting On Martha is the perfect way to add a festive feeling to you table while also creating layering, depth and interest. When you are ready to take the party outside and play en plein air (as you should every single minute you can!) this blue and white picnic blanket is the perfect patterned base for creating colorful memories. Bonus – it is waterproof! I just love how simple touches of pattern can really transform the look and feel of your space. Playing with pattern in these small doses with fun accessories is a great way to experiment with low commitment.

Patterned accessories for fall

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On the flip side of the coin – maybe your are the planner. For you the Fourth marks the time to start planning for fall! It is hard not to get into the swing of things really with all those yummy cozy fall floor sets are landing at all your favorite furniture retailers. If you are in this camp, here are a few patterned delights to get you inspired for the golden fall days ahead. First of all, can we talk about this lamp? This is just pure sassy chic fun! It would be the cherry on top in a dressing room, or a fun femenine desk. I can see this little charmer moving around the house from vignette to vignette for years to come.

Throw pillow are always the instant go to for changing things up from season to season. Consider thinking this way about rugs as well. They are a fantastic way to infuse great color and pattern into your space especially if you have kept your investment pieces (like your sofa and chairs) neutral. Check out places like Joss and Main, Overstock.com, and Hayneedle to find great options at affordable pricing.


Hi! I’m Camille Styles, founder of CamilleStyles.com and author of Camille Styles Entertaining.

I would definitely call myself a “summer girl” — it’s the season I most look forward to all year long. Growing up, my end-of-May birthday usually fell during the last week of school, and even now the day represents freedom in my mind: the time to lighten up and have some fun! There’s nothing like that first dip in the pool that recalls sunny childhood memories and gets me in the mood to ditch work early for a picnic in the park complete with cold fried chicken, juicy strawberries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. This is the season for unfussy, effortless entertaining; fine china and perfectly-arranged flowers just don’t feel right at this time of year! Here’s how I set a table fit for a dinner party that captures the carefree vibe of summer.

1. Dress the table in summery textures. In the same way I might throw on shirts in fabrics like linen when it’s hot outside, think in terms of light, breathable materials like cotton and linen when dressing your table for a dinner party. I have a collection of light blankets from India and Mexico that I repurpose as the most gorgeous tablecloths — their vibrant colors and textures feel festive without trying too hard, and are bold enough to set the tone for an entire celebration.2. Incorporate elements that feel like summer vacation. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than at the beach, and since my home in Austin is pretty landlocked, I’ve always been obsessed with collecting textures and shapes that recall marine life: the wild shapes of sea coral, spiral patterns of shells and roughness of sand are all so beautiful. I place elements I’ve scavenged from past beach vacations around the house to instantly take me away, and place them on the center of the table for a simple, 2-minute centerpiece.

3. Celebrate color! Summer is when I really embrace color on the table. I usually choose either all cool shades (blues, greens, lavender), or all warm shades (pinks, reds, oranges), and then go to town! Layer different patterns like florals and stripes in striking color combinations for a bold look, then pile on vibrant dishes, mismatched napkins and colorful cocktails. I love pieces that incorporate textural or exotic touches like woven Guatemalan patterns or Indian-inspired tassels to satisfy the wanderlust that strikes more frequently in the summertime. If the minimalist in you is cringing at the thought of all that color, try sticking with a neutral palette and adding one vibrant pop. My bright teal tablecloth always makes a statement in our dining room that’s otherwise cream, white and light wood.

4. Let summer produce take center stage. Summer is a constant reminder of the earth’s generosity: just take a stroll past farmers market stalls brimming with juicy peaches, heirloom tomatoes in every shade, and summer squash begging to be tossed on the grill and devoured. Set out a big platter of your market haul – a colorful salad or sweet slices of watermelon sprinkled with sea salt – and let it play double-duty as family-style feast and beautiful centerpiece.

5. Create a glowing ambiance. As the sun sets, create a magical glow with some strategically-placed candles and lights. For my husband’s birthday party a couple years ago, we surrounded the pool with tons of votive candles that lit up the night in such an unforgettable way. String up white café lights overhead, place a few lanterns with candles inside around the patio or scatter bamboo torches filled with citronella oil along the perimeter of the yard. They’ll ward off bugs while adding light!


Hi! I’m Julie Blanner & I was named Better Homes and Gardens Entertaining Blogger of the Year! I share effortless entertaining, home design & thoughtful gift ideas on my blog, julieblanner.com! Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it’s not only okay to graze, but it’s encouraged. It’s where rustic & relaxed style are embraced & we take time to truly enjoy a great meal, family & friends. I enjoy creating a table setting that allows for great conversation & flexibility so that I can relax & enjoy dinner as well. Today I’m sharing my favorite tips, trends & finds for Thanksgiving entertaining!

Thanksgiving ideas

Choose some make ahead dishes:

Prepare side dishes & appetizers in advance, when possible, to eliminate stress once your guests arrive.

 

Don’t be afraid to mix metals:

One trend I’m obsessed with this year is copper! Copper mugs aren’t just for moscow mules. I’m serving apple cider with cinnamon sticks in them. I can’t get enough of gold flatware either!

Thanksgiving trend

Create your own centerpiece:

Use a bowl or platter to create a centerpiece in just a few minutes!

Thanksgiving table setting

Thanksgiving table setting

5 minute table runner | 5 minute apple & pear centerpiece | 5 minute gathered centerpiece

Preset the table:

Setting the table adds both ambience & convenience. Even if you’re serving buffet style, place napkins & silverware at each place setting. If you’re serving at the table, add appropriate plates. Always preset wine & water glasses to minimize your tasks as a host or hostess during dinner. Don’t be afraid to mix & match china & glassware.

 

Keep your guests entertained with activities:

Grant yourself time to put the finishing touches on the meal without stress, keeping your guests entertained with activities.

free printable thankful for cards

Free printable thankful for cards are a fun way to reflect on the year. Keep & share them after dinner!

Test your  family & friends knowledge with a free printable crossword puzzle

Kids & adults will all enjoy a Thanksgiving word search

free printable Thanksgiving activities

Create a self serve bar:

Create an environment where guests can serve themselves. Learn how to style a functional bar cart here.

Learn how to style a bar cart

This bar cart is affordable & beautiful!

 

bar-cart-target

Relax & enjoy it!

Nothing puts your guests more at ease than making them feel welcome & seeing you enjoy the occasion as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Julie Blanner


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