How to Throw a Lovely Garden Party on Labor Day

Celebrate Labor Day and say farewell to the summer that was by throwing a pleasant garden party for friends and family. Here are a few tips on how to throw a quaint and marvelous get-together right in your own outdoor space:

A Lovely Location for a Party
Photo by Devonshire via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0.

1. Send out Invitations

Make sure to send out personal invitations to friends and family. Almost everyone makes plan for the Labor Day weekend, so it’ll be great if you get confirmations early on. Don’t forget to attract them with delicious dishes and good company.

2. Organize a Great Menu

Juicy and Tangy Ribs
Photo by stevendpolo via flickr. CC BY 2.0.

Food is the star of any gathering, so prepare something truly sumptuous and filling. For starters, prepare this delicious and refreshing watermelon feta salad with mint from The Shiksa in the Kitchen. For the main entrée, go for something smoky and delectable. Fire up the grill and prepare this mouthwatering sweet and tangy barbecue ribs from A Sweet Pea Chef. Everyone will go back for seconds with this juicy and irresistible entrée.

A Yummy Turkey Burger
Photo by isab3l via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

For a different spin on the classic American burger, try these Hawaiian turkey burgers from Taste of Home. As a side dish, prepare this hefty serving of potato and cheese puree from The Galley Gourmet.

Delcious Sangrias
Photo by divya_ via flickr. CC BY-SA 2.0.

For drinks, these classic sangrias from Smitten Kitchen will perfectly complement the amazing food.

3. Prepare a Charming Dining Space

Set up a couple of tables and comfortable chairs. Make sure to place mats for a more elegant and sophisticated look. For the food, it might be better to prepare a buffet table. This will make it easier for the host to distribute the food and drinks. Make sure to serve a wide selection of drinks, including beer and wine for the adults, and different kinds of sodas and juice boxes for the kids.

A Great Buffet Table
Photo by Cambridge Brewing Co. via flickr. CC-BY-ND-2.0.

At the same time, the guests can easily stand up and enjoy seconds to their heart’s desire. Also, hire someone to put up a tent for the occasion. This might come in handy if it becomes too hot or if it starts to rain.

4. Prepare Games for Children

Some of the kids might get bored while the adults immerse themselves in their lively and engaging conversations. To avoid this, prepare a couple of board games that will occupy their time. Classic ones like Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble, and Sorry are surefire hits. For something a little more challenging, set up a Ping Pong table or volleyball net so that your kids can play a match or two. This is also a great way for the kids to make friends.

5. Enjoy the Company of Friends

After all the preparations have been made, it’s time to sit back and relax. Introduce people to one another. Spark up interesting conversations. Relive the fun memories of summer. Just enjoy! At the end of the day, it’s all about good people coming together.

Throw a wonderful garden party to cap off the summer and celebrate Labor Day with these tips from Tree Classics.

At Home With Tree Classics: Comfy Cushions to Spruce Up Your Home

If you want to keep your home looking fresh and vibrant, but feel that a complete design overhaul may be too drastic a change, you’ve got nothing to worry about! With throw pillows that double as decorative accents, there is no need to sacrifice comfort for style. Here are two easy steps you can follow as you spruce up your home with cushions:

Step 1: Choose the Perfect Throw Pillows for You

The first step to decorating with throw pillows is knowing which design to use. There are:

1. Throw Pillows that Add Color

Pillows not only provide comfort. They also help you bring your home to life. Give your living room a pop of color with vibrantly hued cushions. Stay close to your original motif with a pillowcase color that goes harmoniously with your interiors.

2. Throw Pillows that Add Texture

Texture is a powerful element in home design. They add unique, eye-catching details to what would otherwise be a plain fabric or surface. Rich textures also give a tactile component to your design. A soft and fluffy cushion underlines the luxury and warmth of your home, while a firm and clear-cut throw pillow gives structure and elegance to your living spaces.

3. Throw Pillows that Play with Shapes

The shape of your cushions has an impact on the look of your space. Different shapes also have practical benefits. For instance, a square throw pillow is most commonly used not only because it is versatile, but also because it provides back support on a hard chair or sofa. A rectangular cushion, on the other hand, is great for neck or lower back support in armchairs. If you have stiff or hard chairs, you can also soften up the look by adding round pillows. Add comfort with a flat round cushion you can sit on.

If you have a leather sofa, you can add a bolster pillow instead of a square one, which tends to slide down incessantly. Bolster pillows can be used as an armrest or a headrest. More importantly, they are good for providing support from the neck down to the lower back.

Step 2: Get Creative with Your Choice of Throw Pillows!

1. Combine, combine, combine!

Don’t be afraid to bring together cushions of varying designs. You won’t know if a grouping works if you don’t try to mix them up!

Geometric Patterns. The pillows on this couch all boast of geometric shapes, which are perfect for a simple couch with a subtle color scheme. The way the cushions are unevenly positioned also gives the room a hint of asymmetry.

Solids + Pattens. Make your sitting room more vibrant by combining pillows with patterns and pillows with solid colors. In this room, the solid pillow mirrors the curtains to unify the theme. Making it more interesting are the patterned pieces, which not only come in the same shade, but also reflect the foliage of the plant behind.

Same Pattern, Different Shades. This is probably the safest way to combine your cushions. Find a hue that can blend harmoniously with your seat, then look for a pattern that features different shades of that color. This deck features patterned pillows in reversed or inverted colors.

Different Patterns and Solids of the Same Color. A daring combination will give you a satisfying spectacle like this one. Mix different pillow styles that don’t follow a theme. As long as they are in the same color palette. It will turn out just fine!

2. Have endless fun!

Make them. Buy them. Choose them. Simply have fun. At the end of the day, there are no rules in mixing and matching pillows. Whether you go vivid or safe, take comfort that you can change them up in just a few minutes of your time.

When you showcase your collection, not only do you show your personal style, but you also tell your story. Be bold. Tell us how you would use cushions to spruce up your home!

Tree Classics’ Favorite Recipes: Say Cheesecake!

The cheesecake has become one of the world’s most loved desserts. Wonderfully paired with coffee or tea and perfect after a delicious supper, the cheesecake is simply divine with its sweet, creamy, and tangy taste, rich and soft texture, and moist crust. Here are several mouthwatering recipes that will satisfy any cheesecake lovers’ craving:

(cheesecake) Photo by kulinarno via Flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.
Photo by kulinarno via flickr. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

1. Cheesecake Chess Squares

The simple but superb Cheesecake Chess Squares from Six Sisters’ Stuff capture the goodness of the classic cheesecake in just one single bite. This no-fuss recipe only needs ingredients that are readily available in the kitchen and only takes less than an hour. Kids will love this wonderful snack.

2. No-Bake Lime Cheesecake

(lime) Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
Photo by Shaw Girl via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The lime cheesecake has always been a summer favorite. Treat yourself to this dessert right before the sunny season ends! The light and zesty flavor is refreshing. This No-Bake Lime Cheesecake from chef-in-training is a simple take on the classic dish.

3. Easy Chocolate Cheesecake

(choc) Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Back to the Cutting Board via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Easy Chocolate Cheesecake, also from chef-in-training, is a delightful treat for chocolate lovers. Made with only four ingredients, this quick, microwave-made dessert is for anyone who has had a long day and just wants a bite of something sweet to take all their stress away. Make sure to serve this cheesecake chilled for a yummier experience.

4. Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake

(peanut) Photo by Sassy Sampler via Flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
Photo by Sassy Sampler via flickr. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

A must-have snack for the kids, this Miniature Peanut Butter Cheesecake from Taste of Home is better than any peanut butter cup out there. Give your kids this sumptuous treat after a long day of fun and games.

5. Double Decker Cheesecake

If you can’t get enough of that delicious filling, then this Double Decker Cheesecake from I am Baker is for you. This is every cheesecake aficionado’s dream made even more palatable because it has two thick layers of cream cheese.

6. Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake

Most people would think that these two flavors just wouldn’t get along, but they’re truly a match made in culinary heaven. This marvelous Pumpkin Oreo Cheesecake from Sweet Treats and More is perfect for holidays and special occasions this fall.

7. Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust

A more elegant version of the timeless dish, the Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust from Barefoot in the Kitchen has a magnificent filling and mouthwatering almond crust. Prepare this dish for a dinner party. It will make for the perfect end note to a great evening.

Satisfy your cheesecake cravings all year round with these recipe recommendations from Tree Classics!

5 Ways to Use Pebbles as Home Decor

Pebbles are a great way to incorporate the beauty of nature in both interior and exterior home design. Here are some ideas on how you can use these stones of various shapes, colors, and sizes to bring in a completely different look to your living spaces:

1. Pebbles as Decorations

Using pebbles as ornaments can be as easy as placing a bowlful on a center table to lend an earthy, Zen-like appeal, or piling them in a regular glass vase with water topped with a nice flower. Pebbles can also be used to substitute functional decorations at home. Some examples are candle holders, paper weights, and bookends. Pebbles can also be utilized as your own canvas. You can paint animals, landscapes, and portraits, or decoupage flowers on them!

Tree Classics Pebbles
Photo by Avia Venefica via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

2. Pebbles as Wall or Floor Details

Pebbles offer a great way to add texture to walls and floors. In this kitchen, the designer artfully used them along the curved island, breaking up the traditional limestone tile layout and highlighting the kitchen space. On a wall, a pebble border adds three-dimensional quality to an otherwise flat tile design. It also helps in tying together a neutral color scheme.


Eclectic Kitchen by Victoria Interior Designers & Decorators The Sky is the Limit Design

 

3. Pebbles in the Bathroom

Pebbles bring a relaxing, spa-like feel to bath spaces, and they work well with wood and other natural elements. Cover an entire vanity wall with pebble tiles to create a dramatic focal point. In the shower area, pebble tiles are an excellent choice for a slip-resistant floor. A plus is that they feel like a gentle massage on your bare feet.

4. Pebbles below the Stairs and along Paths

Placing pebbles just below the stairs can add beautiful color and textural contrast. This delivers an unexpected eye-catching accent to perk up quiet corners in your home. You can also layer pebbles along paths. The result will be a welcoming and visually pleasing space. 

5. Pebbles as Pool Details

Pebbles work well with water features. As a lining for swimming pools, they create a spectacular landscape. Pebbles also create a natural, beach-like atmosphere and can be used to cover unsightly areas around the pool.

There are many ways to use pebbles in sprucing up your home. We hope these ideas inspire you!