Alfresco Summers

Teach customers how to create the perfect outdoor table
by Steve McKenzie

Warm weather, long days and starry nights lead us outside, spending time with friends and family, making memories over an alfresco lunch, dinner, drinks and picnics. A little prep ahead of time ensures you are ready to go at a moment’s notice, equipped with the proper entertaining items, creating less stress for you and putting your guests at ease.

Creating the atmosphere
Today’s technology makes it easier than ever to present an impressive outdoor table setting, full of style and design. From melamine dishware that look just like old-world European hand-painted pottery to synthetic crystal and polycarbonate glassware that look and feel like hand blown glass and crystal. Your guests will be delighted with your thoughtful alfresco setting, and you’ll keep your cool in the summer heat.

This season two major color palettes have emerged for outdoor entertaining. The first is the combination of pink and orange. This combination, used in conjunction with greenery or citrus green accents, shouts summer is here. The other big trend is all things blue and white, again. Yes, it is true that traditional blue and white was never really out, but it is so hot this summer. When you set a table with these palettes it tells your guests they are about to enjoy a special experience.

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Selecting the products
Let’s take a closer look at the materials: who provides them and how to care for them. The unbreakable melamine china of
Le Cadeaux comes in more than 11 patterns and 13 solids. It is dishwasher safe and practically indestructible. Your guests will not know it is melamine until they pick it up. They have two fabulous new patterns Tangerine—a beautiful turquoise, light blue and citrus pattern evocative of a Moroccan tile; the second, Havana—in blue and white, celebrates the new open relations with Cuba, bringing a bit of the island to your home.

The crystal and glass looking items of Mario Luca Giusti, made from a synthetic acrylic, feel in weight and design like their crystal counter parts. They come in a wide variety of styles from highball glasses to wine stems and even pitchers. You can set your table and not worry about glass breaking poolside or on the terrace, yet as you look at the table it sparkles and feels like crystal. On the more traditional side of glassware is the acrylic of Baci Milano, also distributed by Le Cadeaux. In its crystal turquoise and blush, it is reminiscent of the delicate pressed glass of a fine crystal house.

Le Jacquard Francais introduced some of their beautiful jacquard cotton weave patterns with an acrylic coating on one side. It is a hardy material, perfect for family meals, that wipes clean with a damp cloth. Occasionally, you can machine wash it, knowing it will withstand years of use. The best part is you do not compromise the beautiful French styling for practical function.

To add the last bit of excitement to your table, Sabre from France has amazing flatware, every color of the rainbow. Accent your table beautifully with their nylon-handled stainless as well as amazing serving pieces in Acrylic with fun patterns in any color you need. All are non-breakable, colorfast and dishwasher safe. With all the new products in the outdoor living market, the only remaining decision is to choose your date, invite your guests and then relax and enjoy.

For more information: Mario Luca Giusti – mariolucagiusti.com or Rosse & Associates, Inc.; Le Jacquard Français – le-jacquard-francais.com or Rosse & Associates, Inc.; Sabre – sabre.fr or Rosse & Associates, Inc.; and Le Cadeaux – lecadeaux.com or Tango.


Steve McKenzie and his wife Jill own a home décor and lifestyle store, steve mckenzie’s, located in Atlanta’s Westside design district. At this location they operate their interior design business and offer a collection of home furnishings, accessories and tabletop as well as a line of textiles derived from his paintings. They parlayed his designs into a line of upholstery, rugs through Verde Home and a line of women’s scarves.

Join us September 19 – 23, 2016 for Fall Design Week featuring Atlanta Gourmet & Gift. Shop in a relaxed environment, spend one-on-one time with your favorite showrooms, and hear speakers like Steve McKenzie, who is participating in a panel entitled Naturally Inspired: How Art, Design and Nature Collide at Serenbe — and the 2016 Serenbe Showhouse. After the panel we will be giving away five complimentary tickets to the Serenbe Showhouse as well as fresh goodies from Serenbe Farms.

Images courtesy of: Mario Luca Giusti, Le Jacquard Francais, Sabre and Le Cadeaux

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