HERE’S HOW TO HOST WITH THE MOST

It’s getting hot in here. Since the weather will be staying warm for the foreseeable future, there’s always time for gathering with friends and family. Our man-about-town Lance Avery Morgan shares his personal hosting insight for your every own poolside patio and beyond.

SET THE STAGE

Gather thick, comfortable cushions on the chairs will encourage guests to linger at the table. Create conversation settings in odd numbers so that no one is compelled to stand.

Repurpose indoor furniture to create an outdoor “room.” Your den’s ottoman will add dash to any exterior.

Grab some beach balls to float in the pool – they can also be placed in the center of a table to add a little zip.

GOOD EATS

On a steamy night, your guests will be happy with simple fare: ice-cold drinks and savory bites and sweet treats go with heavier BBQ.

To keep dairy-based dips chilled and fresh, fill a large bowl with ice, sprinkle it with kosher salt to give the gathering a gourmet feel.

Set up a spiked lemonade stand to keep guests hydrated on a hot afternoon. Place glasses within easy reach on a dessert stand.

Set up tables in separate areas with drinks in one spot, desserts in another. It encourages your guests to roam around the venue. You can also stock a vintage bar cart with essentials: glasses, plates, ice, a cocktail shaker, and vintage swizzle sticks.

NIGHT BRIGHT

At twilight, make sure you provide plenty of lighting. Paper lanterns hanging from tree limbs, or lit lanterns 12 inches from limbs (with dark extension cords that blend in) are always a winner.

Add battery-operated candles that provide you with the same glowing light, with no worries of wind or dripping wax. Also, consider hanging an outdoor chandelier to a mighty oak to add more sparkle to your scene.

To protect your guests from pesky visitors, encircle your party area with citronella candles or incense sticks to light when night falls. Mosquitoes? What mosquitoes?

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