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Create a patriotic patio party this Fourth of July

by: Vern Uyetake, Ava Johnson, designer with ReDesigns Northwest in West Linn, created a festive Fourth of July table arrangement by incorporating unconventional party items such as scarves and napkins as a tablecloth.

Ohhhhh, say can you see… perhaps the most elegant Fourth of July table arrangement in West Linn?

Ava Johnson, interior designer with ReDesigns Northwest, llc., says that when decorating for the Fourth of July every piece need not be plastered with American flags only to collect dust for the next 11 months.

Instead, for an outdoor buffet or barbecue, Johnson pulled items from her world travels, linen closet and local fruit and flower stands.

Johnson invites you to create the look in your own home:

n Use different shades of red, white and blue. 'You can have a Fourth of July celebration without having to buy a bunch of stuff. Everyone just thinks you need the traditional red, white and blue but you can look beyond that to turquoise and orange. All shades of red, white and blue go together.'

n Bring the living room outdoors. 'If you don't want to have your pillows damaged, make some tie-on pillow cases. You can do them in bright colors (for different holidays). Use bright colors and outdoor fabrics.'

n Arrange a collage of linens. 'You don't have to use a tablecloth. Go through your linen closet and you can pull scarves and napkins (to create a tablecloth). … All these linens are from France. Bring out those quilts that you keep indoors for a splash of color and padding on your benches.'

n Mix the reds with the blues and vice versa. 'You want to put your blue items - dishes, vases, etc. - on a red backdrop so people will be able to see it. Put the red items on blue, (as in a tablecloth or place mat). That maximizes the effect of the color combination.'

n Use what you already have. 'A lot of people have red Christmas dishes. You can use them twice. I collect blue and white China. That (also) works for the Fourth of July.'

To learn more about ReDesigns Northwest, llc. visit the Web site at www.redesignnw.com.