How I Turned A Cluttered Washroom Into A Patio For Parties

One of my favorite things to do is entertain, and there’s nothing that makes me happier than a night spent laughing and eating good food with friends. On these gorgeous summer evenings, my friends and I have been gathering quite a bit — from Jesse's roof to Victoria's backyard to Jen's patio. It's been so nice to eat outside, so I thought of turning my own awkward, long, outdoor hallway into a cozy patio that feels like an extension of my home.

Here's a peek at the before-and-after looks — and the little party we threw with Williams-Sonoma and Visa Checkout to celebrate.

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My washer and dryer (and a whole bunch of junk I never used) lived in the outdoor space, so the first step was to declutter. Because the hallway is so long, I wanted to focus on only half of it for now. We hung a compression rod and a few of my favorite white-linen curtains — to create a separation, but also to make it easy to access the other side.

We scrubbed the floors as best we could and laid down a bunch of vintage rugs that overlapped each other, to create a beautiful array of colors.

Styling by: Jay Tauritz.
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My friend Jay is amazing at collecting vintage items and finding the best gems on Craigslist and at the flea market. I knew he would be the perfect person to help me style up the space. For our party, we used all of these amazing outdoor-entertaining elements from Williams-Sonoma. The brand's cantina collection was great for the theme we had going on.
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We set up the little afternoon party outside and invited a few friends over for lunch — using the benches, low tables, and poufs to display and serve the food.
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Everyone was able to sit and eat comfortably, wherever they wanted to. To keep everything fresh and colorful, we used an assortment of playfully patterned dishes from Williams-Sonoma.

Related: How To Properly Pair Your Wine With Your Food
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We made: shrimp tacos; fresh guacamole; watermelon, orange, and feta salad; mango slaw; and corn on the cob. We used a sriracha rub on the shrimp and pan-tossed it in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
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Adding plants was an essential part of the makeover. I already had this rack hanging in the patio.
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I love to serve food buffet-style, so people can pick and choose their portions.

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And look at this cute shot-glass carrier!
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Infused water is always a hit, since it's both refreshing and beautifully presented. For ours, we used strawberries, cucumbers, and oranges.
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Have you ever used a salt plate for cooking? They're perfect for the oven, on the grill, or even just for plating.
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The snow-cone machine and party cups were definitely fun summer additions. Pro tip: To make boozy snow cones, mix the syrup with tequila or rum before drizzling on top.

Next: Healthy Snack Idea: Chia Seed Pudding With Shaved Ice