With the days getting longer ... and warmer ... Americans are turning their attention to backyard makeovers instead of organizing closets and hosting barbecues instead of formal dinner parties. In fact, according to a recent survey from Sears, consumers will spend nearly $300 to upgrade their yards in preparation for hosting at least five parties this summer.
To get the most style and value when planning outdoor events, Sears has partnered with lifestyle expert and author, Julie Edelman, to capture trends and offer sanity-saving tips that make the most outdoor entertaining. "Designing a cozy outside space that mirrors the comforts and style of your inside space is the biggest trend going this year," explains Edelman. "And now with rising gas and travel prices, more and more of us are opting to stay closer to home and focus on hosting backyard events and reunions."
You don't need to possess a designer's know-how to make your outdoor spaces fun, functional and relaxing. Sears can help you create comfy zones that suit your mood and food. Here are a few ideas to help:
-- Room With a View: One of the season's top must-haves is a screened gazebo. The portable rooms create private, shaded settings and help keep out unwanted bugs. Add a sound system, portable fridge or cooler within arm's reach and you're ready to spend hours enjoying the great outdoors. -- Grilling Square Inches: Nearly 25 percent of Americans are looking for a new state-of-the-art grill this season. When shopping for a new grill, consider the cooking and counter size. Keep in mind, the more you entertain, the more grilling square inches you need. -- Mood Lighting: More than one-third of all women are looking to add some romance to their backyards or decks by incorporating decorative lighting. To help set the mood, dot the walkway or garden with solar lights, hang globe lanterns and install outdoor speakers. -- Cover-up: If you don't have time to power wash the deck or patio, just cover up that dirt. Throw down an outdoor rug (food, stain and mildew resistant) that not only looks great and saves you from another task, but also will be a lot gentler walking on in those bare feet! -- Conversation Starters: Set up cozy nooks that get you talking. Think about getting an outdoor fire pit as a centerpiece -- did anyone say smore's? ENTERTAINING TIPS:
Now that the space is ready, invite everyone over to show it off! Below are some interesting tips and tricks that will come in handy when planning and hosting your next outdoor party:
-- Bug-Off: Since bugs are the most dreaded aspect of outdoor entertaining (35 percent), offer each guest a dryer sheet to place in their pockets. Doing so will help ward off pesky bees and other insects. If all else fails, invest in a mosquito magnet, available at sears and sears.com. -- Keeping It Cool: For a couple of unique twists on the traditional beverage cooler, fill plastic flower pots with ice and add a little water, then stock them with single-serve refreshments. After the party, just let the ice melt, tilt and water the lawn! Or use your washer as an extra cooler by filling it with ice and canned beverages. When the party's over, let the ice melt and put the washer on rinse to drain. -- Try Some Comic Relief: Recycle your Sunday comics as a tablecloth for the kids. Just add crayons and you'll keep the kids occupied for at least a few minutes! Hold the corners down with colorful sand pails that can be used as take-home gifts for the kids. To help eliminate the wrinkles from the vinyl or plastic tablecloths try lightly blow drying them. -- Scoop 'N Serve: Enlist the kids to scoop out a variety of different sized melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew) and use them as serving bowls for coleslaw, potato salad, tossed and fruit salads. A simple serving idea that looks good and is a great activity for kids. -- Tidying Tips: Foil can be your best friend ... Grill on top of aluminum foil or in large foil pans and use crumpled foil to clean the warm grill grates. About Julie Edelman, The Accidental Housewife
Julie Edelman is a well-known lifestyle expert for the real life housewife who lacks the time, skill or desire to get it all done at home, work or play. She regularly appears on The View and has shared her sanity saving tips and wit on NBC Early Today, CBS Early Show, WB, FOX, The Food Network, network affiliates and cable stations nationwide. She is a featured talent for ABC Radio Networks and will be debuting a 60 second vignette series called, The Accidental Housewife's S.O.S. (Save Our Sanity) Solutions. Julie is also the author of "The Accidental Housewife: How to Overcome Housekeeping Hysteria One Task At A Time" (Ballantine Books, May 2006) and hosts the website http://www.theaccidentalhousewife.com/ .
About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services. Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,400 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes approximately 926 full-line and 1,100 specialty stores in the U.S. Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through sears.com, landsend.com, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S. The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 13 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at http://www.sears.com/ or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at http://www.searsholdings.com/ .
SOURCE: Sears, Roebuck and Co.
CONTACT: Larry Costello, Sears PR, +1-847-286-9036, or Corinne Gudovic,
Sears PR, +1-847-286-3226