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6 Steps to a Palm Springs-chic Pool Party

Tropical color palettes, oversized floaties, and more—get ready to splish splash in style


Get the Look

  • Use patterned beach blankets as rugs. They're splash-proof and easy to wash.
  • Choose a color palette and theme. Here, we went for a tropical tiki vibe with pops of hot pink, orange, and mint.
  • Make your guests feel like they're at a cool Palm Springs resort by putting out a basket of matching towels and sunscreen.
  • Collect fun yet functional acrylic plates, cups, and serveware to use outside. Everything's stylish—and nothing is breakable!
  • Clean your grill inside and out after each use. Try a simple water-vinegar solution or a stainless steel cleaner, and always have a spare propane tank on hand.
  • Add whimsy and make the pool look full with colorful, oversized floaties. Go wild!

The Details

Styled by: Courtney Isaac, Waters Catering
Location: Broadstone Little Italy

Caliber Pro Kamado grill: Pirch Westfield UTC
Florals and greenery: Isari Flower Studio
Towels: Beach Bum Towel Co.
Model’s swimsuit: ViX Paula Hermanny
Clothing: Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus, Fashion Valley
Retro details: Adore Folklore vintage rentals
Pool Floats: Nordstrom, Target, Amazon
Trays and triangle plates: Target
Pots: HomeGoods


Recipe: Thai Steak Skewers

By Waters Fine Foods & Catering 

The secret to these skewers is a screaming hot grill and lots of fish sauce. Using fish sauce in this recipe with the rich beef and coconut milk gives the entire flavor a huge boost of umami.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings)

Meat and Marinade

1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla)
2 tablespoons palm sugar or (packed) light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
6 garlic cloves
4 red or green Thai chilies, stemmed
2 lemongrass stalks, bottom third only, tough outer layers removed
1 1/2 pieces ginger, peeled
2 pounds tri-tip, top sirloin cap steak, flat iron, or hanger steak

Scallion Dipping Sauce

15 scallions, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla)
3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons chinkiang (black) vinegar or rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Basting Sauce

1/2 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
3 tablespoons fish sauce (such as nuoc nam or nam pla)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed


Meat and Marinade

  1. Purée all ingredients except steak in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Trim strip of fat (sometimes called a fat cap) from meat. Cut fat into 1/4"-1/2" cubes; cut meat into approximately 1" cubes. Place fat and meat in a large bowl. Add marinade and toss to coat; cover and chill overnight.
  2. Remove fat and meat from marinade, brushing off excess. Thread onto skewers, alternating meat with fat, so that pieces are touching but not pressed tightly together (which would slow down cooking). Leave at least 1" of space at the ends of skewers for easy turning. Discard marinade; save excess fat for basting liquid.

Scallion Dipping Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl just before you begin grilling; stir occasionally.

Basting Sauce

  1. Mince any reserved leftover fat. Transfer to a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until fat is heated through, about 3 minutes (fat will not melt completely). Add all ingredients and cook until just heated through; keep warm.
  2. Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium-high. Grill skewers, brushing with basting sauce and turning every 2 minutes, for 10 minutes. Stop basting and cook, turning every 2 minutes, until browned around edges and cooked through, about 6 minutes more. Serve with scallion dipping sauce on the side.

Three Ways to Take the Party Outside:

6 Tips for the Best Backyard Party

From string lights to bar carts, here’s how to bring the indoors outside under the stars. 

6 Steps to a Palm Springs-chic Pool Party

Tropical color palettes, oversized floaties, and more—get ready to splish splash in style.

7 Ways to Host an Instagram-Worthy Rooftop Party

Get that warm, fuzzy feeling at your outdoor urban setting—watermelon cocktails included.

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