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Outdoor entertaining with indoor style

Hosting an outdoor party on the balcony or in the backyard has often involved a run to the big-box store for utilitarian paper goods and plastic plates, and setting the table with a mishmash of random bowls and tea lights.

But this summer there's a range of decor and serveware with the more sophisticated look and feel of indoor-quality goods — part of a growing trend toward blurring indoor/outdoor decor lines.

"Outdoor spaces should really be thought of as an extension of your living room, and that definitely applies to entertaining," says Kara Smith of SFA Design, a bicoastal luxury design firm. "The furnishings should be as approachable as the interior, so...

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