7. Garden centerpiece: Keep it low and give the gourds a rest. Make a casual garland with clippings from your own yard—ours was inspired by one on the blog Oh Happy Day.
8. Versatile furniture: Mix indoor dining chairs with outdoor ones as the length of your guest list grows. We used a table with wheels to make it even easier to bring the party outside.
Get it: Nandor ($70), Nordmyra ($40), and Urban ($40) chairs by Ikea. Egg salt & pepper cellars by Roost ($44/pair; available at Sallie Mac, 707/937-5357). Cruets by Roost ($30/set of 2; available at Digs).