Alfresco Living: Outdoor Entertaining Essentials for Summer

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I’m not sure what’s been going on, but the weather has been abnormally gorgeous in Columbia for the past few days. We’ve had lots of rain, so I’m assuming some kind of cold front came through… because this is not typical weather for August. Regardless, it’s been sunny and in the 70s, and I am here for it. Since the weather’s been so perfect, we’ve been working and eating outside as much as possible, and I thought it’d be fun to round up all my favorite budget-friendly outdoor dining decor ideas in today’s post. Keep reading for my top twenty outdoor entertaining essentials for summer!

Outdoor Dining Decor | 1-10

HOW TO SHOP: Scroll below to the corresponding number from the collage and click the link. 

Affordable outdoor dining decor ideas curated by entertaining blogger Stephanie Ziajka on Diary of a Debutante

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1. Dimmable Edison Lights (Pack of Two)– These dimmable Edison lights are waterproof, weather-resistant, and have over a 4.5-star rating on Amazon! They’re also super easy to hang and can make any outdoor space feel cozy. 

2. Blue Indigo Platter– This chic blue and white platter comes in two sizes (large and small) and features a fun mosaic pattern and scalloped rim. 

3. Rattan Lanterns– I love decorating our patio with rattan because it brings such a fun tropical vibe to the space. These handcrafted lanterns, which come in both medium and large sizes, add charm, texture, and some mood lighting into the mix, too!

4. Indigo Serving Bowl– This absolutely gorgeous serving bowl can be used for everything– from holding decor, like fresh fruit or floating candles, to serving salads. 

5. Blue Boston Goblets (Set of Four)– These gorgeous Boston goblets come in ocean blue (my favorite– see them styled in my 4th of July tablescape), green, clear, and red. Their list price is pretty inflated, though, so wait until they’re at least 50% off. I think I got my set for just under $50. 

6. Blue Dip and Tray Set– This pretty little dip and tray set is great for serving hors d’oeuvres and would make an incredible hostess gift under $50!

7. Artificial Plant and Planter– Nothing gives a space more color than plants! I personally prefer live plants (The Sill is awesome if you want to have them shipped to you), but if you don’t, this faux potted Snake plant is as good as they get. Alternatively, this faux 60″ potted olive tree is pretty dang gorgeous, too!

8. Succulent Napkin Rings (Set of Four)– I saw these succulent napkin rings on my future mother-in-law’s table and just loved them. They’re such a fun way to add a touch of greenery to outdoor tablescapes!

9. Indigo Pitcher– How gorgeous is this mosaic-patterned stoneware pitcher?! It’s perfect for serving water, lemonade, and (as is the trend in our household) batch cocktails!

10. Rattan Bar Cart– This rattan bar cart brings all those tropical vibes to your outdoor space. This one’s a little pricey (highly recommend waiting for another sitewide 30-40% off sale), so keep in mind that Target also carries an adorable rattan bar cart right around $150. Fair warning, though– it’s practically never in stock. 

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials | 11-20

HOW TO SHOP: Scroll below to the corresponding number from the collage and click the link. 

Entertaining blogger Stephanie Ziajka rounds up her top outdoor entertaining essentials for summer on Diary of a Debutante

11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20

11. Meyer Lemon Tree– Literally nothing brightens up an outdoor dining area like a prolific citrus tree! If you have a black thumb and don’t want to invest in a live tree, fake lemon trees look just as cute. If you’re interested, here is a large (albeit pricey) faux lemon tree and here is a medium-sized faux lemon tree!

12. Solid Wood Pergola– As gorgeous and highly-rated as this pergola is, it’s pricey. If you’re looking to stay around the $500 price point, I also found an affordable white vinyl pergola with amazing reviews!

13. Mesh Pop-Up Food Tents– If you’re serving food outside, these mesh pop-up food tents are a must-have for keeping flies and dirt out of your yummy dishes. These come in sets of six and twelve and are large enough to cover pretty much any dish you can dream of.

14. Sea Salt Citronella Incense– These incense sticks smells so friggin’ good that you’ll want to light them even when there are no insects to keep away! Scent aside, they’re also super handy when it’s too windy to keep candles lit. 

15. Natural Jute Flower-Shaped Placemats (Set of Two)– These 15-inch placemats are absolutely darling and will add so much character to your outdoor dining table!

16. Rustic Beverage Dispenser Set– Self-serve drink stations are the, and this rustic beverage dispenser set is the perfect setup. Not only is it super cute, the dispensers are gallon-sized, so you won’t need to refill them every ten seconds!

17. White Adirondack Chairs– These folding adirondack chairs are perfect for fire pits, patios, and outdoor dining tables. They’re super easy to store, too, and I love that these come in a bunch of colors.

18. Bamboo Serving Tray– This bamboo serving tray is uber affordable and can be used as a festive drink tray, cheese board, or outdoor dining table centerpiece! 

19. Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit– If you’re looking for a chic yet affordable fire pit, this one’s under $200 and has amazing reviews!

20. S’more Stick Set– As perfect as this s’more stick set is for parties, it’s also pretty great for taking on vacation, too. Plus, the puns on the wooden handles are too fun! 

Click to shop!

I own many of these items personally, so don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about size, color, or quality. I love hearing from you guys, and I’m happy to help!


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