Here is part three on this week’s summer decorating guide. Today it’s all about relaxed time spent with friends and family while entertaining outdoors. And if it’s to be relaxed, it has to be easy!

Here are 5 tips for a stress-free outdoor meal.

1. Set up a bar so guests can help themselves to drinks. As long as you have plenty of ice on hand, you can sit back and relax.

summer entertaining rattan buffet pb


2. Use durable dinnerware (enamel) and glasses that won’t break.

summer entertaining white enamel plates west elm

3. Use pitchers for soft drinks. If you choose one made of synthetic material, make sure it’s BPA-free.

summer entertaining pitcher


4. Use lanterns and candles as your centerpieces.

summer entertaining green lantern pottery barn


5. Use found objects to decorate the table.

summer entertaining natural centerpiece

What a great idea from Martha Stewart Living!

 You may also like my post on designing a perfect outdoor room.