I recently did a segment on Breakfast Television Toronto that highlighted the use of colour blocking for your summer entertaining.  For those who missed the segment, I thought that I would share all of the details here.

It can be hard to come up with original entertaining ideas that are cute, but don’t add a lot of work. I always advise to choose a theme when planning a party. This gives you a jumping off point. It can be as simple as a colour or a series of colours. Hence, colour blocking! It is a huge fashion trend that easily translates into entertaining and can be fun.

What is Colour Blocking?

Basically, colour blocking is the process of selecting strong, dominant colours and incorporating them into your design. Here are some examples of colour blocking used in fashion:

Gucci Spring 2011Collection

The same colour blocking principle may be used for entertaining  and can be accomplished in 5 easy steps:

Invitations

Start with the invitations.  Use mismatched coloured paper and envelopes. Or, create an electronic invitation (e-invite)  and choose bold colours for each word in order to establish the theme.  Consider cropping a fashion image or article from an online publication and simply pop it into the e-invite.

Dress the part

Wear brightly coloured pants and an equally bright, but different, coloured top.  If your guests ask, encourage them to do the same.

Décor

Dress your table to match the colour blocking theme.  Forget about everything matching.   Choose different coloured plates, cups, napkins, table cloth and other décor items.  Also, think about choosing coloured votives, coloured paper napkin holders, coloured napkins, etc.

Food

Have fun with your food.  Pick foods with vivid colours that are as cool to look at as they are to eat.  To help beat the summer heat think cold colourful soups served in small shot glasses, such as: sweet pepper and tomato soup, roasted yellow pepper soup or cold asparagus soup.  Place 2-3 little soup servings side by side on a plate to colour block them.

Use the same idea with the main course by taking advantage of vibrant coloured foods like: beets, bell peppers, squash/yams, broccoli, yellow wax beans, yellow tomatoes, corn and spinach. These can be served with a neutral meat like: chicken, fish or pork.

Don’t forget about dessert! Strawberries, watermelon, pineapple  are all bright colours that help achieve your colour blocking theme.

Drinks

Have fun with your drinks. One of my easiest tips for great coloured cocktails is to start with a clear base spirit. Vodka is the most common one. I like ABSOLUT. There is also gin, tequila, rum, white wine & a few specialty spirits. I used vodka on the show so I will stick with those examples here. Staying with the colour blocking theme, jazz up your base spirit with your favourite colourful fruit juice or muddled fruit.  You can even encourage people to mix their own cocktail colours.

Here are the cocktails I showcased during the BT Toronto segment. It doesn’t get any easier than these suggestions!

The Greyhound is a classic cocktail that has been around for years but is still a favourite. Get that great orange colour by combining Grapefruit juice & Absolut vodka

Use flavoured vodkas like Absolut Grapevine – This is a great new flavour combining the tastes  of white grape, dragon fruit and papaya. But, remember, it is still clear. To give it some flare add red cranberry juice, orange juice, blueberry juice or yellow pineapple juice.

Another way to add colour is to add muddled fruit to your vodka (regular or an unsweetened flavoured vodka, like Grapevine) and topping it up with soda. Examples of some fruit that would compliment the Grapevine are; kiwi, strawberries, blueberries or cherries. For regular vodka you can ANY fruit that you like and matches your colour choices!

That’s it! Just wait for your guests to arrive and have fun! Easy, right?

Decor
Decor
Drinks
Drinks
Choose the colours that make you feel the best
Choose the colours that make you feel the best
Food can be decor too!
Food can be decor too!
Don't for get to colour block the snacks too!
Don’t for get to colour block the snacks too!
Soups served in shooter glasses
Soups served in shooter glasses
Looks good enough to eat!
Looks good enough to eat!

Aren’t sure what colours to choose? Use the rule of 2 thirds; a common method used in colour blocking.

What is the rule of 2 thirds? Simple, make a perfect triangle on a colour wheel. Wherever the three points of the triangle land will be colours you use.

Colour blocking is great tool to help take some of the guess work out of your  entertaining plans.  Enjoy and have fun! 

Here is the link to the Breakfast Television Toronto segment… BT Toronto- Colour Blocking

~ Shoana

Shoana Jensen