Hosting a BBQ is the quintessential way to celebrate with friends this summer. Doing it with great style and thoughtful details can be challenging amidst a sea of red checker tablecloth ideas. I wanted to think a bit more creatively about this great summer tradition and came up with stylish tips for hosting your own backyard BBQ.

1. Swirl with color: A string of hanging lights is a must for any stylish summer night. To bring that classic look into the afternoon try unscrewing the bulbs and swirling with a tiny amount of rust colored paint at the bottom of each bulb. Your guests will look up and see the same pretty look they would see at night, even while the sun is out. The paint also casts an extra pretty glow once the lights are turned on.

2. Package it well: Burger patties are a must at BBQ’s, but for some the look of all that meat can be distressing. Instead, make your patties in advance and package them in white butcher paper. Stamp the type of meat on top so guests can easily decide which meal they’d like. Beef, veggie, turkey and deer are four great options to have on hand. Finish each package with a simple threaded bow.

3. Tag it all: Basic office tags are an affordable and festive way to ensure your guests can always find their drinks. Look for small labels with string attached in the office section of your local box store (I scored a package of 100 of these for 80 cents). Punch a small hole near the top of each cup and string through. Top each label with an initial or two.

4. Write it out: If you want friends to feel at home, be sure to post the drink menu somewhere visible. An oversize chalkboard is a great way to do this, and (a plus!) it provides sweet kid distraction later in the day. Worth the design effort, installing one permanently will make the yard feel much more loved and lived in. If permanent is not your thing, make a large leaning board that can easily be moved indoors after the party.

5. Hang it up: Bring your decor up onto the walls for an easy way to draw guests eyes outdoors. These folder looking flower pots, called woolly pockets are in the running as my favorite new summer decor essential. A potted garden on the wall, that is just awesome!

All photos by Victoria Hudgins (me), taken at my favorite Reno restaurant, Old Granite Street Eatery. Also, do you have any easy and stylish BBQ tips to share?