There are challenges to living in the country.

The closest Target is an hour away.

The electricity goes off on a regular basis when there are storms.

The cows moo when you’re trying to take a Facebook Live outside.

But all that fades.

All that disappears.

All that seems so insignificant when you sit at a table like this.

On behalf of the country….

….here are my top 10 outdoor entertaining ideas.

1. Cut flowers from your yard to decorate the table.

You’re already outside.  The flowers are right around the corner.

Just snip off a few blooms or greenery or leaves or branches or whatever your yard tells you to.

2. Choose sturdy non-matching seating

You are outside.

The grass and trees don’t care if your chairs match.

When we eat in the backyard, everyone just grabs a chair and head outside.

Every eater for him (or her) self.

3. Bring along music

Nothing fancy, just a cell phone.

Stream music or just play from your playlist.

It’s amazing how a little music makes the corn taste better.

4.  Use dish towels as linens

I’ve tried paper outside before and it just blows away.

Dish towels are a great option.

Then I use them to clean up the table afterward.

5. Create an overhead display

This is reserved for fancy parties only.

It takes a little work, but it’s so worth it.

I took an old tray O had with holes on the sides, hung it from jute twine and then just filled it with greenery from the yard.

6.  Add outdoor games

I always want to talk after dinner.

My teenagers don’t.

With a little planning, I have outdoor games ready for them like horseshoes or croquet or whiffle ball to play after dinner.

More talking time for me.

7.  Simple white dishes are a great option

I love white dishes.

They go with everything.

Especially the country.

8.  Think fresh

There’s just something about eating fresh vegetables outside that reminds me of summer.

Shop farmer’s markets, roadside stands or even the organic section of the grocery store for the freshest options around.

That’s what’s great about the country…

….we have corn coming out our ears here (pun totally intended).

9.  Add a few throws and pillows

I love adding a couple of throws in a basket.

That way if it gets chilly as the sun goes down, you can just wrap up.

It’s a great way to encourage more talking.

10.  Enjoy

Don’t stress.  Don’t worry.

That’s the joy of eating outside.

If something spills, there’s no need to clean it up.

Just sit back, relax and enjoy family and friends and dancing sunlight….

….and all that conversation. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Catherine Catherine

    I would love to do this, but my poor hubby has an aversion to flies while he's trying to eat. It's very difficult to get him outside to eat! I, however, love to enjoy my breakfast outdoors. Your outdoor dining area is truly amazing!

  2. Image for Debbie Debbie

    I love it!!! I am just itching to get outside. unfortunately mother nature just will not cooperate! Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. Image for Taste of France Taste of France

    I'm across the ocean but in much the same situation. Though Target is much farther than an hour away (but Ikea is about an hour; not quite Target but will do). And we don't have corn, so I'm very jealous of that. But may I add some others: Citronella candles to counter mosquitoes. A fan plugged in outside helps keep the flies away. A sturdy tray with fairly tall sides and solidly attached handles for carrying dishes and food between the table and house.

  4. Image for Tracy Tracy

    We love to eat outdoors!! We have a screened gazebo that we light with lanterns. For years the bees had us at their mercy, wanting everything we eat or drink. So glad to have come up with a solution.

  5. Image for Cindy Richter Cindy Richter

    When I saw the picture with the corn, I remembered I love corn on the cob. Then remembered why we hadn't eaten it in like 2 years... I'm so ridiculous, I spend 45 minutes trying to get every little string off of the corn! My grandma would tell me to cut it off the sides, but I will not be old like grandma. Everything is so pretty!

  6. Image for NormaJean NormaJean

    Add a few Mason jars to your chandelier, filled with birdseed and a votive. It will add a warm glow to the night! Jut a Pinterest thought....

  7. Image for Debbie - Mountain Mama Debbie - Mountain Mama

    Same here, the nearest Target....or Home 35 miles away, which is probably a good thing!! I get in enough trouble with online shopping, believe me! I love dining outside in the warm months, there's just something truly special about it.

  8. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    What a wonderful setting! Yes! There are tradeoffs for living in the country - but my, oh my the beauty and peace!! I would even take the cows lowing in the background if you'll take my moles and chipmunks. I'd even feed that cow. My town neighbors might argue but our yard is starting to look like a combine went through. *sigh* I don't think we can afford 1000 mole traps. Have a great weekend. ?

  9. Image for annie diamond annie diamond

    Everything is so beautiful! I can hear the music and the birds....what an amazing setting you've created. I think if I had to pick a favorite, it would be that galvanized looking oversized crown that you have hanging from the tree with plants. That's amazing. Have you done a diy tutorial on that? So so lovely...everything!

  10. Image for Lanita Anderson Lanita Anderson

    Always enjoy seeing your beautiful outdoor (in the country!) tablescapes! They are always so inviting.... Thanks for sharing all of the great ideas for enjoying a meal or entertaining outside - can't wait to try some of them this spring and summer! Happy Friday.....

  11. Image for Charlotte Lindsay Charlotte Lindsay

    So many great tips! I love the idea of using miss-match chairs. It adds such character! Also creating an overhanging is a must in my outdoor decorating. It not only adds a cute flair but it allows you to stay outside much longer.

  12. Image for Jane Jane

    Fantastic post, my friend! Very real and doable for so many of us. I absolutely love your little chandelier filled with greenery. You are an innovative and creative spirit in our blog-world!!! Hugs\ to you, KariAnne, Jane x

  13. Image for Dawn Dawn

    Everything is better in the Country, even the ?'s, ?'s & ?'s. Looks beautiful and I am green with envy for that fringed tribal pillow!

  14. Image for CraftyHope CraftyHope

    When I saw this link in the link party, I was a little worried it was going to be all fru-fru decorating ideas. Instead, it's just my speed. Love your tips!

  15. Image for Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai

    Hey, KariAnne! Just wanted to let you know that we loved your 10 Outdoor Entertaining Ideas so much when you shared it at the #HomeMattersParty last week, we've FEATURED it THIS WEEK! Hope you can check it out when you get a sec. Happy Friday!!! ~Lorelai Life With Lorelai / Home Matters Linky Party

Comments are closed.