Colleen's Casual Cocktails

My Outdoor Party

My years in the Caribbean and the Middle East have certainly influenced my entertaining style. When it comes to summer parties, I like cool and casual- no slaving over a hot grill for me! I like parties that involve lots of lounging and refreshing food and libations; watermelon salsa and mint lemonade are party staples for me. Here's a look at my ideal outdoor party...

The AMMERÖ lounge, chair and low table from IKEA invite guests to kick back and relax, plus the plastic rattan is weather-resistant and maintenance free.

The Outdoor Bolster Pillow from Etsy is mildew resistant and has a fabulous bold pattern to jazz up the plain chairs.

The Bash Party Tub from cb2 is the perfect way to chill your soda and beer with style.

These Talavera Melanine Plates from Pottery Barn provide the bright colors of Mexican pottery without the fear of damage; this set is dishwasher safe and virtually unbreakable.

This Clear Cold Beverage Jar and Stand from Crate & Barrel is perfect for serving special summer cocktails with panache.

The Acrylic Stemware from World Market is a must have for outdoor parties, especially if you have a pool.

These Smart Solar Glass Mosaic Lights are perfect for outdoor parties- they charge up all day long, then give off 8 hours of energy saving LED light when fully charged.

This LÄCKÖ shelving unit from IKEA works equally well as an outdoor bar and serving area and as a plant and flower display stand- or maybe both depending on the size of the party.