Palm Beach Picnic: 10 tips for your indoor picnic

Last week I was approached by Red Envelope to develop a concept for an indoor picnic.  No, they didn't pay me or give me product, it was simply a request for ideas.  After a bit of thought I said yes, because I absolutely love to entertain and think of a new spin on an old idea.  
Plus, it's always fun to create something out of nothing.

The theme I landed on was "Palm Beach Picnic".  A more-is-more type of look full of color, bamboo, florals, and fancy.  An indoor picnic doesn't necessarily need to be sparse and have a vinyl tablecloth.  It all started when I found a few boxes of patterned straws and knew that was the color scheme I wanted.  Then I went to Joann's for fabrics and found the most beautiful emerald-green eyelet fabric.  I knew I wanted the eyelet as the tablecloth.  Next, I hunted for runner fabric and discovered a fantastic floral.  It had every color I needed and would really look fabulous against the green.

The best part about this project?  Ashley Avila Photography graciously agreed to take the photographs.  She's a photographer in Grand Rapids that specializes in interiors and weddings.  She has a great eye and I'm so thankful she was willing to come over and capture this indoor picnic idea.  Another huge bonus?  Rebecca Lemon of Ideal Events and Design saw what I was planning from Instagram and offered to create the menu, place cards, and invitation.  Of course I said yes, and she came over the next day, offered to let me borrow a few key props and was here for the photo shoot helping me make everything photo perfect.  Thanks ladies!

~10 tips for your Indoor Picnic~
#1.  Make it personal.  Everyone feels more special when their food is individualized for them. Family style has its place, but for an indoor picnic I recommend baskets on each plate, place cards, and great eats that's already ready to go in their basket.

#2.  Add natural elements such as bamboo, greens, flowers, or even a wooden picnic basket.

#3.  Make it pretty use what you have!  An indoor picnic has advantages, and one of them is that you can feel free to use the beautiful glassware you've been keeping in storage for a special occasion.  Having people over?  That's your special occasion.  

#4.  Use color to create the wow.  The fuchsia napkins, emerald table cloth, and floral runners create interest and an overall wow to the table.  Don't be afraid of color.  This is a fun and a great chance to play around with colors you might normally shy away from.

#5.  Keep it simple.  Kale salad, ham and apple sandwiches, and fruit were a simple but pretty on the eyes lunch.  Easy and tasty!

#6.  Go for nostalgia.  Everyone remembers eating ice cream sandwiches in the summer and trying to keep the ice cream from melting down your hands.  These sprinkle cookies from the grocery store bakery make a fantastically fun ice cream dessert.  

#7.  Have food out when your guests arrive while you finish up.  A cheese platter with a bit of fruit takes seconds to assemble and a wooden cutting board goes back to adding in those natural elements I mentioned before.  This cheese tray is also great for when the picnic is over, but everyone is lingering around the table talking.  Small bites during conversation is always nice.

#8.  Bring the outdoors in!  I added two bamboo side tables from my living room to flank my buffet and placed huge ferns on them from my yard.  If we're going to picnic inside, I want to feel the lushness of eating outdoors but without the bugs. ;-)

#8 Mix a pitcher drink so guests can help themselves.  This was a strawberry basil cocktail.  Not only does it taste great but it looks pretty.

#9.  Add votive candles.  They are inexpensive and take any party from plain to special.

More individual, nostalgic picnic food in the form of popcorn with sprinkles.  Rebecca created the pattern for these paper liners and printed them on velum.  So pretty!

#10.  Add flowers from your local greenhouse or grocery store and assemble them yourself.  You don't need to spend a fortune for your flowers to have great impact.  

Thank you for joining us for this Palm Beach Picnic!  What's your favorite tip?  Would you try a picnic indoors?  What I love about this concept is that it could easily translate to a baby or wedding shower, a bridal luncheon, or even mother's day brunch.  I hope you enjoyed this styled shoot!

Thank you to Ashley Avila Photography and Ideal Events and Design for their contributions!

*This post is part of RedEnvelope's Anatomy of a Picnic Guide.*

Whether you're near or far, I would love to work with you to create a home you love.  Email me at abbyminteriors@gmail.com for more information on my local & e-design services.


  1. Oh my! Everything looks so pretty. And fancy.
    Entertaining is always so stressful for me. So I don't do it very often. But your ideas seem like most of it can be done ahead of time. That alone would reduce most of my stress.

    1. Mary- Yes! Basically everything can be done ahead of time. That's the fun part is setting up early so you can be relaxed for your guests and enjoy the process. Abby

  2. How gorgeous is this table?? How fun! I love that everything you do has a look that would allow me to pick out something you've done from a mile away. That's hard to achieve, I think, especially as you have a twist that is all your own. Anyway, love this picnic idea -- I'm inspired to create my own ;-)

    1. Thanks Carol! I can't wait to see your version of an indoor picnic! xo, Abby

  3. Thank you Kristie! So sweet of you to say. xx

  4. You did an amazing job! It turned out so beautifully! Love all of your tips!

  5. Abby- nothing short of fabulous!! I LOVE the idea of the indoor picnic- we are always hosting and it would be fun to change it up a bit! Beautiful job!

  6. This is so beautiful!! I love every single detail! And everything is so beautifully styled. You outdid yourself! What a fabulous event. Those were some lucky guests.

  7. So pretty! Love the idea of bringing ferns in from the outside…they really took it to the next level!


Abby Manchesky Interiors is a boutique design firm based in Grand Rapids, MI. Combining the new traditional, vintage and a dash of the unexpected is her ideal. Contact Abby Manchesky Interiors for more information on available interior design services for clients near and far. abbyminteriors@gmail.com | 616.719.9400


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow by Email