5 Fun Party Hacks That Will Save Your Summer

Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
If the Hamptons have a reputation for glitz and glamour, where bankers charter helicopters to make a splash at plein air fetes in Amagansett, then Montauk is its low-key cousin. It's the spot where you arrive in a woody with a surfboard strapped to your roof and a case of rosé taking up the better part of your trunk.

That low-maintenance vibe is just what drew interior designer and event planner Sam Masters to the tip of Long Island, where he threw a late-summer dinner party for close friends. The decor was a a mix of sophisticated DIY elements — rocks found on the beach used as namecards, placemats whipped up at FedEx — and budget-friendly buys. Click through to hear all of Masters' great advice and see pics from the gorgeous evening. Then, tell us in the comments: How are you celebrating the end of summer?
1 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Masters Takes Montauk — no, it's not a new reality series, it's a one-night only affair hosted by interior designer and head of special projects at Lela Rose, Sam Masters.
Advertisement
2 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Monstera deliciosa leaves were used in lieu of a floral arrangement. "Every party needs some key details, but they don't have to be fancy," Masters says. "Bamboo flatware instead of [silverware], simple tropical leaf arrangements instead of flowers, [etc.]"
3 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"A friend and I collected rocks on the beach in Montauk the day of the party," Masters says. "I used a white paint pen to write all the guests' names."
4 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
The resulting namecards are totally practical — and adorable!
5 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
The Alabama native set the table with a mix of found and DIY elements.
6 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"I found this cool bamboo flatware at Paper Presentation," Masters says. "I painted the ends of them red, and cut small pieces of blue painter's tape to add a crisp nautical stripe."
Advertisement
7 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
The earthy tones of the linen tablecloth elevate the humble rock name cards for an effect that's totally intentional (and pinnable!).
8 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Masters revels in the glow of a table well set. "The key to a low-key party is to keep it easy. I tried to limit the amount of things I was putting on the table so the set up would be easier."
9 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Guests stroll up to the party along the beach.
10 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
It's alright to take your rosé personally.
11 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"A rubber stamp of a lobster would have been perfect for this — but I couldn't find one," Masters explains. "So, I drew a lobster on [a few tags] with a space for guests' names and also a few with an anchor. The guests took creativity into their own hands at the party and decorated their own tags."
Advertisement
12 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"I sourced vintage images of famous people in the Hamptons and added a caption to each, so that it looked like a postcard," Masters explains. "Then, I sent the images to my local [FedEx] to be printed on 11x17 paper, and voilà — chic and inexpensive placemats!"
13 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
One stem of monstera in a vase it all it takes to set the mood.
14 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
What makes a party awesome? In the words of Masters: "Great friends, good music, and plenty of booze!"
15 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Masters mingles with guests at dusk.
16 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"Lela [Rose] taught me a super simple stitch I use on napkins. I loved the 'You are my lobster' napkin — a reference to an episode of Friends."
Advertisement
17 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
Masters greets a friend on the beach.
18 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
"[I always forget] to take enough pictures," laments Masters. (That's why we were on hand for the evening!)
19 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
A couple takes in the view before dinner.
20 of 20
Photography by Stephanie Noritz.
The beach at dusk.
Advertisement