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How to add country style charm to summer entertaining

Lazy sunshine filled days in the hammock, crickets chirping, fountains bubbling & warm nights dining out under the stars.




And there are some simple French cottage style essential tips I always go back to when entertaining.
 Because keeping entertaining easy AND ambiance filled is a good thing.



Setting a table or picnic in the yard and entertaining outdoors with cottage style charm is a lot easier than you might think.
The best part about cottage and country style entertaining is that it is informal. It is comfortable. It is simple and charming without all the perfection and work required.
You don't need fine china, the best linens or the most amazing farm property to set up a beautiful entertaining area. And you don't even have to have the perfect outdoor table and chair set- just grab what you use indoors and bring it outside for the party.



Here are a few oldie and favorite tips for country and cottage style charm outdoors.

#1. Mason Jars

A long time staple on the table for simple, country style charm- I love to use mason jars in several ways.  For flowers-



For candles-



For sipping-



Pick up various sizes- from large to teeny tiny and start playing and putting your own signature style in place.


#2. Gathered Goodness bouquets

Blooms and entertaining kind of go hand in hand for me. But you don't have to spend a ton of money on flowers- wildflowers and gathered blooms and greens are perfect. Some of my favorites for summer get togethers are fresh clipped wild sweet peas and lavender.






#3. Twinkle Lights

Of course. Twinkle lights twinkling away- all day, everyday. They are on repeat over here and we turn them on everyday when sitting outside to relax in the evenings. There is such a huge amount of charm that comes with those lights- our favorites are these LED lights- costs next to nothing to run & they are cool to the touch. I also love these mason jar LED lights- they run on solar power.






#4. One dish or nibbles

Simple and easy food is key. We like to serve something like a pot of melted brie or a cheeseboard (minus the meats) for casual evenings.  Something we did in Paris several times was cheese with fresh bread and fruit for dinner. I mean, sinful yes... but so good.  And the focaccia bread in Italy? I could have eaten that 3x a day. (not kidding) Plus- aside from being delicious- I wanted to photograph it all as it was also a feast for the eyes.



Set out some favorite cheeses and fresh veggies and focaccia bread with olive oil  on old rustic serving boards or marble trays and call it good. It creates a charming display on the table while serving hungry guests.


#5. Linens & quilts

Linens are a huge part of french cottage charm for any setting.
Layer those linens on the table, by the seating area and even on the lawn for picnic style seating.  Keep an eye out for old quilts and blankets for picnics- and stonewashed linens for the softest and most inviting look on the table.



Don't be afraid to mix and mingle different colors and textures for your own unique look and you can set up a simple romantic spot- just tie together some branches and drape in an old lace curtain for a charming look.





#6. Gathered Place Settings

A table set with a dozen beautiful matching place settings? Incredibly gorgeous. But as equally gorgeous and inviting is a table set with a dozen mismatched vintage china plates and gathered patterns of silver flatware.




#7. Country buffet table

Set up a simple old farmhouse table for a buffet table. You can bring one from inside the house, grab a few sawhorses and a planks of wood or use a dining table- and simply gather up your dishes, glasses, nibbles, desserts and dinner in one place and let guests serve themselves.




#8. Music 

One of my favorite things when entertaining outdoors is adding music. We have an old house without any wired speakers and fun stuff like that- but we wanted music that went from room to room to outdoors so that we could enjoy it all through the house and entertaining areas. So we added several Sonos speakers to our home.  They are wireless and run through wi-fi- and can all play the same music or different music- and run right through an app on the phone or computer.  I love Amazon music so that is what I stream most often- but you can also play your own playlist or Pandora, Spotify, etc.
I love to have the continuity of all the same music playing inside and out - and one speaker outdoors fills all 3 entertaining areas in the backyard with our favorite stations. I highly recommend them.


You can find a few of these products in my Amazon storefront (affiliate) and more coming soon.



Happy summer entertaining everyone!

5 comments

  1. Dreamy... Have always loved beautiful straw hats -- with ribbons, staging at times on wall of horizontal white wood rack with garden water pitchers nearby, ideally filled with gorgeous flowers like your lovely pink peonies... I told many of my friends about your burlap runner as an outdoor decoration idea. Your mason jars are always great as both candle holders or you can put decorative glass or beads. Love mixing china patterns. (That was a trademark of my favorite Chicago restaurant,where Diana Ross held her MAHOGANY wrap party.) Your teepee would be ideal for a rendezvous.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dreamy... Have always loved beautiful straw hats -- with ribbons, staging at times on wall of horizontal white wood rack with garden water pitchers nearby, ideally filled with gorgeous flowers like your lovely pink peonies... I told many of my friends about your burlap runner as an outdoor decoration idea. Your mason jars are always great as both candle holders or you can put decorative glass or beads. Love mixing china patterns. (That was a trademark of my favorite Chicago restaurant,where Diana Ross held her MAHOGANY wrap party.) Your teepee would be ideal for a rendezvous.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our Slice of Love and LifeJuly 8, 2019 at 7:42 PM

    Great blog post and beautiful photos - enjoyed reading it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Courtney ~ I’ve been following you for as long as I can remember, but have been absent from reading recently... I have a lot of catching up to do :) I love this post and your style! Thank you for the inspiration.

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  5. All these lovely pictures made me smile, especially love the tepee!

    ReplyDelete