10 Outdoor Entertaining Tips from our Team

Even though we are lucky enough to reside in sunny Southern California, we still get excited for the Summer months. The nights get a little warmer and people’s moods are a little more lax- what better time to entertain? And who doesn’t like a perfect little get together of friends, good food and spirited conversation. So the Gardenology team got to chatting and we decided to share our favorite entertaining ideas with you! Start here and make it your own so you can create your own intimate backyard soire.

Image via:

Image via:


Tiana - Hang outdoor curtains for a romantic mood. Not only do they add privacy and breakup your space, but it will make your guests feel like they are on vacation at an exotic hotel.

image via My domaine

image via My domaine

Barbara - Console tables are perfect for creating countertop stations for easy access. Mix it up and use a vintage console and a modern one- multiple beverage stations help ensure that guests can get a refill without waiting.  Top it off with a dough bowl 'ice bucket' for a rustic look.

image via

image via

Jessica - layered rugs and excessive pillows are a good option for relaxed seating at a picnic dinner party. Make it excessive by adding your indoor pillows on the day of the event. I love the mudcloth options we have in store right now for a b/w minimalist look- it makes the colors from the outdoor greenery and the refreshments really pop.

image via Apartment therapy

image via Apartment therapy

Left image via My Domaine | Right image via Gardenology

Left image via My Domaine | Right image via Gardenology


Lili  An evening  soirée must have candles and lanterns everywhere.

image via

image via

McCall - Electrical outlets tend to be limited in the outdoor areas so I always have lots of candles lit. Sometimes they are scented other times they are just cute tea lights (tons of them) on surfaces. I also always have flowers in every room or some sort of greenery even if it’s just a couple of bud vases. It makes everything romantic and festive- it also just makes the space feel inviting and fun.

Left image via Deer Pearl Flowers

Left image via Deer Pearl Flowers

Jeri - When entertaining outdoors, it’s fun to put some different color cashmere wraps on your dining chairs.  Even though we live in California, it gets cool at night.  Our cashmere ruanas come in a variety of colors and they look so elegant.  For a larger event, consider a basket full of scarves. Your guests will thank you for your thoughtfulness.

Left image via Gardenology | Right image via Style Me Pretty

Left image via Gardenology | Right image via Style Me Pretty


TJ - For a simple centerpiece, I like potted herbs, African Violets, cyclamen, or small potted shrubs. Place in small pots, mugs, or vases and give as gifts after the party.

Left image via Martha Stewart | Right image via Gardening Know How

Left image via Martha Stewart | Right image via Gardening Know How

Abel - Add cute little vintage string bulb lights to your outdoor table. They are battery powered and can be mixed in with florals because of the low voltage or used above a table for a soft light. For refreshments, take a fun spin on classics with boozy popsicles - I love Blueberry Mojito flavor. When the party starts, look chic on a lounge chair with your popsicle and the chill vibe of Lana Del Rey playing the background.

Image via A Daily Something

Image via A Daily Something

Image via Broma Bakery - click for recipe!

Image via Broma Bakery - click for recipe!

Brooke - a fully assorted charcuterie board filled with aged cheeses, dried and fresh fruits, olives and some salted meats, your night is complete. I love our wooden and marble cutting boards for serving options. An essential part of my entertaining is music.  A carefully curated playlist for me would include the soulful Charles Bradley and Sam Cooke, the harmonies of Fleetwood Mac, the storytelling of Bob Dylan and the pop of TV on the Radio.

image via My Domaine

image via My Domaine

Lala - Bloody Mary’s are my favorite, there’s many ways to get creative with the recipe and I love our new Vietri glasses to serve them in.  I love Hotel Costes station on Pandora for calming but trendy tunes. If I want something upbeat or lil more funky I’ll put on The Best Man Movie Soundtrack.

Left image via | Right image via Gardenology

Left image via | Right image via Gardenology

What are your favorite ways to entertain?

Entertaining Tips from our Team!

Thanksgiving is upon us, and hosting guests can be such a fun and gratifying experience, albeit stressful. So we all got together with some of our favorite entertaining tips, from centerpieces to recipes to music. Get inspired from some of the Gardenology team’s favorite hosting ideas, we hope it lightens the load!


TJ (Visual Merchandiser/Buyer) :  For a table idea, I like using real flowers when I have a dinner and Fall has some beautiful colors. Deep burgundy, plum, rich gold and red tones. The magnolia leaves that are displayed on the table can be used during both Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am a big fan of using gold as an accent color too.

image via  Apartment 34

image via Apartment 34

Laurie (Sales Associate Newport Beach) :  I love the idea of using one of our garlands as a centerpiece…running it down the center of the table and then adding all the different white ceramic pots we have in the store right now, small and large.  I would probably fill the smaller pots with small, live Poinsettias and use fresh cut, white flowers in the taller vases (Hydrangeas, Roses, Mums, Snapdragons, and any other variety of white flower that is available). 

Cher (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  A great centerpiece is always ideal for a holiday gathering. For a multidimensional arrangement, I like to use a pumpkin in place of a vase and build from there. I love the softness of persimmons and baby’s breath. And it’s all about those little details! In the days before the madness of baking and cooking, I like to create place cards for a more personal touch.

images via  A Cozy Kitchen

images via A Cozy Kitchen


Cyndi (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  My favorite appetizer is always a giant cheese tray, I use a beautiful wood board that my aunt made for me years ago (always save for special occasion), I choose three different kinds of cheese, whatever looks good, put some sort of greenery on the tray for color, add a couple of different varieties of nuts and dried fruit and usually a chutney…Always a big hit!! 

Dani (Sales Associate Encinitas) :  Growing up Italian, I embraced carbs and cheese, among other ingredients. So naturally these staples need to be included in my own holiday entertaining. My favorite appetizer to serve this time of the year is a little spin on a classic Italian appetizer: mushroom, goat cheese and roasted red pepper crostini. It’s also a crowd pleaser for the vegetarians! (click image for full recipe)

{  Bonus reading tip! } Hop on over to Dani’s blog for a fun and witty look at California living here.

Image via  Goldwire

Image via Goldwire

Lauren (Visual Merchandiser Newport Beach) :  I think a hot cocoa bar is really fun for entertaining. If it’s mostly adults you add some peppermint schnapps or chocolate liqueur to add a little zip or keep it PG for the children and leave out the alcohol.

image via  Elli

image via Elli


Lala (Sales Associate Encinitas) : Before the wining and dining, I like to jam out to the Mariah Carey Christmas collection, while putting on makeup or cooking away before the guests arrive. Having a soundtrack for these moments allows you to create wonderful new memories and that’s really what the most festive time of the year is all about.

Jessica (Marketing) :  As the holidays approach, it reminds me of getting together with the family to watch old movies and wishing I could go back in time. I love to recreate the old-timey feel with a little Al Jolson music. It’s happy and melancholy at the same time yet soft enough to allow for conversation while everyone arrives.

And with that, we’re off to enjoy the start of the holiday season- jamming out to some tunes, whipping up some goodies and creating new memories with loved ones. Feel free to share some of your own holiday entertaining tips in the comments below!

Have you Met Melinda?

You've probably encountered her milling around in her Sunday's best at our Encinitas location and thought to yourself, 'I wish I could pull that look off." At least that's how we feel- Melinda just so happens to be our resident fashionista. She first got her name when Lili's granddaughter came by and was enamored by this lady's charming presence. Every time we do a floor move, Melinda celebrates the occasion with a new look. Let's take a look at how Melinda's taste has evolved over the years...


When the weather warms up, Melinda tends to go for a natural look by visiting our botanical bar. In this look, she opted to drape a shawl of floating lotus.

One of Melinda's favorite accessories is kitchen utensils. In these two looks, she uses both balsa wood and stainless steel flatware to circle the neck. In look 1, a ribbon circles the waist and Melinda recycled printed paper bags to complete a sustainable pleated skirt.  In look 2, she kept things chic with a simple utensil print pencil skirt.

Last Halloween, Melinda opted for a Victorian goth look to get into the holiday spirit. Using our printed kitchen paper to form a pleated strapless dress with a sash empire waist, she elevated the look with a feather boa and draped netting.

Instead of the traditional red-carpet look, Melinda opted for a classic Dash & Albert black and white striped rug, accented by a second mint colorway for the bustle. She completed the look with rustic branches at the neck to keep the Gardenology aesthetic.

A ragged hem sways with linen napkins in assorted neutrals. To top it off, Melinda added the Vietri Lastra jumbo and regular mug as charms at the neck.

So there you have it. Keep an eye out for Melinda the next time you visit our Encinitas location, and please share with us your favorite look!

Staff Picks - The Outdoor Chronicles

September and October are our favorite times of the year in Southern California. If you still haven't perfected your patio space, take a cue from our team. Below, we're including their favorite picks from our selection of outdoor stock, which, by the way, was just reduced to 50% Off!

TOP LEFT: Harbour Outdoor Coast Table: 79L x 40W x 29H | BOTTOM RIGHT: Harbour Outdoor Piano Dining Chair and Club Breeze Chair.

TOP LEFT: Lee Industries Apartment Sofa 70W X 29D x 31H | BOTTOM RIGHT: Harbour Outdoor Pier Armchair 30W X 31D x 16H

TOP LEFT: Assorted printed outdoor pillows | MIDDLE RIGHT: Lee Industries Jasmine Chair, Elaine Smith Outdoor Pillows, Surya Rugs | BOTTOM LEFT: Lee Jasmine Chair and Kiawah Chair

Keep it Personal

With our design event going on this month, we thought it would be fitting to pick our creative director's brain for some design tips. One of Lili's top theories is to use your personality to tie your home together. We couldn't agree more- A room with personality is always something to strive for. If you have managed to represent yourself with your decor, then that's a feat worthy of a compliment. Read on for Lili's tips on how to bring that personality out from under the bed...


Think about using things that are important to you as a focal point in your décor. One-of-a-kind pieces from your last jaunt, a piece of original artwork or a family hand-me-down that stirs up pleasant memories.  Featuring these elements portrays ‘you’ and also makes for great conversation pieces.


No matter what your style, always mix up the textures in your home. Hard/soft, smooth/rough. Think of it as your tough façade versus your gentle persona.


One of the most common mistakes I see in homes is displaying one singular style.  For example, if you are predominantly contemporary, avoid the humdrum by throwing in an antique picture frame to add some life to the room.


Well, it’s no secret that I am a fan of natural elements in the home. But think beyond your everyday botanicals and florals and gracefully display a branch or another earthy element that boosts your mood and adds a specific essence to the room.


In our daily routines, we move from place to place, but we maintain our personal presence. Keep the same aesthetic in your home- make it flow from room to room. Tie it together with color, flooring, style and more.