Sun's Out, Fun's Out

10 accoutrements for all your summer soirees

Sure, Memorial Day marks the official start of the summer. But there's something about June that feels like purgatory (albeit, a very fun purgatory) before the season's unofficial start: the 4th of July.

That means you've got three weeks to get your warm-weather entertaining game down pat. You've already got lamb burgers, Cuban-style pork and boozy ice pops in your recipe arsenal, not to mention spiked iced tea, a 300-year-old rum punch concoction and beer-can Negronis on the drink front.

But that tablescape? Lacking. Here are the no-fuss details to round out your backyard fete.

Signal Flags Cocktail Set


You don't have to be a commodore to appreciate the geometric prints of these napkins. But if you do happen to be one, spell out celebratory messages between Pimm's Cups.

shopthomaspaul.com, $76

Lobster Picks


Seasoned party throwers know there are endless uses for toothpicks when playing host(ess): holding together your infamous hoagie, garnishing a martini, snacking on mini apps and more. This summer, don't fall back on the usual frilled varieties; reuse these handsome teak lobsters instead.

lekkerhome.com, $22

Bend Basket


Whether you're stuffing lobster rolls for a group or frying up a huge batch of oysters and clams, Bend Goods' neon wire baskets are an updated take on the classic red plastic boats.

room68online.com, $250

Galvanized Caddy with Flatware Tray


Moving the party to the patio results in a stupid amount of trips inside and out. Minimize the busy work (and maximize the lounging) by condensing all your utensils, condiments and napkins within an understated metal tray.

crateandbarrel.com, $40

Corn Holders


Those bright yellow plastic husks have had their day in the sun. Give them the summer off and sub in wooden holders with cutout holes that make for easy gripping, no matter how much butter you slather on.

westelm.com, $16

Hot Pot BBQ Grill and Planter


Are you going to be able to feed 20 using this grill? No. But you can host a nice little dinner party and fit this grill on a porch of any size. Even if you do have a mondo BBQ, pulling the plant topper off to reveal a mini grill is a killer party trick.

centuryhouseinc.com, $124

Three Sheets Cooler


A night of Dark and Stormies can make anyone lose their sea legs. Go ahead and embrace heeling over (even if you aren't on a sailboat) from the get-go with slanted glassware.

fishseddy.com, $8.50

Oyster Shucking Set


Nevermind the muscle power necessary to crack open one of those briny bivalves: Craggy shells are what really incite the shucking blues. Protect your hand with a handsome leather mitt made just for the task.

marchsf.com, $98

Picnic Forks


If you want to skip the dessert effort altogether, leave the grill on and put out chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows, along with multicolored picnic forks. Sweet.

rodales.com, $20