You’ve seen them so many times before. Stories with designers sharing “secrets” for successful visual presentations. Well here’s mine. I LOVE layering. Patterns, to be specific.

If you clicked on my “Paper and Plastic” post two days ago, I hope you were inspired by the bold and unexpected tablescape. Each component delivered a dynamic overlay of intensity. Through color, stripes, and geometrics, I designated structure. Florals nod to lush gardens in full bloom with feminine bliss. Summer, after all, is about bounty and enjoying the gifts of nature. The season is a spectrum of our world’s vibrancy, which is reflected in everything, including homewares and fashion.

My table focuses on products that fall into the paper and plastic category. Well, you guessed it, I created the casually chic table for an effortless event whether planned or impromptu. This sort of affair suggests a style edit that floats in with ease and comfort. Coordinating your look with the tablescape is a great way to enhance an entertaining theme

Breezy dresses keep us feeling cool and unrestricted while looking fresh and relaxed. I love to invest in a few each summer. Short sleeves or no sleeves, they’re wearable with flat sandals and can be dressier when I change to an elevated shoe. A fun skirt stacks patterns the way I like them, purposefully mismatched to feel nonchalant. Floral motifs in varying scales define each tier and reinforce the bohemian vibe making contrasting patterns feel happy together.

A white skirt sprinkled with yellow, gently ushers in a quieter pattern that would team perfectly with a solid top in an opposing color. And how sweet is this floral pants and crop top set? Worn in tandem or as separates, the updated cut will get you through backyard gatherings or beach bonfires with flair.

Solids are a classic, especially when detailed with lovely smocking, ruffled sleeves, and eyelet accents. Plus, solid pieces provide a foolproof foundation for the bold summer jewelry that I love to pile on.

No look is complete without accessories. Here, color and boldness are key ingredients to announce full summer mode. Big earrings and statement necklaces are my favorites to complement the arresting colors that make fabrics radiant. The same is true with a tote bag. I love a tote because it is roomy enough to contain my sunnies, a tube of sunscreen (best be prepared), a water bottle, and often a second pair of shoes—comfy flip-flops to walk home in.

This gathering may have limits on the number of guests (to adhere to social distancing recommendations) or location (because most of us will be spending the summer close to home). That can’t stop the fun. I usually make a Spotify playlist to get the party off to a festive start.

My kids don’t always agree with my musical selections, and while I know the party won’t be lonely, “Lonely” by Diplo and the Jonas Brothers will soothe the situation. Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” is an anthem for teens of the ’80s, and now a cover version by Lo Lo makes a respectable rendition to the original.

Lemonade might be infused with the sweetness of honey and so is “Honey” by The Motel Brothers and Katie Buxton. And speaking of libations, whether you’re indulging with a mai tai or margarita, Train and Skylar Grey’s “Mai Tais” will encourage a flavorful cocktail. And even if your party is only for a handful, “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa beats enough to get you out of the chair and dancing.