Five ways to keep it casual while summer lasts

by Neal Kielar, Tastemaker in Residence

There are so many celebrations that require a degree of formality. Weddings, big sit-down dinner holidays and even the nicer-than-average Valentine's Day outing. It's summer gatherings that usually allow us to let our hair down and keep it loose. 

Here are tips for keeping your celebration and table casual in the summer:
1. Bring on the color with a mixture of dishes, glassware and accessories - plus flowers from the garden or farmers market. 
2. Go natural with accessories made of wood, rattan and other materials that add texture. 
3. Think big by serving on platters and bowls filled with seasonal fare that encourages guests to help themselves. 
4. Get out of the house and use the outdoors - a patio, porch or patch of green space - as your entertainment backdrop. 
5. Break a sweat by adding activities best enjoyed outdoors and that everyone can enjoy - no special skills, over-competiveness or complicated rules needed. 

Bonus idea: Share your own tip for taking advantage of summer casual entertaining and celebration at


Neal Kielar is owner and creative director of MidModMen+friends, offering hand-selected vintage and modern home furnishings in its St. Paul, MN store. You can see current offerings, as well as behind-the-scenes images of their restoration projects, on Instagram and Facebook.