Summer is finally here, and it's time for outdoor entertaining. See how party planner Camille Styles mixed products from Target's Threshold, Project 62, and Opalhouse summer collections to make a picturesque hangout for friends.

By Hannah Bruneman
Updated May 25, 2018
Image courtesy of Target. 
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Camille Styles knows how to throw the perfect party. On her blog, she shares advice for boozy brunches, holiday soirees, and casual get-togethers. She details the best food to serve for the occasion and gives tips for stunning tablescapes that will ensure your event goes off without a hitch. Camille's entertaining know-how makes her the perfect Target style expert—and the store is her one-stop shop where she can find everything she needs.

Don't believe us? Take Camille's word for it! She gave us an exclusive look at her latest gathering—a Sunday Funday outdoor party in her sunny Austin, TX, backyard. With a pretty spread of seasonal fruit and ice-cold beverages, she makes outdoor entertaining look easy. Plus, everyone has room to get cozy in furniture from Target's three popular home decor brands. And of course, no party is complete without a puppy! See how Target's outdoor summer collections all come together to create a space made for a guaranteed good time. Follow along as Camille shares her tips on decorating, hosting, and staying cool when the summer heat turns up. 

What are your must-haves for a beautiful outdoor space?

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A cozy conversation area for lounging with friends, cool planters in a variety of shapes and sizes to fill your space with plants, and string lights overhead so a backyard party can stretch way past sunset!

What’s the best investment you can make when decorating outdoors?

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Invest in a few weatherproof, classic furniture pieces that will anchor the space and make it feel like an outdoor room. For our patio, I chose this Threshold LoveseatProject 62 Wood Coffee Table, and Project 62 Wicker Patio Set. They’re all sturdy, neutral pieces with great silhouettes that will last for many summers to come, and it’ll be easy to mix things up by swapping out more colorful, affordable accessories like pillows, throws, and hurricane candle holders.

What simple DIY project makes an outdoor party special?

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Create a tabletop herb garden using cute pots like these white mini ones from Smith & Hawken. They are pretty, fragrant and also useful as you can snip from them and add to recipes or garnish cocktails!

What's your best advice for hosting a party in a small outdoor space?

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I actually prefer a smaller space since it allows you to focus on making the details special! It’s important to consider scale when choosing furniture: A loveseat fits perfectly in an alcove where a larger couch might feel too overwhelming. This is also the perfect time to break out the bar cart and setup a small but mighty drinks station—it takes up less room than a full bar, and keeps the flow of guests circulating around the space. I’m loving our new Opalhouse Cassia Rattan Bar Cart.

How do you stay cool and keep your patio comfortable in the summer heat?

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A big fan is always a plus, but in lieu of that: Keep guests hydrated and comfortable by setting up a “cool down” station dedicated to sunscreen, bug spray, and a large drink dispenser full of water infused with citrus slices or fresh herbs.

How do you create privacy in a backyard?

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I love a backyard surrounded by hedges and vine-covered fences—but it does take time, so you’ve got to be patient! Find out what thrives in your area—here in Austin, Ligustrum and holly are hearty hedge solutions—then make sure they get plenty of water. We’re growing jasmine vines all over metal trellises around our property, and I’m hoping that by next year, they’ll provide plenty of privacy and make the yard feel like it’s a lush oasis.

What’s your go-to centerpiece?

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Potted plants withstand the heat better than cut flowers, and if you really want something low-maintenance, succulents and cacti are practically hands-off solutions. They look really cool when mixed on the table with hurricane candle holders exotic carved wood candlesticks. Another option is to place a few big tropical leaves in stoneware vases—it’s an easy and affordable centerpiece.

What takes an outdoor space from ordinary to party-ready?

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Outdoor parties call for no-fuss tabletops, but that doesn’t mean style has to take a backseat. Sturdy, unbreakable dishes and serving pieces are must-haves if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining, and they're one of my favorite ways to add a few on-trend pieces to my collection each season. Melamine plates have never been so chic—no one will believe that these Opalhouse Tumblers are made of plastic! A decorative tray is the perfect surface for fresh fruit or a cheese board, and this Opalhouse Rattan Tray will really come in handy for toting drinks outside in one trip.

What are your essentials for transitioning from day to night outdoors?

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For daytime, I like to break out some classic lawn games like badminton, washers or bocce ball. Even a few hula hoops and beach balls scattered in the yard will keep guests of all ages entertained! Once the sun goes down, I light candles, turn on string lights overhead and pull out all the ingredients for making classic s’mores over a fire pit or grill—this always excites guests of all ages.

How can you make an intimate party setting in a large outdoor space?

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Small seating areas create a sense of intimacy, inviting guests in for closer conversations. For a recent dinner party at my house, we repositioned our poolside furniture to make an area for lounging, and brought out some extra pillowsblankets, candles and a rug from inside to make it feel really cozy. It ended up being the unexpected little spot where all our guests hung out the entire night!