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Hello HGTV readers! I’m thrilled to be joining you for my first post on Design Happens! I hope you all had a lovely Memorial Day weekend and started your season of outdoor entertaining off right! Today, I’m sharing with you my top three must-haves for creating a welcoming and stylish outdoor entertaining space.

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials - TomKat Studios

Pottery Barn

#1 Galvanized Metal Serving Pieces

Galvanized Metal Buckets + Serving Trays - Outdoor Entertaining - TomKat Studios

Pottery Barn and HGTV

No longer just for chilling buckets of soda and beer, galvanized serving pieces are everywhere these days. From serving trays to utensil caddies, galvanized metal goes with practically every decorating style and stays cold for hours. I have an extra-large galvanized bucket I always use for parties to keep drinks chilled. I also just picked up a galvanized tiered tray at HomeGoods that will make the perfect cupcake stand for my son’s upcoming birthday party.

#2 Umbrellas

Patio Umbrellas - Outdoor Entertaining - TomKat Studios

Pottery Barn, Pier One, Grandin Road and Pottery Barn Kids

Umbrellas are a must for entertaining in the sun, especially if you don’t have a canopy of trees covering your backyard. Provide your guests with an extended area of shade by using several umbrellas close together. Fabric umbrellas also add color and interest in your backyard whether they are poolside or positioned in the grass.

#3: Outdoor Pillows

Outdoor Pillows - Outdoor Entertaining - TomKat Studios

Pottery Barn Kids, Restoration Hardware and Grandin Road

Outdoor pillows are an easy and affordable way to instantly spruce up your outdoor decor with pops of color and pattern. Outdoor pillows made with durable fabrics are easy to find at most home decorating stores, home improvement stores and online. I recently updated my front patio furniture with green, blue & brown pillows, and I love how it looks now!

Do you have a must for hosting outdoor parties that didn’t make my list? I would love to hear your ideas!

29 Responses

  1. alanna says:

    So exciting, Kim!!! Congrats!! :)

  2. [...] TomKat Studio: My Top 3 Musts-Haves for Outdoor Entertaining [...]

  3. Thank you all so much! I'm so happy to be blogging here!

  4. [...] TomKat Studio: My Top 3 Musts-Haves for Outdoor Entertaining [...]

  5. Kate Bimfore says:

    I love this post, Kim! I especially like the galvanized metal serving pieces, and along those lines, can anyone recommend a nice outdoor wine rack? I enjoy serving wine at my gatherings and am looking for a wine rack that looks good and won't rust outdoors.
    Thanks!

    • Carol says:

      I don't know what kind of feel you're looking for for your backyard but a lot of my friends store their wine in outdoor coolers. In terms of display racks, if you're looking for wooden William Sonoma has great products: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/modular-a… My only problem w/the wooden racks is that they aren't as decorative as I'd like.

      Metal wine holders like this one are vintage looking and add instant decor to your backyard: http://www.greatusefulstuff.com/Zodax-Triumphe-Me
      I especially like it because it allows you to choose a few extra special bottles to display v. hundreds.

  6. himani says:

    great ideas for garden parties.love all of it

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