How to Bring the Hamptons to Your Home Celebrations

 Peter Hurley

Mark Addison, a top New York City event planner, is the expert on all things chic and clever and has put his good taste to use with Kelly Ripa, Antonio Banderas and Jennifer Lopez. Here, he provides entertaining tips perfect for the summer season.

As the summer continues to heat up, so do the celebrity parties — especially in the New York City elite's beloved weekend getaway spot known as The Hamptons. Social calendars are filled with cocktail parties, dinner parties and major summer happenings such as one of my favorite mega Hamptons events (one that I produce) called Super Saturday, benefitting The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. This year, the event will be hosted by fashion icon Donna Karan and A-list celebrities including Kelly Ripa and Twilight star Ashley Greene.

With inspiration from the Hamptons scene, I have created a party theme I've dubbed "Beach Shack Meets Beach Chic." To replicate this look in your own backyard, try the following tips, guaranteed to bring the elegance of the Hamptons to your home all summer long.

– Hydrangeas are the unofficial flower of the Hamptons — they grow just about everywhere! Fill up a whitewashed vase with the lavender and blue colored hydrangeas with wisps of bear grass for a classic Hamptons centerpiece.

– Ashley Greene made a splash in the pages of Sports Illustrated in a painted-on "skinsuit." Make a splash at your next fete with swimsuit-inspired materials, giving a big dose of personality to any table. I chose orange and yellow madras pattern napkins simply tied up with natural twin wrapped shells for my home.

– Fashion designer and Southampton resident Donna Karan found inspiration for her Fall 2010 collection from seashells. Make your next party a day at the beach by creating a seascape with your favorite shells and use uncooked cous-cous in place of real sand. Put this to use with a large, colorful clamshell resting on a bed of cous-cous "sand" as a small plate at your next dinner party. – Many Hamptonites enjoy beachcombing as a favorite past time on the beautiful shores that stretch from Southampton to Montauk. Use beach treasures you've collected to make a "Coffee Table Conversation Starter" like I have from sea glass, shells, stones and drift wood that's been collected from beaches all over the world.

– The Hamptons are home to many family farm stands selling locally grown summer fruits, vegetables and fresh cut flowers. Become a "locavore" in your town and create your meals using locally-sourced produce. Invite friends to a potluck dinner and encourage them to purchase local ingredients at greenmarkets or farmers bazaars in your area.

– Self-professed Hampton homebodies and celebrity power couple Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos are big supporters of green initiatives. Make your own Global Green statement by incorporating reusable bamboo flatware and plates as a stylish substitute to disposables.

By Mark Addison for For more of Mark's tips, visit his Web site.

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