Victoria Hudgins of A Subtle Revelry mixes substantial pieces with fun elements to create a versatile outdoor entertaining space.
When we first toured our new house, the yard was one of our favorite parts. I could immediately envision hosting brunches and parties on the paved deck and spending leisurely afternoons playing with the kids outside.
After spending a couple of weeks getting the property back into working shape, we began to plan out the space.
To plan out the space I began to envision my ideal afternoon brunch and drew up plans from there. I’ve found it to be really helpful when decorating to start with how I want to use the space – for me it always comes back to how I will entertain in it.
We knew the center of it all had to be a large dining table that could seat our friends with room to spare. We chose the Belham Living Brighton Dining Table Set; I adore how much it can expand and how easily it can become smaller again – it allows the freedom for us to brunch and play all on one deck.
One of my favorite aspects of having friends over is cooking great food. Investing in a nice grill makes outdoor dining easy, and planting all our favorite herbs in a set of raised planters means I can pick my herbs, grill the meat, and toss the salad all while chatting at the table. It’s a dream set-up for a fresh-food fanatic like me who loves to socialize while I cook.
We knew we didn’t want the porch scene to take itself too seriously so we added a few fun elements as well – the red hanging chairs are a mix of swing and hammock. So fun! It’s the first thing everyone comments on when stepping into our yard. We also strung up a set of vintage-inspired lights from the house into the trees. The mix of whimsical elements with the more substantial pieces sets a great mood for any type of entertaining.
To set the table I chose a mix of pretty flatware, a fun Mediterranean-inspired plate design that says, “please sit here and linger over cheese and bread,” and simple white salad plates. For serving we found this awesome drink caddy that’s just the best thing ever to serve lemonade. I feel like it instantly turns me into Betty Draper (the younger years), especially when I reach over and effortlessly pick a mint leaf to go in each glass. Often it’s the little details that make a get-together special.
My dream deck has come to life, and I can’t imagine a better place to entertain.
– Victoria Hudgins, A Subtle Revelry