One of the main things I love about this house is our backyard, and now that the weather has warmed up, we are spending a LOT of time outdoors.
I love to entertain on our deck, but I don’t have a table out there. Instead, we have a large seating area with a coffee table and a few end tables. It’s great for conversation and light bites, but it means there isn’t a lot of space to put food and drinks.
Last summer, I resorted to bringing a large folding table up from our basement for food and beverage service, but that was kind of a pain to bring in and out, and it wasn’t the kind of table I wanted to leave out all the time. Finally, I got smart, and I ordered a serving cart from Wayfair.
I can’t believe I never thought of it before! It’s perfect for serving drinks and a basket of snackbags to grab and go, and that frees up our coffee table and end tables for the apps and snacks.
The bad news is, my exact serving cart is no longer available, and I couldn’t find anything quite like it, but I rounded up a bunch of options below.
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Since I got my serving cart at the end of last season, it’s still a work in progress to figure out how to use the space most efficiently. I took these pictures before I used it last weekend, and I kind of wish I’d waited to show you more exactly how I used it, but I think you can get the gist!
Clearly, I have a bit of a lemon theme going on back there. That started with the accent pillows for our deck furniture. I have the Directoire set from Ballard Designs, and our cushions are the Spa color, which is a really pretty light teal blue. They actually match my coffee mugs perfectly.
We accessorized with throw pillows in the Lemon/White Stripe, Amal Spa, and Lisbon Citrus patterns, which I love. Happily, it’s all still available! I wasn’t sure if they carried the same patterns year to year.
Unfortunately, they didn’t bring my garden stool back this year.
I wanted to add some flowers, and while I have a lot of live plants on my deck, I went ahead and used faux tulips for my bar cart. I like how the colors work with the other items, and I don’t have to worry about them dropping leaves or petals into the drinks.
The stack of melamine app plates (purchased a few years ago at Target) ended up going on the coffee table, and I brought out paper cups that I picked up at Target last weekend. I found the cutest citrus pattern that complements my towels and other decor, so I stocked up on paper plates, cups, and lunch napkins for future use.
I also ordered these yellow chevron paper straws, mostly as an accessory, although I suppose people can use them if they want. Then I filled in with a few things from around the house. The metal windmill is a Home Goods find.
I recently picked up this outdoor pitcher at Ballard. It has the look of mottled sea glass, but it’s actually made of shatterproof acrylic, so it’s pool-friendly.
We have a big metal drink tub that we use sometimes, but I like this plastic one better because you can easily see what’s in it. Plus, my metal drink tub is too big to set on the bar cart, and it’s also the same color. We’ll probably end up using both when we have bigger gatherings. It’s better for cans of soda, anyway.
We didn’t really need silverware for the light apps I served, so I ended up replacing the utensil caddy with a big bowl of single-serve chips. That went over really well. Even though I had apps available, people really loved the individual snack bags.
So even though we altered a bit for “real life” I still love how it all looked styled like this. And now I have those citrus patterned napkins to add to my silverware basket, which will brighten up that bottom shelf.
So that’s about it! It’s so much more fun to entertain when you don’t have to scramble at the last minute to gather the things you need, so I’m happy to finally have this set-up. I’ll link everything below for easy shopping, if you like anything.
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photos: Alison Cornell