Sometimes the best spot for a picnic is literally in your own backyard. You're not confined to what fits in the car, and you can define picnic just the way it suits you. Use any accessories you like--the newest paper and plastic goods, romantic pillows from the bedroom, a favorite basket or tray, the newest outdoor furniture. And if the weather changes, simply move indoors and keep on picnicking.
Summer classics have been updated for a backyard breakfast picnic, with 1987-style pastels setting the color scheme. A hammock is made even more inviting with pillows covered in a contemporary floral-print fabric. Breakfast--fruit-topped cereal and orange juice, followed by coffee and homemade blueberry muffins--is served on enameled tinware, with plastic-handled flatware. A pink moderne pitcher with a sea-green base is one of the many revived styles this spring. For toting things from the house, Dan Carter of The Kensington Garden, Beverly Hills, has designed an all-in-one picnic-and-flower basket. Hammock and table are from Berk's, Santa Monica; pillows, plates, linens, flatware, rattan tray from Pier 1; pitcher from Lawry's California Center Gift Shop, Los Angeles; pavers from Country Floors, Los Angeles. LUNCH
Catch a few midday rays at a casual pool-side lunch. David Brickey of The Pavilion at Tanner Market, Pasadena, gives a new, open-air look to the picnic basket with teal service plates, paper plates and napkins in the season's liveliest pattern, bright plastic flatware and plastic glasses, and a whimsical papier-mache papaya. The main course: country sandwiches of roasted yellow peppers, mortadella and prosciutto, lettuce, Italian parsley and pesto on sourdough rolls. Keep bottles of mineral water cool in an inflatable ice bucket--this one is from A. K. Das & Co., Anaheim. Two of the best new summer accessories are the solar-powered fan from Bullock's, which is clipped to the arm of Grosfillex's multiposition patio chair, and Jandy Industries' bright-yellow SoundWave floating cassette player, available at Hammacher Schlemmer. Chair, footstool and umbrella are from Berk's, Santa Monica; tableware from The Pavilion at Tanner Market, Pasadena; tile from Country Floors, Los Angeles. Food stylist: Edena Sheldon.