If All-American backyard vibes are your thing for the summer (and its three patriotic holidays), you've come to right place. Design blogger Emily Henderson made over her patio and lawn for the Fourth of July exclusively for Rachael Ray Every Day, and we got the inside scoop on just about every major piece she handpicked for her space.
Spoiler alert—a bunch of the stuff comes from Target, as Emily is, after all, their resident Home Style Expert. But there are a few wild cards thrown in the mix, too. Just remember Emily's number one styling rule for your own party: Always use a consistent color palette.
"I have a ton of blue and white, and I’m heavy in the stripe department already, so I really should be throwing a Fourth of July bash every year," says Emily. "Just add pops of red and a couple of decorative elements, and the party kind of throws itself."
Click through to shop Emily's patriotic tablescape, sitting area, and hydration station.
When it comes to picking out linens and dishes for an outdoor daytime party, Emily likes to keep it simple. "It all depends on the party, but this one was a bit more casual, so we chose to mix and match serveware," she says. "We pulled out some of our big pretty bowls that are non-breakable for food and snacks and then stacked Target’s new Made By Design plates on the table for guests to help themselves throughout the night." Of course, the serving bowls and plates fit into Emily's blue-and-white color scheme, which is a must for creating cohesiveness in a larger space like a yard that will have several party zones—table, sitting area, bar, etc. Instead of using fancy linens, Emily covered her patio dining table with a summer-weight blanket. And the plates themselves are just plain white, which really lets the colors of your food (and summer produce!) shine.
"Setting up a hydration station is one of the best ways to really enjoy your company," says Emily. "It allows you to spend time with your guests instead of worrying about taking their orders and serving them throughout the evening." Buy a little side table, put out bottles of booze, and invest in a drink dispenser so guests can help themselves. Serve flavored water (bonus points if you use you use citrus fruit from your own garden as Emily did), lemonade, punch, sangria, a signature cocktail—just make sure you have alcoholic and non-alcoholic options plus plenty of ice. You can make simple syrups and cocktail bases ahead and keep them refrigerated for refilling throughout the night. This is also a natural place to add some hits of festive decor, which Emily did with straws, mini flags, little flower arrangements, and a simple white bunting. She repeated this bunting element around the yard, again to tie her distinct party zones together. Those serving bowls she used on the table also make another appearance here, as they're great for keeping bottled drinks on ice.
The Lawn Lounge
"Zones are how you create conversation areas, and by having them all set-up, you are kind of giving guests options on where and how they want to chat," says Emily. Obviously, the big dinner table on her patio is the best place for loud, communal talk. But for catching up in smaller, more intimate groups, Emily created a comfy garden lounge as an alternative seating area. With its array of floor cushions, toss pillows, and blankets, this zone is just as inviting as having a seat at the table. In fact, this is the spot where Emily, her husband, Brian, and kids, Charlie, 4, and Elliot, 2, often hang before the party starts, partaking in yard games like lawn bowling and cornhole. Emily sets her games up before the party, so people can start playing (and breaking the ice) as soon as they arrive.