We all want people to enjoy themselves when they come to our home. How does that enjoyment come about? We serve good food, encourage hearty conversation, give our guests an experience they wouldn’t necessarily have at home. The best get-togethers entail a certain magic, don’t they? Your job as host is to attend to the details, so the magic can take place. And no detail should be beneath you. I suggest you prioritize, maybe make lists, but then stand back and look around. Is each room, each corner, each setting, done up in expectation that your guests can make themselves comfortable and delight in their surroundings? Have you anticipated and provided everything you think they’ll want? Once you’ve attended to the big stuff, it’s time to pay attention to even the smallest of details.
Sit a spell. Many of us entertain around the pool during the warm months. People love to be near the water, even if they aren’t taking a plunge. Dress up your pool area with towels you‘ve selected for this purpose, and provide ample seating. When I say ’seating,’ I don’t just mean chairs and chaises. Drop pillows poolside and provide a towel for each. Your guests might want to dangle their legs in the pool and you’re giving them a way to do it. Even the most formal party will benefit from this touch. Your guests may not take advantage of your offer, but they’ll appreciate it just the same.
Stack ’em up. Move a chaise even nearer to the pool edge, then plunk down a towel and pillow. If a guest doesn’t want to sit directly on the concrete, he or she can still access water’s edge with this seating nearby. And pay attention to color, either contrasting or complementary.
Fire and Water. After you’ve provided seating and towels to wick away moisture, don’t forget to add candles for a glow that will take you into twilight and dark. Scented or unscented will do, and to ward off mosquitoes, don’t forget the citronella. Exterior lighting can be abrupt or harsh, and candles go far to soften it.
Bringing it together. This photo is deceptively simple, but it encompasses quite a bit. You’ll find the seating, towel, pillow, flickering candle, and finally a robust plant in a pot. You’ve set the stage for your guests to stay as long as they wish. Isn’t that what we all seek when you entertain? That our guests linger and enjoy the conversation and surroundings? It’s all in the details you provide, the staging you set.
You’ll notice I didn’t state that everything must match, or that there are rules to follow for success. The towels should be selected for poolside use, but that’s the only requirement. Maybe you want to mix it up with contrasting colors or pattern, or use the same color palette all the way around the pool. And the diverse selection of cushions and fabric made to use outdoors has skyrocketed, so you’ll find a wide selection to chose from anywhere you shop. Once you‘ve paid attention to each detail, when people arrive, they can relax and spontaneity will set in. Not only is it in the mix of guests and entertaining elements, it’s also in your eye for detail. And all that means is taking a look around and anticipating what your friends and family–and you–will enjoy.
Live Life to the Fullest,
Chris H. Olsen