Summer’s here and you can already smell that sweet, smoky, nostalgic smell of steaks and veggies grilling on the BBQ. Take a moment; breathe it in. Of course, this summery memory could be your reality as well. And if you’re playing host to a good ole fashioned summer get together — outdoors and/or in — you don’t even need a BBQ to get the party started. There are, however, a few ideas and tips that could turn your space into an optimal summer hangout-spot. The following guide should give you some inspiration. Now it’s time to get an invitee text thread going!
Hide The Clutter
Perhaps the most important thing about creating the best summer space for a get together is: space. We know, hard to come by sometimes with most homes and apartments. But at least we can create the illusion that we’re not hoarding surfboards and pool-toys. Key phrase: Out of sight, out of mind. Make room to party by relocating any junk, toys, etc. to a part of the home where guests most likely won’t be visiting (even under the house or in the attic). If the get together is indoors, then to a room that’s closed for the public (no one will be offended). Perhaps this act will even help you cull the junk you’ve been wanting to get rid of, anyways. Win-win.
Nothing shouts “summer get together” like string lights. You can pretty much buy them anywhere these days and string lights are basically the Christmas tree lights of summer. Also…Christmas tree lights add a nostalgic, warm feeling to a space, even in July. String away overhead, and make sure you’ve got an extension cord or two handy for the nearest outlet. Any other soft lights (that aren’t florescent) give a place warmth and are welcoming.
Standing up and chit-chatting at the grill is great and all, but sometimes you gotta take a load off and put your feet up. A lot of seating helps. Make it available in any (tasteful) form. We’re talking: picnic tables, maybe some crates flipped upside down, some lawn/camping chairs, lawn furniture… Sure, those plastic party seats work, but can also easily crack, especially if left out in elements all year long headed into the summer. Palettes or small tables — anything that draws people toward gathering for a bite or beverage — bust them out. Let the people chill while you grill.
The Food and Beverage Situation
There’s nothing worse than popping off the party once everyone’s begun to trickle in, sparking up the BBQ…to find that you’re out of propane or coals. Have all that on lock the day before and make sure the grill is in working order. As far as beverages, having some ice-filled coolers stocked and in-sight is a must. A pitcher of ice water is great, too, and a solid alternative to single-use plastic bottles. A table for all the food and pūpū (small appetizers) is helpful too, as well as some of those fly fans for any insects.
People get bored easy and a few lawn games like cornhole, Portuguese horseshoes (or just horsehoes-horseshoes) can help a party. Jenga, charades, or Heads Up for inside if the party isn’t on the lawn. Whatever they may be, a little friendly competition over beers always brings some life to the party — even if it’s already filled with seasoned conversationalists.
Less Waste is Good Taste
Sure paper plates and disposable cups are convenient and all…but there are more eco-friendly options. They might cost a smidge more, but biodegradable plates are a start, as are bio-utensils. And as far as cups, recommending guests to bring their own cup surely isn’t too much to ask and just might be a good trend to start.
Sure, we mentioned moving around the clutter earlier, but if indoors, a nice little cleaning, sweep and freshen-up of a space is always a great way to get your spot ideal for the party. If outdoors, dust off those chairs and tables…no one wants a dirtier bottom leaving than when they came.
Best Footwear for Your Summer Gatherings:
Holo: Breathable sneakers that won’t weight him down.
Pehuea Lī: A lightweight, breathable and airy summer sneaker for her.
Pūnini: Nostalgic court sneakers with out-of-the-box comfort, ready for everyday wear.
Pehuea: Classic slip-on crafted with lightweight, breezy mesh.
Moku Pae: Reimagined boat shoe built to perform both on and off the water.
‘Ohana: Our classic, water-ready beach sandal that doesn’t need a beach to shine.
Ulele: The only sandal he needs for a day by, on, or in the water (fresh water-included)
Kīpuni: Water-ready (and dock-ready) slides meant to celebrate the summer.