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Let your home design talents brighten summer get-togethers

May 20, 2014

Hardwood FlooringJust because your annual Memorial Day party is held largely outdoors, you'll still have guests coming in and out of your house. It's only natural that people want to get their homes in shape for holiday company, and there are plenty of small ways to achieve this. One thing you won't have to worry about if you have high-quality hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Vintage solid oak hardwood floor collection - they clean up in a jiffy and withstand whatever foot traffic comes their way.

In fact, this may be a good time to reevaluate foot traffic in your busiest rooms. To get parties started, you can greet early arrivals indoors while you finish cooking and last-minute duties before you can sit down and relax with your guests. Set up a pre-party snack tables at the kitchen island, in an adjacent family room or the living room. Your visitors will appreciate a little munch before the festivities begin.

Outdoors, it also helps to have several self-serve stations for beverages, desserts, salads and other cold selections so people can get their own food and drinks when they're want to.

Lights and colors
Inevitably, holiday celebrations extend into nighttime so lighting outdoors has to be considered. If your party is continuing after dark, use a combination of decorative lighting like string lights strung over the patio table for subdued illumination. Tiki torches with bug-repellent fuel and citronella candles will create atmospheric lighting and keep the mosquitoes away.

Rely on your outdoor lights over walkways and entries so people don't trip outside, but otherwise don't use too many bright, overhead lights because they'll attract bugs.

Whether you're placing a main centerpiece just on your main serving area or smaller versions at tables around your patio, creating a centerpiece from scratch is a wonderful way to add style and color to your bash. Take a serving tray or a large dish, set down a row of votive candles and gather flower buds, seashells and other items with a summer theme around them to give your table a unique decoration.

Red, white and blue color schemes for Memorial Day - and later for Fourth of July celebrations - never go out of style, but don't feel bound to a patriotic theme. Summer is a time of bright colors, so any design choices you make will fit the season. Look to the flowers in your own landscape for inspiration.