Set a salty scene with warm sand, breezy grasses, and the beautiful blue of the ocean on the horizon.

Let the raw beauty of the day's setting dictate your decor—rattan ottomans, straw runners, and bamboo candles dress beach umbrellas in palm-frond covers. Ottomans, from Ikea, Umbrella cover, from the Lucky Clover Trading Co., from Straw runners, from Pearl River Mart,

Brilliant idea: One way to get your guests in the mood is to ask them to kick off their shoes on arrival. A decorated sign or flag posted by a footwear-holding pen (a big basket works well) should do the trick.

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