Baby, you’re a firework, party like it. Image courtesy of Houses & Parties.

It’s no secret that magical entrepreneur Rebecca Gardner, creative director and founder of Houses & Parties, has an unparalleled gift for transforming any occasion into a total ball. 

Between her full-service event and interiors design collective in Savannah and New York City, and unique spin on making the everyday an exceptionally unique occasion (like pairing a J.McLaughlin floral maxi dress with an ice cream cone headband), we knew exactly who to turn to for some ways to jazz up this year’s firework-filled festivities. 

Between wicker can holders and jaw droppingly fun party extras—it’s about to be the best Fourth of July ever, Houses & Parties style.

5 Tips From Houses & Parties To Make This Fourth Of July Pure Fireworks

1.  Serve: Hot Dogs, Grilled Watermelon, S’mores

Everyone loves-to-hate a hot dog... until they're absent on the Fourth of July and the hostess is accused of treason. To avoid the sight and smell of cavemen gathered around a builder's grill, why not use these Petite Red Lacquered Grills on the table to let guests grill their dogs to their liking, hibachi-style? Keep the sun and flies away with striped bread warmers, which conveniently match our red and blue striped napkins and placemats

There's nothing more American than watermelon at the ready. I slice it up and serve it in a Beechwood Salad Bowl & Stand, to free up tablespace. Watermelon can be grilled (with halloumi) for the inevitable vegetarian or served as a made salad with this recipe from NYT.

Avoid the mustard stains of a buffet and set the table properly under the shade of a show-stopping tree (away from the splash zone of the pool) or a pergola, which makes hanging red striped hot air balloons over the table an easier task. I fill the hot air balloon gondolas with tin toy soldiers (sometimes parachuting from Midori ribbon), flowers, and a select few can be hoisted down for surprise guests during dessert. Dessert is on the table as well: grill your own s'mores. Cake walks were also a fun tradition in Texas growing up, so the best hostess gift for guests to bring is a cake that becomes a joyous activity.

If you're a guest (or hosting) on a boat, my go-to is Southern Fried chicken (Popeye's is the best. Round Swamp, if you must), tomato pie, cornbread muffins and the most delicious green salad from Via Carota. Google the recipe. It all goes onboard in a picnic basket.

2.  Play An Epic Playlist

Born on the Bayou from Creedence Clearwater Revival fades to Muddy Waters and other delta blues. Play songs that go with Miller Lite until sundown and songs that go with Champagne for fireworks, like Blossom Dearie or Gershwin with an accompaniment of children with cheap instruments from the five and dime.

3.  Best Dressed

Wear the Fram Dress in Mega Pop Floral and pair it with an ice cream headband to make them melt. The best iPhone photographer in the bunch captures you on a Josef Frank-upholstered lounge chair for a pattern-on-pattern Wes Anderson moment. 

Men are most dapper in one of our three larger-than-life straw hats with Lisbon Blazers in madras patchwork or a blazer in stone linen with a Seersucker Shirt underneath. 

I can't wait to see them all floating in the pool in these swim trunks with tie-one-on koozies.

4.  A Little Friendly Competition

Hosting mini Olympics with tempting prizes is rip-roaring fun, sometimes literally if someone's clothes are too tight. Our Egg & Spoon Race is great for this. How about a hot dog headband as the first place prize for a hotdog eating contest?

5.  Keep It Unexpected With...

Diversions hidden in plain sight. A Tablecloth-With-A-Twist is a tablecloth until dessert is cleared and the hostess introduces the game spinner. These pouches dressed as food are perfectly stuffed with distractions for the kids: a box of loud snappers to throw at the ground (and not each other), diving coins, or sunblock with glitter in it.

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