Stylish Notes on Entertaining :: Perfect Picnic Decor

I'm so incredibly fortunate to live near the beach - not just one, but 5 of them. We've been going a lot during the evenings this summer, partly because the days have simply been too darn hot and partly because that's my absolute most favorite time to go. The crowds have thinned, the air is cooler and the early evening sun casts cooling shadows. Whether you're a foodie who loves to prepare a fabulous spread and pamper your guests, or whether you're more of the sandwiches and potato salad type, or whether you'd just assume call your local pizza delivery guy - there's no right or wrong way to have a summer picnic. We often do all three. We love to order pizza and have it delivered to the beach. We think the pizza delivery guys like it too!

Whether you're near a beach, lake, or park there's really nothing like a picnic on a summer's eve. Picnics are so festive and yet so casual. They're a perfect excuse to kick off your shoes, and eat with your hands!

Sometimes you want to serve on something nicer than paper plates. While we love the ease and disposability (is that even a word?) and a dishwasher-free night, sometimes we just want to dress our tables a little nicer.

Below are some of my kind picnic finds that you should be able to easily locate, either at stores near you or via the internet.

Picnic Style Crush: This adorable Kate Spade bag slash wine tote. Note, it is not a cooler bag, so you will want to drink up quickly, or transfer your bottle to a bucket or cooler.

We love these lightweight beach blankets via Steve Allan. There's nothing like a really soft blanket to wrap yourself up in when the temperatures cool off...Oh how I long for cooler temperatures now!

Not your average citronella candle. We added some romance to our table with these lovely candles, The Green Been Wine Bottle, made from, you guessed it, recycled wine bottles! You can order these from The Garden Gates.

These wonderful Bastille Melamime plates are super durable and gorgeous. No worries here about borken or chipped dishes. They are available at Williams-Sonoma and are currently on sale. (Who doesn't love a good sale?!)

I'm a sucker for seersucker. (Ok, that was corny. I admit!) Seersucker is the ultimate summer fabric and the lovely, elegant and yet rustic look of these striped napkins get me every time I walk into Terrain. They are available at the store and on-line.

I have a thing for octopi. Despite how ugly they are in real life, I adore them as a motif... in art, decor and in everything I see. I fell especially hard for these lovely napkin rings from Pottery Barn! (And oh my goodness! They're on sale too!)

Paper straws are all the rage lately in their bright stripes and patterns. I quite like these floral garden party ones, also from Terrain. 

My love for sea creatures continues with this adorable lobster bottle opener. This, also from Terrain (can you tell I'm hooked?) has a nice heavy feel in the hand. Pretty enough for you, macho enough for your spouse!


Every beach picnic needs a little beach music. I kind of miss the days of boom boxes... you know? But even better are these wireless, blue tooth speakers from iHome that connect to your iPhone, iPad or iPod. We were impressed with the quality of music that came from such a little thing! Available at

Every beach party needs some beach games! These fun paddles can be found at Pier1 Imports.

And finally, you'll need a tote bag large enough to hold these goodies. May I suggest this one from Kate Spade?

If you've been invited to a picnic, there's really no need to bring a gift, but I would suggest bringing a bottle of your favorite wine... even a brown bag will do... Especially this one which is insulated! Isn't it fabulous, funny, whimsical? The silliest, right? You can find one of your own, or pick up several for gifts at Sur La Table!

I even love that it's called the Wine-O!

It's Thursday my friends! The weekend is almost here!
Why not plan a picnic?!