Photo Credit by Jason Schmidt
My recent move to Los Angeles has introduced so many sensational experiences in this new chapter. All summer long, I’ve been embracing outdoor dinner parties, sunset cocktails underneath palm tree awnings and twinkling lights at my new favorite spot… my house! Soon after moving into my cozy Spanish bungalow I decided it would be imperative to have an outdoor dining oasis where I could gather friends on the regular. The only issue was the space was a massive dirt patch. To some it would be a challenge, but I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get creative- shocker.
In the spirit of DIY, I removed all of the dirt and weeds (not the most fun activity but essential) and then laid the gravel. Watch the full episode of “Erica In The House” HERE to see the behind the scenes of how I created my favorite spot on the property.
I went with two dining tables that would set the tone and anchor the space. Having two tables instead of just one creates that extended look, which makes entertaining all the more fun- and effective. Adding my favorite woven Malawi chair from CB2 to the heads of both ends of the tables created the ultimate beachy look that’s one part tropical and another part boho.
If you’re in need of extra space (like yours truly), I highly recommend creating a beverage station. While most people think consoles are generally for indoor use, my modern piece is a winning addition. It’s nice because it breaks up the dining area and allows for guests to serve themselves-, which is always how I want people to feel… right at home.
Having these bold, but still neutral pieces allows me to have fun with my tablescapes. I’m a big fan of mixing together unexpected textiles and with fresh accents and textures when it comes to setting the table. I always think that designing the ultimate tablescape comes down to layering color, texture, and height To achieve a fabulous setting, don’t be afraid to decorate with bowls of citrus and season fruits, as well as flowers.
If family style is your vibe- then play that up. There’s nothing better than having your dishes directly on the table so your guests can interact with each other all throughout the meals.
The last and maybe most important final touch is the lighting. The space came together great, but as soon as those string lights turn on, it automatically transforms into the most magical place. Lights will illuminate your entire area and anchor the space with love.
P.S.- You need to make this refreshing summer dish. I has become my summer staple after my friend Marc introduced it to me. It takes minutes to create. Perfect for any meal or snack, and of course looks beautiful on a table
Recipe for Watermelon Jicama salad:
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 teaspoon zest
2 tablespoons honey or agave
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
a pinch of salt
Jicama, cut into matchstick pieces
4 cups watermelon in 2-inch chunks
Fresh mint leaves
P.S. – Get the goods: