Backyard barbecues, fireworks and festivities: the 4th of July is a time of celebration. Though patriotic, the tone of the party doesn’t have to be all red, white and blue. This year, change up the scenery with an assortment of creative party placements. Taylor Spellman, a recognized New York-based interior designer and co-host of BRAVO’s Yours, Mine or Ours, shared four décor tips that challenge party planners to get creative.
Often the first thing that comes to mind when planning a 4th of July extravaganza is the fireworks. “Regardless of whether or not it is legal where you live to blast off some fireworks in the backyard, it is always legal to add some metallic flair to your setup.” Spellman recommended purchasing garland from the nearest party store or Target to wrap around the rails of your patio. Next, weave in some string lights to give the visual of a firework while simultaneously setting the mood. Party planners can also pick up silver plateware from T.J. Maxx to match the décor. “If you’ve got some garland left over at the end, wrap it up along with fresh flowers in a translucent glass vase for the conversational tabletop piece.” Extra tip: Don’t mix in gold for more flair—it will look like New Year’s all over again. Instead, for a pop of color, add some green for a fresh sense of nature.
Here’s a more colorful spin to the firework theme. Spellman explained the game plan: First, get white tablecloths, paper lanterns and accent pillows. Add in some cushions and, optionally, some fresh white roses or carnations. Then take everything outside. Use watercolor paints to mix with water and fill up some water guns with the diluted paint. “Gather up your friends, family, kids or just play by yourself and let loose with your color combinations for some vibrant color play. You can even use an old sheet around the house for the tablecloth if you don’t want to buy new linens. Get creative!”
Black & White
For those who want to stick with the stars and stripes, keep it classy and elegant with some neutral tones. Spellman suggested printing out stars and stripes in black shapes. Use non-permanent adhesive tape to jazz up the main event space. Print out photos of family and friends from previous 4th of July events to add to the display. Party planners can also place white votives in an array of black candleholders along the dinner table and mantels. “Black and white is a sentiment often reserved for top tier events, but why not be the one who takes things up a level and set the standard for a luxurious class A evening.”
Nothing says summer better than a glass of lemonade or a sparkling gin & tonic. “Incorporate the summer season into your cocktails with crisp ingredients [like lemon, cucumber and basil]. Emphasize the beverage station with a full line-up of garden-fresh foliage.” Hosts with plants around the home can bring them all down to the event space for the evening. And for those with a home garden, bring the party near it to show off the fruits of your labor. “Alternatively, pick up some fresh-cut flowers from the grocery store or local flower shop, along with some small ivy plants to accentuate the centerpiece of the party—your summer concoctions.”