Text BY Lesley Harris Colvett | Photography by Ashley Upchurch | Event design by Angela Mazanti
Event Designer Angela Mazanti created a Southern Supper under the stars. Here’s how you can use the outdoors as an elegant, yet earthy backdrop ,to create the look.
“I took my inspiration from traditional Southern entertaining. Southerners love to entertain and they love to entertain in beautiful backyard settings.”
Set the Scene
For this party, Mazanti set the scene in a gorgeous backyard with lots of shade trees and lush bushes. “I wanted to create a setting that was beautiful with colors that would stand out on top of all of that green but also blend with it to create an elegant, relaxed feel. I wanted to take advantage of the home’s beautiful plantings and pond as well as the herb garden and very mature trees,” Mazanti says.
Mazanti chose decor that was colorful and pretty without being too feminine. “I used a masculine farm table with iron bases that mimic machinery as seating. The large trees gave the perfect opportunity to hang test-tube vases overhead with bright orange ranunculus blooms and round rose bowls with floating candles. They looked as if they were magically suspended over the table. I covered the wire with fresh greens and moss to give it that woodland appearance,” says Mazanti.
The Table Setting
Wanting to show off the beautiful wood finish on the table, Mazanti used bright coral placemats for a bit of color and texture. A variety of vintage china graced the table, including ivory and gold pieces and some in a gorgeous blue that Mazanti repeated in the glassware. Since blue and orange are opposites on the color wheel they are extremely complementary to each other, the designer explains. Mazanti continues, “I love to add vintage elements where I can so I used a collection of mismatched vintage silver napkin rings on ivory cloth napkins.” She placed loose flower bouquets in vintage silver julep cups. Nothing really matched as a set but everything looked lovely together. Antique chairs, some in natural wood tones and some painted a gorgeous woodland green, provided seating.
“Southerners love to entertain, especially in beautiful backyard settings. I wanted it to feel relaxed and comfortable but still have that good old Southern chic atmosphere,” Mazanti says.
Personalize the Look
Mazanti advises that if you want to re-create a similar look in your own backyard for a celebration or party, you should pull from the things that are special to you. Your favorite china maybe mixed with your everyday dinnerware. Use bright colors that will stand out against the green backdrop of trees and shrubs. Incorporate a rustic table or even consider bringing your dining room table outside for an unexpected twist. Everything takes on a new look in natural outdoor light. Don’t be afraid to climb a ladder and hang things like floating candles, vintage windows and teacups from the trees. Using unexpected elements outdoors really creates an almost fantasy setting that your guests will love and continue to talk about in the future. Happy designing!