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Your Guide to the Ultimate Stay-at-Home Picnic

This spring there are some real truths that we can’t deny. For example, many if not most of us are orders to stay at home for our own health and safety. Some are on the front lines, while others are not leaving the house. Wherever you fall on this spectrum, our hope is that there are moments to sit, eat and breathe, even if they are few and far between. Today’s post is dedicated to the stay-at-home picnic. While we’re featuring some new products in the photos, rest assured you can use items you already own to create an enjoyable picnic experience. You can picnic in the backyard, on a balcony, or even indoors if outdoor space is scarce. We’re all in this together. [indoor picnic featured at IKEA]

Picnic Essentials

One major benefit of a stay-at-home picnic is the reduction in food storage and food transportation duties. After all, carrying the items from your kitchen to the backyard or living room shouldn’t involve a lot of temperate control or food preservation responsibilities. Yay! So make it easy, grab your favorite picnic blanket, and let’s do this thing. [Rainbow Picnic Cloth from Anthropologie]

Got kids? The stay-at-home picnic is a family-friendly activity. Keep this in mind as you choose your ideal picnic food. The easier you make it for the kids to grab and enjoy what they love, the more relaxing an experience it will be. For example, taking the time to slice fresh fruit and veggies that they can easily access means more time to enjoy your tapas! [living room picnic featured at Say Yes]

If your picnic is adults-only (or a picnic of one), go for what comforts and nourishes you, with a dash of “something special” thrown in. Cheese platters and your favorite bottle of wine are welcome. So are pillows, poufs and plenty of textiles to layer for extra style points. [photo by Alice Gao and styling by Kira Corbin for Refinery 29]

There’s no rule that says your picnic has to occur on the ground. Pick a spot that feels like a haven. An outdoor table will definitely do the trick, especially if it’s surrounded by your favorite plants. [Cross Teak Picnic Table from Terrain]

Is a picnic basket absolutely necessary for your stay-at-home picnic? No. Would it make things more fun? Absolutely! Especially if kiddos will be enjoying the meal with you. It conveys a sense of something special, while at the same time capturing a sense of normalcy during these unusual times. If you don’t have a formal picnic basket, any basket or container will do. Grab a storage basket, a belly basket, or an Easter basket. Fill it with a few of your favorite foods and let the picnic ritual begin. [Wicker Picnic Basket from Anthropologie]

Since part of the fun of picnicking is stopping and savoring a delicious bite, include a favorite activity to make the experience an event rather than a quick meal. Whether it’s a favorite board game, a poetry reading, or even a movie night, don’t be in a hurry to wrap up. Be still and make this picnic an event to remember. [Fruit Checkers from Urban Outfitters]

Fun Touches

Now that the stay-at-home picnic “essentials” are taken care of, it’s time to add the “extra somethings” that are helping all of us get through these long days. There are no hard-and-fast rules on what constitutes a fun touch, but we recommend something that makes you smile, that helps you feel like you’re getting away from your daily routine, and that helps create a special memory. If you enjoy being creative, style the event the way you would plan a party. Gold flatware included! [living room styling from A Fabulous Fete]

Whether you’re inside or outside, whether you’re alone or with others…string lights are always a good idea. Enough said! [picnic featured at The Home Depot]

You can also combine your picnic with a fun craft or embellishment that will enhance the experience. For example, adding flowers to a picnic basket is a great way to add beauty to the meal, and if you have kiddos at home, it will serve as a craft that you can all do together. Or a craft that will keep them busy while you work from home, prep for the picnic, do housework…yeah, we’re all in the same boat here! [floral picnic basket craft from A Beautiful Mess]

Speaking of flowers, don’t hesitate to create an impromptu bouquet by cutting fresh flowers from the yard. It’s spring after all, so there’s a lot blooming. In fact, greenery of any kind is welcome. If you don’t have an outdoor space, a houseplant or faux plant can make an equally fetching centerpiece. [laid-back picnic from Camille Styles]

As you set the stage for your picnic, add anything to the mix that brings you joy. Cloth napkins, interesting flatware, a brass container for a centerpiece, a special appetizer. All are welcome. Be spontaneous and have fun with it. [table setting ideas featured at Decoist, photo by Kate Simmons]

California filler in a brass bowl


Serving pieces that you reserve for entertaining are invited to this picnic. If you’re quarantined at home with a group of more than three, items like a drink dispenser may even make sense. Anything that allows you to stay seated, relaxed and present/in the moment. Let everyone serve themselves so one person doesn’t have to serve as the host. [Galvanized Metal Beverage Dispenser from Terrain]

Tents, forts and cozy houses are welcome at this stay-at-home picnic. With everyone stuck at home, your interior can seem like your entire world. Which can feel confining. But creating a little home within the home can actually broaden your surroundings and somehow make your abode seem bigger once you leave the tent, fort or temporary dwelling! And it goes without saying that tents are beyond fun for the kids. [photo by Selena Whittaker, bohemian picnic featured at Camille Styles]

Let there be music. Now IS the time to break out the guitar, the ukulele, the keyboard, the saxophone…you get the idea. Sing along. Reminisce about the past experiences that the music conjures. Even though these weeks haven’t been easy ones, you can still create some meaningful moments with your nearest and dearest. [indoor picnic date night featured at Broma Bakery]

We at Decoist wish you and yours moments of peace and calm in this spring storm. You are in our hearts.

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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