Poolside Entertaining with Domino Magazine

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

We’ve partnered with domino magazine this summer to help you kick your entertaining game up a notch! To inspire your next summer soirée, the editors at domino have designed three gorgeous outdoor spaces using products from Ballard Designs to create the perfect setting. Learn about their inspiration for these spaces, their best-loved ways to create a comfortable space, and even some of their must-make summer recipes!

At domino, our goal is to help readers incorporate style into their homes without the stress or headache of tracking down highly desired pieces. And Ballard is always one of our favorite resources when we’re looking for ways to incorporate elegance and comfort into your interior without breaking the bank. That goes for decorating outdoors, too. Which is why we eagerly accepted the challenge to design a poolside party for Ballard.


Our first step was choosing the right furniture for our setting. Inspired by the interiors, colors, and patterns of the Mediterranean Sea, the Amalfi collection offers the perfect accents for enhancing and balancing an outdoor entertaining area. We can easily see the pieces in this line placed beachside, poolside, or in a grassy lounge area for enjoyment during the warmest months of the year. We love the way the combination of calming blue hues, refined raw materials, and authentic Indian block-print patterns adds depth and perspective to an outdoor space.

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

two classic motifs

Here, we chose two major patterns—stripes and block prints—to bring classic elegance to a neutral entertaining space. While stripes have a nautical association, they’re a fashion mainstay, perennially gracing magazine covers, runways, and the chicest interiors. Block print is another example of a classic pattern that remains as on-trend today as it was 50 years ago. When it comes to decorating with this textile, consider using a color similar to your space’s anchor color. In this case, we went with blue, for its Mediterranean appeal.

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

utility meets style

Incorporating two different chair styles is the ideal way to break up a monotonous space and create variety. The key to crafting this look is using pieces with similar elements, such as wood tones or upholstery. The traditional structure of the director’s chair stationed near the chaise lounges is reminiscent of luxurious resorts, such as the J.K. Place, Capri—one of our favorite hotels, and a constant source of inspiration. Want to add some drama? Install color-block outdoor curtains for feminine flair.

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

entertaining staples

If you’d like to use your outdoor space for entertaining friends, there are two accent pieces that you might consider keeping on hand regardless of your personal style. First, an indoor/outdoor garden stool that can double as a side table or extra seating. Garden stools are timeless, endlessly versatile, and can be used in almost any room of the house and beyond.  The second necessity is a bar cart that can be used as a drink caddy, a food server, or a dessert display.

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

Recipe for blood orange sangria
Recipe for salmon canapes

for the feast

For your next alfresco party, try something light and refreshing. Salmon canapés are perfect for larger parties, while a mixed-green salad topped with red onion and beets satisfies a smaller, sit-down meal. And be sure to top off these satisfying starters with sweet blood-orange sangria!

Ballard Designs and Domino design a poolside summer party

Find all of the recipes for this party on our blog, How to Decorate, and find more entertaining ideas on our Entertaining Pinterest Boards.

For a chance to win $5,000 for the outdoor party of your dreams, enter to win our Summer Soirée Sweepstakes hosted by domino magazine and Ballard Designs. One grand prize winner will win $5,000 in Ballard Designs merchandise and three winners will receive $500 in Ballard Designs merchandise.

Caroline McDonald

Caroline lives for pairing together patterns, mixing furniture styles, and oogling over our newest furniture pieces. As you can imagine, her little 1920's craftsman is in a constant state of flux. Here on How to Decorate, it's her goal to help you turn your home into your own little slice of paradise.