Printer Friendly

OUTDOORS IN STYLE GET YOUR BACK YARD READY FOR SUMMER ENTERTAINING.

Byline: Debra Drucker Correspondent

Whether you're hosting a small gathering or a full-blown gala, you can turn even a small outdoor space into an inviting place to mix, mingle and make merry. And, if you're a seasoned al fresco entertainer with most of the key components in storage, now is your chance to dust off, air out and update.

Lifestyle guru Susie Coelho, host of HGTV's ``Outer Spaces'' and best- selling author of ``Everyday Styling'' and ``Styling for Entertaining,'' recently shared her ideas on outdoor entertaining.

``When you're outdoors, it really lifts your spirits. Guests aren't confined, so they tend to be more extroverted, energized and invigorated. Fresh air, sunlight, flowers and the irresistible scent of food on the grill create a mood and an environment like no other. And best of all, anyone can do it, regardless of budget, time and space constraints.''

If you're not ready for a full-fledged makeover of your pool, patio and garden, Coelho says you can still spring into action. ``If you do nothing else,'' she explains, ``follow these simple steps. You'll be ready to take your party outdoors whenever the opportunity presents itself.''

--Make sure you have a table and seating for your guests and an umbrella or overhang for shade. And remember, it doesn't have to be fancy to be fun. ``If you don't have much furniture, a weatherproof mat, a few floor pillows and a low coffee table create a great space,'' says Abigail Jacobs, public relations manager for Pottery Barn.

--Get your barbecue in working order - fill gas cylinders, buy wood chips, matches, etc., and clean the grate if necessary.

--Wipe down tables, sweep up plant materials and put away kids' toys. Prune and clean up beds in the garden. Bring in a gardener for the day if necessary. ``You'll be surprised how new your garden and patio can look after a thorough spring cleaning,'' says Coelho.

--Purchase a portable table, if you don't already have one, so that you can serve your guests buffet style. You'll also need a plain white painter's cloth that drapes all the way to the ground, and a tablecloth to put over it that matches your color palette.

--Buy a water feature (such as a fountain or pond) and make a small bed right off your entertaining area, close enough for your guests to hear the relaxing sound. ``You can pick up a perfectly good prefabricated version from a home improvement store for $75 and up,'' Coelho says.

--Pick a color palette and define your direction - is it traditional, contemporary, country? Work with what you already have, buy what you need, and once you've collected all of your tabletop elements, keep them all together in a bin or a cabinet so you can set your outdoor table at a moment's notice. ``Tableware is so decorative and affordable these days,'' explains Coelho. ``You can really have fun with trendy colors and patterns, and start all over again next year, if you like. If you have kids, it's also a good idea to have a durable plastic table setting for children's parties.''

--Add color to your great outdoors with coordinated cushions, throw pillows and drapes that match your color palette. Simply secure a rod to your arbor or overhang, hang some outdoor curtains or fabric, and you've created a ``room'' your guests will want to live in outdoors.

--Think about how you can make the lighting special with candles, lanterns, torches and hanging lights. ``You might also want to consider an outdoor fireplace or patio heater to keep guests warm and comfortable well after the sun goes down,'' advises Kevin MacDonald, operations manager for Home Depot in Van Nuys.

--Decide on a centerpiece you can put together quickly, like cut flowers from the garden floating in a clear bowl surrounded by pillar candles. Try to make your centerpiece align with your color scheme and general direction.

``In the past, it took a fortune to have a gorgeous back yard, but now, elegance truly is affordable,'' says Coelho. ``Retailers travel all around the world for great ideas and sell beautiful things at reasonable prices. The most important part is to focus, because you can't have it all, but you can have something fabulous. With so many choices at hand, the toughest aspect you'll face is making decisions.''

Easy ways to beauty

Kathleen Brenzel, senior garden editor for Sunset magazine, offers this do-it-now list for a beautiful garden all spring and summer long:

--Feed roses when you see the first flush, about this time. ``People who are serious about roses generally have a tried-and-true system, but this is what works for me.''

--Feed and fertilize citrus.

--Attack weeds now, while the soil is still moist from the rain.

--Put landscape fabric down on paths and cover with gravel; it's a great way to smother weeds.

--Place fragrant plants, like gardenias, jasmine and oriental lilies, in pots or beds near your patio so your guests can enjoy the summery scents.

--Brighten your patio with pots of colorful perennials and get creative with containers like barrels and boxes.

--Use bark chips for mulch around trees and shrubs. ``It's not expensive and creates a finished look.''

--Capture the fading light of day with plants that have gray and silver foliage. ``They look even more magical in the moonlight.''

Priming the pool

Kevin MacDonald, operations manager for Home Depot in Van Nuys, offers these suggestions for a party-perfect pool:

--Test the pool water. ``If you take care of your pool yourself, the first step is to test the water so you know how to proceed. Chances are, you'll need to shock the pool to restore clarity, remove algae and get pH in line.''

--Use scale remover where necessary, especially in hot tubs. ``Hot water often leaves an unsightly ring around a Jacuzzi or hot tub, and removing this buildup keeps it looking fresh and clean.''

--Clean off the coping and deck by brushing with a mild chlorine solution. For extreme cleaning, rent a pressure washer. Home Depot offers a tool rental program.

--Clean, patch and repair pool floats. ``You can purchase a kit here at Home Depot for around $5, and it's a lot cheaper than replacing your floats every year.''

Out on the patio

John Irwin, general manager of Green Thumb Nursery & Patio Shop in Canoga Park, shares this check list for shaping up the patio furniture you already have:

--Use a product like Feron Clean to get vinyl umbrellas and resin furniture back to their original summer sparkle.

--Cover nicks and scratches on cast-aluminum furniture or frames with touch-up paint.

--Wash your market umbrella in the machine (check the label first), then put it back on the frame while its still wet to avoid shrinkage.

--Stand rain-soaked cushions vertically against a wall to drain, then lay flat to dry.

CAPTION(S):

5 photos, 3 boxes

Photo:

(1 -- cover -- color) Take the party OUTSIDE

HGTV'S Susie Coelho shows you how to entertain with style

(2 -- color) ``When you're outdoors, it really lifts your spirits. ... Fresh air, sunlight, flowers and the irresistible scent of food on the grill create a mood and an environment like no other, says HGTV host Susie Coelho, at home in her Glendale back yard.

John Lazar/Staff Photographer

(3 -- 4 -- color) no caption (backyard and patio area)

(5 -- color) no caption (star fish by a candle)

Box:

(1) Easy ways to beauty (see text)

(2) Priming the pool (see text)

(3) Out on the patio (see text)
COPYRIGHT 2005 Daily News
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 2, 2005
Words:1250
Previous Article:FUEL'S GOLD NO RELIEF IN SIGHT FOR SPIRALING COST OF GAS.
Next Article:YOUR PLACE OUTSIDE POSSIBILITIES.


Related Articles
YOU CALL THIS THE SPACE AGE?
From the editor.
BACKYARD BLAST-OFF 'OUTER SPACES' ORBITS IN BURBANK.
Local courses have a few new twists to offer for the golf season.
YOUR PLACE THE INVITING BACK YARD.
SHANGRI-L.A. SKY'S NO LONGER THE LIMIT IN BACKYARD DECOR.
WARMING TREND MAKE A FIREPLACE THE CENTER OF YOUR HOME.
Out There Fishing.
Tigers' Temple thriving in the shadows.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters