Can you suggest some good ways of creating gentle, moody lighting for an evening backyard get-together?
For starters, it is not a “backyard” but a “rear garden.” Hanging around in a “yard” does not sound inviting: The word makes me think of junkyards and used cars. A “garden,” on the other hand, evokes fairies that sprinkle magical dust. One example of a beautifully lit garden is Casa Tua Restaurant in Miami, which has metal lanterns hanging from the greenery letting out soft sprinkles of light. It’s elegant and enchanting. I also love the idea of lining a pathway with paper bags filled with sand and votives, or floating candles in a pool. Candlelight is the best source of warm, gentle illumination, but if you must go electric, use incandescent bulbs to avoid the harsh white light of halogen. In either case, be generous and place lights at varying heights and on the tabletop to make your guests’ worry lines and crow’s feet disappear. My best-lit moment was on the set of Oprah, where the cameras came with a full ring of lights; I was ageless. Make your garden timeless and your friends glow – a win-win for a great gathering.
Architect and interior designer Dee Dee Taylor Eustace appears on The Real Designing Women, which airs on HGTV Saturdays at 4 p.m. ET. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail email@example.com.