Summer Party Style You'll Want to Steal

Our editor in chief shares tips for a dreamy outdoor soiree.

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Long summer days in Southern California are the perfect backdrop for a dreamy dinner party with good friends. co-founder Susan Feldman took advantage of the Los Angeles sunshine recently when she threw a Pinterest-worthy dinner party for me. The girls-only guest list included big names in design and entertainment like Mary McDonald, Windsor Smith and Nancy Meyers. Here are some tips to recreate these fete:

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  1. Spruce up plain chairs

    Craft-store ribbons made these ho-hum party chairs instantly memorable and Instagram-able. Use different colors, textures, and lengths to create an effortless, eclectic look. They're especially perfect for outdoor bashes – the ribbons flutter in the wind!

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    2. Rethink your party favors

    A party with a parting gift? Yes, please. Feldman offered a single thoughtful gift – – and a little something extra to remember: a quote. The throws were doubly thoughtful as the outdoor soiree got chilly after the sun set. (Mine is currently draped over the back of my sofa! Instant summer-house chic!)

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    Kimberly Genevieve / One Kings Lane

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    3. USE FLOWERS TO MAKE A STATEMENT

    A dramatic flower arrangement that's over-the-top easy: place single stems in bud vases and juice cups – or shot glasses and champagne flutes! – and scatter down the center of the table. Dahlias peak from July to October and look artful when placed in vessels of varying heights. Scatter with tea lights and short votives for extra impact.

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    Kimberly Genevieve / One Kings Lane

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    4. Add herbs for simple style

    Heavily scented floral arrangements are a dinner party faux pas (sorry, lilies), but herbs are more than welcome. Our hostess bundled a small sachet with twine and placed it top of each place setting. Nearly every single guest picked it up to enjoy the scent up close.

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    Kimberly Genevieve / One Kings Lane

    5. Bring the cozy outside.

    Using indoor elements, like rugs, couches and place settings, make an outdoor dining area seem inviting and intimate. A rug – indoor, outdoor, or even an old one beyond repair – really completes a dining table tableau and makes it feel homey.

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    Kimberly Genevieve / One Kings Lane

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