Monica Pedersen’s Tips For an Eco-Inspired Elegant Outdoor Party

Entertaining, Parties | | | 25 Replies

As we look forward to outdoor parties and entertaining, we’re inspired by Monica Pedersen’s new book Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home. Monica is a designer and HGTV host, and she also has a flair for transforming an outdoor setting into an absolutely gorgeous affair. Today, she shares her tips with us for creating an elegant outdoor party that’s also eco in nature. We think this party will serve as great inspiration for an outdoor wedding reception, celebration dinner or even Mother’s Day gathering. Keep reading for Monica’s tips — and make sure to check back in with us tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30th at 10am PT / 12pm CT when Monica chats with us live on Facebook!

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“For large gatherings either rent dinnerware or invest in a basic white collection that can be used over and over again for a number of different occasions.  (Keep your packing supplies to store your new dishes in case space is an issue.)”

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“Bring natural fibers to the table like hemstitch linens and woven accessories.”

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“Save energy and create the same kind of ambience that you have in your dining rooms by hanging  candlelit lanterns or chandeliers above your outdoor table. Make sure to use dripless, smokeless candles . ( And don’t hesitate to bring your indoor accessories outdoors.) ”

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“Use glass containers, they can easily be repurposed as a floral vessel, candle holder, or simply to show off some colorful candy.  As we all know glass is also a recyclable material.”

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“Make it easy for your guests to recycle by having clearly marked trash receptacles.”

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To celebrate Monica’s Facebook chat with us tomorrow, we’re giving away five copies of her gorgeous new book Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home. (Find the official rules for the giveaway here.) To enter, simply fill out the form below. Make sure to also leave a comment telling us your favorite ways to add eco elements to outdoor entertaining!

 

 Thank you for reading, this contest is now closed.

25 thoughts on “Monica Pedersen’s Tips For an Eco-Inspired Elegant Outdoor Party

  1. Peggy McCallum

    We host a couple of large parties every year – 35 people. Rather than use plastic utensils, I bought used silverware at thrift stores for a steal – 6 – 8 pieces for $1. Now I have an eclectic mix of sturdy forks, knives, and spoons for my guests to use and don’t have to fret about contributing to the glut of plastic on our planet. I am now searching out white plates at thrift stores.

    Reply
  2. Lillian

    I use old wine bottles for vases or jam jars as votives for outdoor entertaining. Glass objects of varying heights and color add interest to otherwise formal and structured table settings.

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  3. Debbie Rasmussen

    I love the use of paper bags for inviations, seating cards, and garland strung with cotton string. The color is so beautiful with white and green. When you have your party, you can make up a bunch of 2×3 (or larger) tags with cotton string attached. Let your guests write a prayer or wish and hang in the surrounding trees. Mini prayer flags look beautiful blowing in the wind.

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  4. Cindy

    To avoid or minimize the use of pesticides, I plant an abundance of marigolds near the area where I entertain outdoors as they act as a natural insect deterrent.

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  5. Betty Posner

    We entertain often, and my favorite parties to design our our outdoor rustic dinner parties. I use dried branches that I hang from our pergola, and attach small jars with votives to it to create my outdoor chandeliers. I use Wine bottles in varying sizes make wonderful table candelabras. I have large sets of caterer dinnerware in stark white that are perfect for our outdoor dinner parties, and I combine them with vintage floral pieces from our local flea market whenever I want to add a splash of color. I purchased 6 foot and 8 foot white banquet tablecloths that give my parties that elegant touch, but also allow me to layer with burlap runners when U want the all rustic feel. And of course, I use jars, jars, and more jars, of all shapes and sizes from candle holders, to vases, to drinking glasses. I would absolutely LOVE to receive a copy Monica Pedersen’s Book, as she is one if the designers I most admire.
    Thank You for the Opportunity Pottery Barn!

    Reply
  6. Betty Posner

    We entertain often, and my favorite parties to design are our outdoor rustic diner parties. I use dried branches that I hang from our pergola to create my outdoor chandeliers. I use wine bottles in varying sizes that make perfect table candelabras. I have large sets of caterer dinnerware in stark white that are perfect for our outdoor dinner parties, and I combine them with vintage floral pieces from our local flea markets whenever I want to add a splash of color. I purchases 6 and 8 foot white banquet tablecloths that give my parties that elegant touch, but also allow me to layer with burlap runners when I want that all rustic feel. And of course, I use jars, jars, and more jars of all shapes and sizes to create candle holders,vases, and drinking glasses. I would absolutely LOVE to receive a copy of Monica Pedersen’s Book as she is one of the designers I most admire.

    Thank You for the opportunity Pottery Barn!

    Reply
  7. dayana etheart

    The pictures look amazing. everything looks good. the same thing goes for me when i am throwing a party i always use real plate, silverware, cloth napkins. Fresh flowers and i always put a menu either one on each plate or if it is a buffet i will have one on the buffet table on an easel. i think i am going to enjoy this book from begining to end

    Reply
  8. Betty

    Last year our biggest party was a surprise 50th anniversary party for friends..we purchased 50 inexpensive matching white plates (never use paper)! All of the serving dishes, flowers and the cake in only white or gold ..even if someone brought a dish it had to coordinate…the table was absolutely beautiful! When the party was over the plates were but aside for a big summer birthday party where it was all about kids and we added lots of color! If you get the basics you are always ready for a party!

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  9. Catherine deSolla

    Love the setting! I use all sorts of containers as tealight holders.. sometimes surrounding the lights with small river rocks (available at craft stores) in glass containers. Soooo looking forward to summer!!

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  10. Trish

    I love using branches to decorate as we live in the bush , but anything natural , linens , silver , tin , love it

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  11. Lee Barron

    Such a lovely setting. Using the local farmer’s market is a great way to entertain in an Eco-friendly way.

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  12. Anne Marie Ducote

    Simple, beautiful flowers and nature elements ground a table. I live incorporating herbs, eggs, farmers market goods and moss.

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  13. Sharon L Miller

    For my outdoor parties I always use linen cloths and napkins, china and flatware, glass and crystal but my favorite green rule is buy local! I go to our wonderful public market and buy fresh produce, baked goods, meats, cheeses and even wine. This not only supports our local purveyors but also cuts down on shipping and packaging costs.

    Reply
  14. Kami Wegman

    Gorgeous! There is nothing I would change. I would love to know the source for that table cloth or fabric in the green and white floral on plaid/check. It really brings it all together. Thanks Pottery Barn and Monica just 45 minutes away! Can’t wait to get my hands on the book! I’m so bummed I missed the entry deadline. But it’s on my shopping list for sure.

    Reply

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