OBJects of Desire: Dazzling Outdoor Entertaining on a Budget

outdoor entertaining on a budget - paper lanterns and simple strings of light create the ambiance for a festive outdoor event
Photo courtesy of target.com.

This summer, consider upping your outdoor entertaining game with sparkling tableware, flatware and accessories that won’t break the bank (or hurt the environment). Paper plates and plastic forks are okay for kids’ parties, but recyclable dinnerware with flair is a much better investment.

With so many beautiful options available at your local Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and Walmart stores, outdoor entertaining on a budget is a hostess skill we can all achieve.

To illustrate our point, we’ve styled a Moroccan themed evening with dinnerware in shades of aqua, blue and teal.


OBJ Tip: Try keeping your outdoor party pieces in a convenient basket or bin, and simply pull it out for an instant theme night when company is coming. A few twinkling lights will turn your backyard into an event space. Just add food, wine and a few good friends.

Happy summer party planning!

brass outdoor lanterns available at Bed Bath and Beyond, great for keeping your outdoor entertaining budget on track.
Photo courtesy of bedbathandbeyond.com.

Use Lighting to Set the Stage

Whether you’re hosting a poolside buffet or just setting the picnic table, a couple of strategically placed lanterns with candles will add romance to your evening. We love this jewel-tone etched glass and metal version for only $12.99, at Bed, Bath & Beyond.

Hint: Good lighting requires layering, so sprinkle small votive candles around the dinner table and consider strings of LED lights to hang from the trees.

Melamine Flatware, perfect for outdoor entertaining. Available at Target.
Photo courtesy of target.com.

Think Melamine

Remember when plastic plates looked like plastic? These blue Ikat pattern Melamine dinner plates are unbreakable, dishwasher safe, and oh-so-stylish. At only $14.95 for a set of four, they nail the theme for an exotic evening in Marrakesh. Matching bowls and dessert plates are also available. At Target stores and target.com.

1847 Rogers Brothers Flair Silver Plate Set of Flatware, available at Rubylane.com.
Photo courtesy of rubylane.com.

Buy an Eclectic Set of Flatware

Sure, you have good sterling silver or silver plate for your indoor life, but try adding a funky set of flatware for your outdoor parties. We found this mid-century Flair silver plate pattern by 1847 Rogers on rubylane.com. At $126 for a 24-piece set, it’s a great bargain.

Just roll up each place setting in a colorful cloth napkin, secure with a tassel, and start the buffet!

Set of 8 Fete Aqua Blue Cloth Napkins, available at Crate and Barrel. Yes, cloth napkins are great for outdoor entertaining on a budget, and their also environmentally friendly.
Photo courtesy of crateandbarrel.com.

Yes, We Said Cloth Napkins

Let’s face it…you’re doing laundry several times a week anyway. It’s more economical (and easier on the environment) to throw wash-and-wear napkins in the machine than to constantly replenish paper napkins.

Choose several sets in different colors and mix and match for summer entertaining. This set of eight no-iron napkins, in aqua, is $27.95 at Crate and Barrel.

Mikasa Silver Plated Hammered Stemless Goblet.
Photo courtesy of mikasa.com.

Trade Up to Silver Plate Goblets

Add some unexpected glamour to your outdoor table by swapping your everyday wine glasses for shining silver plate goblets. No one really wants to drink wine from a plastic cup…this stemless beauty is unbreakable and special at $19.99. Available at mikasa.com.

Is your outdoor entertaining on a budget? Centerpieces made from natural items you have around the house (inside and out) can be made into attractive centerpieces. A good example, this Lemon and Artichoke Leaf Centerpiece found at Etsystatic.com.
Photo courtesy of etsystatic.com.

Don’t Forget a Colorful Centerpiece

For effective and affordable summer centerpieces, use what you have around the house, including fresh flowers from the garden and fruits of the season. This faux arrangement is just an inspiration; imagine it with real lemons and artichokes on a silver plate platter!

Connoisseurs Silver Wipes make short work out of preparing for any party. For more information, please click here.



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