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How to Throw a Charming Outdoor Bohemian Bash

Hostess extraordinaire Athena Calderone hosts an elegant bohemian affair at her Amagansett beach home and shares her entertaining secrets with us.

Athena Calderone's Summer Soirée
Midsummer Soiree by Athena Calderone.

"I wanted to evoke this beach-inspired intimate yet grand experience on my lawn -- combining a feeling of elegance with a casual, relaxed environment" says Athena Calderone of the summer soiree she hosted at her home in Amagansett last summer. The "intimate" affair brought together 38 guests including decorators Nate Berkus and Jeremiah Brent, The Glamourai blogger Kelly Framel, Guest of a Guest founder Rachelle Haurska and her husband hotelier Sean MacPherson (of The Ludlow, The Marlton and Crow's Nest hotels, among others).


As an interior designer and the lifestyle blogger behind Eye Swoon, Calderone knows a thing or two about entertaining.

Athena Calderone's Summer Soirée

To accommodate the extensive guest list, the backyard was outfitted with a dramatically long, low-to-the-ground plywood communal table custom-made for the occasion. Guests were seated on plush floor pillows scattered over Moroccan rugs scattered around the lawn. "The Moroccan and Turkish rugs I've collected over the years added a touch of geometric mismatched whimsy, underscoring the bohemian beachy ambience in my garden," says Calderone. Twinkling bistro lights cemented the fantasy-like feeling of the midsummer night's theme. 

Athena Calderone's Summer Soirée

Simplicity was the key element in planning this dinner party. The oversized table was casually topped with a craft-paper runner. The white linen napkins were dip-dyed to match the flowers that were handpicked from the garden and used as centerpieces.

Athena Calderone's Summer Soirée

For table decoration, Calderone used elements found around her property in lieu of over-the-top centerpieces. She placed freshly clipped greens from the property as florals in vintage brown apothocary bottles. Then, "I clipped the tips of grasses growing on my property to delicately place upon each guests dinner plate," she says. 

Athena Calderone's Summer Soirée

The menu, designed by chef and "T Magazine" contributor Jeff Schwartz, featured simple Mediterranean-inspired family style dishes. Vibrant summer salads were prepared in advance along with kebabs of shrimp and lamb just waiting to be thrown on the grill at the last minute. 


"Everyone told me they all felt like old friends by the end," says Calderone. "There's something about food and this magical quality of togetherness for me that entertaining brings forth."


These no-sew suede pouches are the perfect accessory for a bohemian soiree!