Outdoor entertaining has never been simpler with smart ideas that make the most of your space. From seating arrangements that encourage socializing to bar carts that double as buffets, these tips can ensure your next party runs without a hitch.
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1. Set the Scene
No matter if it is an intimate patio gathering for close friends and family or a larger backyard event with neighbors and acquaintances, taking into account some key points can ensure everyone feels at ease and has an amazing time. Here are our expert-approved tips for planning, shopping for, and styling an outdoor entertaining space.
Simplify outdoor dining experiences for your guests. Lay out bistro tables for small bites or sit-down dinner, and pair each with chairs or cots to create cozy dining spots where guests can dine and chat comfortably.
Bringing lighting can create the ideal ambience for an enjoyable soiree that lasts into the night. String lights are an economical and quick way of adding ambient illumination, while large globe bulbs with warm lighting also help set a relaxing tone. Consider battery-operated options like this travertine oil lamp set which are waterproof and food safe; or consider upbeat music as another great way of making things even more exciting!
2. Serve With Style
No matter if it’s an outdoor barbecue or casual outdoor luncheon, an elegant table setting adds to guest enjoyment. Simple details like adding fresh flowers and chic serving tools can turn an ordinary dinner party into something truly spectacular.
Instead of providing silverware individually for each guest (which can become time consuming when more are requested), consider setting out a silverware caddy to hold multiple sets at once and create an efficient beverage station so guests can easily serve themselves no matter where they gather.
Make sure that you stock a set of melamine plates to avoid breaking glass or ceramic dishes, and add fun acrylic stemless glasses. A carafe or creative beverage dispenser will allow guests to self-serve themselves; large tumblers may even serve double duty as water glasses!
3. Keep It Fun
Entertainment is essential at any backyard party. According to Fishburne, fun games such as tumble towers and croquet are being enjoyed by both adults and kids this year, along with classic home bocce ball courts that remain immensely popular. She also notes a trend toward adding swing sets or play structures as part of an enjoyable backyard experience.
As an engaging way of keeping things entertaining, serving food on a rotating tray such as this one encourages mingling among your guests by making it easier for them to access their favorites without needing to walk across the table. It promotes socializing between guests while building connections.
Don’t forget to decorate according to the season; adding greenery or flowers from your garden, or asking a neighbor if you could pick some from theirs can add vibrancy and personality.
4. Keep Your Guests Cool
Outdoor entertaining essentials such as tumblers and throw blankets will make hosting summer gatherings stress-free, while adding personal touches can take your gatherings one step further.
An efficiently-stocked cooler will guarantee guests will always have access to cold beverages, from cocktails and iced tea, as well as keeping mosquitoes at bay. Furthermore, placing some bug spray canisters will deter mosquitoes.
Arranging seating options to create quieter spots where people can hold conversations or take a break will help make your gatherings feel more intimate. Consider creating a conversation cove or sitooterie, complete with cozy chairs and sectionals, then adding decorative touches like taper candles, fresh flowers or shrubs in vases to complete the atmosphere – this thoughtful touch helps create an inviting, relaxing environment where people will want to stay all night.