Take It Outside

According to the weather report, it's time to move the party outdoors. Just a few simple entertaining essentials can make even a simple meal alfresco seem like a celebration.

Seating can often be an issue with impromptu gatherings; stock up on outdoor pillows in a variety of shapes and sizes, like these Marimekko cushions from Crate and Barrel, to give your backyard a pop of color and add some casual seating options for guests.

Forget fussy table settings, here large green leaves make the perfect coasters for glassware. They're beautiful, inexpensive, and naturally waterproof. From Martha Stewart.

A hostess' best friend: melamine! These durable, virtually unbreakable melamine servingware  from Pottery Barn make a festive tablescape. Mix and match patterns for a Bohemian look, or pair with solid pieces in complementary colors or clear  for a modern take.

Soft lighting gets a rustic treatment with this Mason Jar chandelier from Beth Helmstetter Events. This can be a relatively easy DIY project if you have a router. Saw holes in a wood plank to fit the narrowest part of the jar. Slip a jar through a hole, and secure in place with the outer ring of the lid, leaving the top of the jar open. Insert tea lights, and secure with sturdy rope.

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