Vanessa De Vargas, June 10, 2014

Hosting An Outdoor Summertime Soiree


Like many of us, my favorite part of summer is hosting a cookout under the warm sun while enjoying the company of my family and friends. For all you homeowners wanting to throw deck parties, you’ll need a special outdoor living space. Sprucing up the deck will not only help maximize party space, but also allow you to show off your backyard oasis.

Here are some tips I recommend to help you prepare for a smashing soiree:

Color Choices – Not sure what colors to use in your outdoor area? I recommend choosing natural and cream-colored furniture that can be accessorized with any color to fit the occasion. Buy orange, red and yellow pillows, blankets, candle holders and glassware to add pops of color. With neutral tones, you can get a whole new look by switching out different colors to match any season.


Ambient Lighting – I think lights are essential to any party! Enjoy outdoor living long after the sun goes down by stringing lights in trees or on trellises, decorating with candles, hanging lanterns or installing light fixtures. To set the mood, Trex® OutdoorLighting provides sophisticated, understated silhouettes that add both beauty and safety.

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Defined Deck Spaces – When prepping for a party, I establish separate spots for relaxing, grilling and socializing with these designated areas:

  • Conversation Area – Help conversation flow by facing sofas together around a fireplace, fire pit or large coffee table. Accompany large chairs with upholstered ottomans to create an inviting atmosphere.
  • Food & Drink Stations – Set up the main buffet table in the most prominent room of the house. But, because people always follow the food, also set-up food and drink stations with portable bars and serving carts on your deck. Keep the outdoor treats simple with cookies, nuts and fruits, as well as ice buckets with an assortment of refreshing drinks.
  • Lounging Area – Create a lounge area near the pool or a fountain. The sound of running water or a waterfall is always soothing. Plus, you can put a fountain just about anywhere. Find one that suits your style and spruce it up with floating lilies or candles. Set up portable umbrellas and small tables near your loungers or Adirondacks so guests can keep those refreshments nearby


Elegant Pergolas – I use pergolas for shade from the hot California sun and to enrich the wealth of architectural detail with classic pergola columns set against the backdrop of my contemporary exterior. Plus, they’re great for designating any of the above deck spaces. Available in a variety of column styles and sizes, Trex Pergola Kits are an easy way to add character to your outdoor living space. For a romantic setting, let climbing plants and vines grow around the columns and trellis.

For more outdoor and indoor décor ideas, visit my blog at

Vanessa De Vargas is a Los-Angeles-based interior decorator and furniture designer. She is one of the faces of Trex Company'sVanessa De Vargas is a Los Angeles-based interior decorator and furniture designer. Her exquisite Venice Beach design label and interior design firm, Turquoise, are a reflection of the chic innovation that makes her work so unique within the market. She sells beautifully restored antiques that are revamped for the modern client. Vanessa enjoys mixing old and new pieces together and believes that homes should feel lived in and reflect the clients’ taste as much as possible. Vanessa is one of the faces of Trex Company’s “Engineered Artistry” campaign, which allows consumers to engage with authentic and enjoyable content designed to spark discussions about how form and function, performance and artistry come together to create the ultimate outdoor living space. Vanessa offers hourly consultations, full build outs, space planning, custom furniture options, color consultations and full home design services. To learn more, visit

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