Allegra Design Studio | How to Decorate for a Garden Party Like an Interior Designer: Photos & Sketches
Allegra Design Studios provides interior decorating and design services as well as custom art, custom furniture, custom decor, custom designs for our clients in Southeast Manitoba.
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How to Decorate for a Garden Party Like an Interior Designer: Photos & Sketches

3 Designs for your Stylish Garden Party

Hosting a garden party?
Wish you had an interior designer’s eye for exquisite décor?
I’ve got you covered.

Here’s how to design your deck for a stylish garden party this summer.  It’s simpler than you think!  I’ll include sketches, photos, and even a three-tier price scale. Each one also includes a pro tip from an interior designer!

Let’s work with the basic deck and the assumption you have a table and chairs set to work with.
Now let’s transform it into an elegant patio oasis for your next outdoor party.

The Minimalist ($50 or less)


Pro Tip: Use What You Have

Don’t be afraid to reuse what you already have. Haul out the area rug from the basement, use your own basket, wooden crate, or antique metal bucket as a planter. You probably have a serving tray in the house somewhere – even if it’s a drawer from an antique dresser or sewing machine. Fill it with candles, pinecones, bough clippings or wildflowers for décor, or use it to house the lemonade pitcher during the party.

Don’t have a palm tree? Make your own! With a basket, old metal bucket, or glossy planter for the base, harvest whatever you have – birch boughs, reeds, or branches from the nearest Willow tree, and voila – fabulous foliage!

Even if you end up buying an item or two, it doesn’t have to be pricey.


Where to Buy:

*Ikea has palms at a great price point
*pick up used artificial trees at your local thrift store or garage sale
* buy a planter from Canadian Tire or Wayfair for $20-40

Canadian Tire, Wayfair, and Ikea offer a wide variety of planters in various themes and price points. Starting price lands around $20-40 for a larger planter.

Comfy & Elegant ($200 or less)




Pro Tip: When arranging objects on the table, placement in odd numbers is more pleasing to the eye. (Note: one is an odd number.)

Build on the minimalistic base by adding a table runner and place mats to spice up the table. For a richer ambiance, haul out those string lights from Christmas and string them loosely around the deck railing. If there are trees right next to the patio, string them in trees. Remember when you’re stringing lights and arranging throws that you’re going for an organic look. Toss the throws, string lights ‘naturally’, as opposed to trying to make everything straight, even, or symmetrical.

Use What You Have:

Large planters can be anything – an upright log with a lantern on top, the DIY arrangement mentioned above, or a room divider with vines draping over it. The idea is to create a vertical visual that brings in the natural greenery and knits the space together to create a cozy, happy feeling.

The Full Appeal Deal ($300+)


You don’t care about cost so much as creating that rich oasis to savour with friends. To add a depth of luxury only takes a few simple additions.  As always, they can be harvested from what you already have, or purchased.

Extra Seating Area

This additional, more intimate space can be made up of wicker or plush chairs, or of simple antique wooden chairs you already have on hand. Add a throw or some cushions for rich texture and color, and a simple side table to feature a centerpiece or rest a wine glass. In this sketch, the seating area covers up the half of the patio door that doesn’t open. Don’t be afraid to overlap dead areas like that.

Hanging Solar Chandeliers

If the dining area happens to be beneath beams or a reliable tree bough, hanging a chandelier over the dining table will enrich the charm of the space. If not though, scrap the dining chandelier idea and focus on the one over the buffet table instead, where it’s easier to erect a support post or planter bracket from which to hang it.

From rustic to industrial to modern, solar chandeliers are available in many styles from Wayfair, one of my favorite places to source décor items. (I love supporting Canadian made!) Price: $90-140

Buffet Table

The table can be as simple as an indoor dining table or a covered-up bookshelf.  If you’ve got some mad tablescaping skills (or a Pinterest account), here’s where to apply that thematic genius.  Bring out the burlap, tiered cupcake trays, the chalkboard frames – this is their place and moment of glory.  This beautiful table scape was designed by DivinePartyConcepts and is a perfect example of a simple yet elegant shabby-chic buffet table.



Pro Tip: The key to a harmonic space is to keep with one theme. Sounds simple, I know. But when the search begins for unique and gorgeous pieces, it’s easy to get sidetracked by individual pieces and end up with a mishmash of themes. Trust me. Whether you’re aiming for rustic, shabby-chic, industrial, or ultra-modern, commit to that theme in every single element.



So now I have a question for you.

When you host your garden party, what theme will you go with?
Brag in the comments!

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