Summer is in full swing and that means we’re gearing up to have a simple & sophisticated summertime entertaining with friends and family. The sun is shining, days are longer, and we’re all itching to get out of the house and host our friends and family. As temperatures rise, we opt for simple sophistication that doesn’t take hours to execute. After all, the last thing we want to do is prep and clean while our guests are lounging poolside or enjoying the evening breeze. For any get-together, from an intimate dinner party to a major celebration, a few small design touches go a long way to set the stage. Whether you’re beating the heat indoors or dining al fresco, we’ve got tips to help you host a low-maintenance gathering that feels at once elegant and easygoing. Read on for inspiration that’s sure to set your summer soiree up for success.

The Set-Up

What’s a dinner party or barbeque without bites and appetizers? As the weather warms, we like to keep things light and refreshing—and keep prep as painless as possible. For a fresh hors d’oeuvre that’s both savory and a little sweet, try our favorite Watermelon and Feta Salad, served with the sturdy yet sophisticated El Dorado Salad Set in hammered stainless steel. Its classic yet modern design brings an elegant touch to any table—and also makes it an ideal housewarming or hostess gift.

For pre-dinner bites that are easy to prepare and even easier to clean up, we love Caprese skewers or some well-considered charcuterie served on our El Dorado Brass Trays, available in both square and rectangle designs. Handcrafted in hammered brass with an easy-to-clean, anti-tarnish finish, they’re as functional as they are beautiful—the perfect backdrop for fresh summer fare.

The Main Event

For low-maintenance mains in the warmer months, grilling is a no-brainer. Whether you and your guests fancy steak, seafood, or anything in between, we think you’ll find plenty of inspiration here. And when it’s time to pull your masterpiece off the grill and serve it up, look no further than the Alta Serving Meat Fork. Designed in micro-hammered stainless steel for a masterful blend of style and functionality, this serving fork makes any main dish that much more inviting.

On the side, summer vegetables are our go-to—not only because they’re delicious, but because they’re oh-so-easy to toss on the grill. Place them over the flame for a few minutes, then invite your guests to serve themselves with our Alta Vegetable Serving Spoon. An essential in any hostess set, this thoughtfully crafted stainless steel serving accessory is designed to last a lifetime.

Mary Jurek Design wishes you a long and restful summer and a simple & sophisticated summertime entertaining time with your loved ones. Happy grilling, gathering, and eating!

Author Dani Cramer

Dani Cramer is a writer and editor based in Southern California. When she isn't perfecting clients' masterpieces or working on her own, you can find her trying new recipes, hosting at her apartment, or bingeing the latest bestseller.