This post is sponsored by Pier 1 Imports.
The sad "Before"
Back to those "After" shots
Post winter patio life [pictured above], exhibit A: a drab, sad, blank canvas ripe for some color and decorating. Akin to the long, gray winter of our discontent suffered here in New England, our garden and outdoor space were in need of much sprucing up.
Pier 1 Imports came to the rescue again this season, my outdoor decor saviours, who pulled through this summer season with Mediterranean themed house ware and outdoor gear I could not resist. Think cool, crisp blues, geometric tile and Greek-key patterns that call to mind the islands Mykonos and Santorini. Why not build my own backyard Taverna, complete with high back settees, arm chairs, strung lights, and moody bouzouki tunes drifting on the summer air? My husband and I were so inspired by the gorgeous goods at Pier 1 Imports, that we are hosting a party next weekend, bringing some of the Mediterranean island life straight to our backyard.
Taverna & patio prep began with some major landscaping and garden planning- you need lots of herbs for all these Mediterranean dishes my friends. Flowers in the planters, lights twinkling overhead, and a gorgeous new lounge set, which I made feel like an extension of the living room by rolling out a bar cart, a vintage Moroccan tea table, and some chic side tables, piled with flowers, flowers, flowers. Another great idea for all your vases? Some of those fresh herbs from the garden, there is nothing quite like sitting next to a vase of rosemary to scent the eve, am I right?
Which leads me back to the menu....I'll be serving trays of ouzo when guests first arrive (a bitter Greek aperitif, served in petite glasses with cubes of ice), red and white sangria, and platters of herbed grilled shrimp, chicken, and veggies, called souvlaki. Is there anything more perfect than meat on a stick? I'm eager to try my hand at grilled halloumi too, a firm cheese that is mild and delicious. I'll be serving mine drizzled with honey and grapes. And don't forget the delicious Greek pastry baklava for dessert, honey and nuts wrapped in layers of buttery filo dough, bite sized bits-o-heaven. My mother-in law makes THE BEST baklava, so I hope to out source to her capable hands, or finally commit her secret recipe to writing (if I snag that, I'll definitely share!). Want some specific recipe ideas? Check out my pinboard devoted to all things Mediterranean cooking, a constant source of culinary inspiration for me and my weeknight meals.
My go-to management tool for beautiful invites? Paperless Post. They have online based tracking, send reminders, and the prettiest invites I have seen- a perennial fave of mine is the floral Unikko Marimekko print, in a host of blue hues, naturally.
Last but most certainly, not least, is music. I'm keeping things simple with a Greek inspired playlist, ripped from some of my husband's favorites and a host of the classics. No need to do any heavy lifting here, I've already rounded them all up with Spotify. Stream, enjoy, and stay tuned for some pics from the party next weekend!
Find what speaks to you. See our Outdoor Living collection in stores or at pier1.com/outdoorliving