Designing Your Next Outdoor Party

As the weather warms up, it’s hard to resist the lure of the outdoors. Entertaining outside is the perfect way to combine a naturally relaxed backyard vibe with the fun of good company, a casual spread, and simple yet comfortable decor. Whether you have a small backyard, a large garden, or just a balcony, you can create an outdoor space that’s perfect for entertaining.

It’s time to get your lawn in tip top shape and freshen up your backyard for the new season. Start by filling in bare spots with new seed or sod and trim back any overgrown shrubs. Don’t forget to add some color with some potted flowers on the patio or in your flower beds. When you fire up the grill and bring it out of storage, your outdoor kitchen will be the center of your lively garden parties. If your town permits fire pits, the crackling warmth encourages thoughtful conversation, lingering after sundown, and companionable sharing of drinks or food. And don’t forget good lighting for parties that run into the after-hours. Floodlights around the perimeter of the yard keep things bright, and stringed lights can create a magical atmosphere. Make sure walkways are well lit so guests don’t trip.

Furnish your outdoor space

Consider the spacing of your current outdoor furniture because you don’t want your entertaining area to be overly crowded or hazardous to guests. Position your furniture along the edges of the patio so guests have plenty of room to stand and mingle in the center of the space. If you have a big yard, an outdoor couch can be as comfortable as the one in your living room, and a low table in front of the couch is very convenient for holding drinks, plates, or pool gear. A market umbrella or canopy not only provides welcome relief from the direct sun but it also clearly defines the seating area, giving an enclosed, cozy feel. An outdoor rolling cart can prove very handy when entertaining because it can hold condiments for barbecued burgers, a top shelf with drinks and serving ware, or accommodate your music system.

Decorate for the Great Outdoors

Just as with indoor decorating, your outdoor living room should have a few well-chosen accessories that add to the space while expressing your personality. Add color and soften hard flooring with an outdoor area rug made of fabric that can shrug off spills, dirt, and footprints with a blast from the hose. Containers of flowers can highlight the edges of your patio, and even a hard wooden chair is more comfortable with a plush throw pillow and seat cushion. Don’t match patterns exactly, but choose colors and designs that complement other furnishings in the yard.

Entertaining outdoors is one of the delights of summer. Whether your space is a balcony or a large backyard, by adding the basic elements, outdoor furniture and a few accessories, you’ll create a space where guests love to linger.

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