Design Recipes: Throw memorable outdoor Labor Day party

Cathy Hobbs
Tribune News Service

Labor Day is often called the finale to summer, so why not take the opportunity to create a memorable party? As a host, you still have the opportunity to entertain guests graciously outdoors before the fall chill sets in.

Colors: For Labor Day, consider using colors that are bright and bold as well as warm and cozy. Red and yellow are great choices. They provide a touch of radiance and can be repurposed when spring comes.

Green is also a solid choice. Green decorative items blend well and help to highlight the natural environment, as the landscape is still lush and full.

Patriotic elements: Although mostly associated with the Independence Day holiday, don’t throw your July Fourth decor just yet. Patriotic colors work brilliantly with a Labor Day holiday party without feeling dated or inappropriate. Beyond Labor Day, you can also repurpose your patriotic decor for other holidays such as Memorial Day. Further, red, white and blue can also be paired with white and used to create a more nautical motif.

Decorative elements: Parties are always a wonderful time to showcase your creative skills as well as some of the decorative party items you’ve kept in the cupboards.

From the plates and napkins to a decorative tray, candle or condiment holder, consider elements that can help to add a decorative element to your table.

The essentials: First and foremost, I think about decor, how I wish the party to look and feel as far as style and theme, and then I determine what colors I wish to use.

3 Fs: The 3 Fs help to make your party truly come to life: food, fun and family and friends. Don’t ignore your food — food and beverages are really the cornerstone of any great party. The next F — fun — is your opportunity to entertain your guests, either with backyard games or poolside fun. Lastly, family and friends — this may be the most important of all — enjoy your guests!

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at