Ten Essentials for the Perfect Outdoor Entertaining Space
As we reach the peak of spring and transition into the summer months, we all look forward to warmer weather, using our outdoor space, and entertaining with friends and family. Creating a welcoming and functional patio or porch doesn’t have to be expensive, but there are some basic items you will want to invest in if you want to get the most out of your outdoor living area. Whether you have a larger budget or are willing to DIY a few projects, there are some additional features you could add to create an even more luxurious atmosphere!
Keep your guests engaged with a comfortable seating area. When your guests are at ease, they are more likely to stay longer to enjoy all the festivities planned during your party. Reassess your outdoor furniture. Could it use a fresh coat of paint? New pillows? Or are they in need of being replaced altogether? Outdoor furniture takes a beating under the summer sun and rainy days. If it looks faded and frayed, invest in a new set within your budget. Arrange seating to face each for an evening of relaxed conversation and laughs!
Dining Area Few things bring people together the way a good meal does. Dining outside is a wonderful way to entertain guests or to spend a summer afternoon with your family. Having a dining table on your patio designates a dining area and instantly makes the space more useable. If your outdoor area is limited, consider a small round or bistro table, there are even tables that can fold down completely if you don’t have space for it to be up all the time.
An outdoor party does not exist without food, right? Stay away from cheap plastic ware or mis-matched silverware for your party. Invest in some nice outdoor dinnerware and add some colorful melamine pieces. Not only is it functional, but it is durable for the great outdoors. Your dining table will look warm and inviting to your guests.
Shade For Your Guests In the summer months, even in cooler climates, the direct sun of midday can be overwhelming and unpleasant. If you are hosting a day outdoor entertaining and fun for guests, the last thing you want is to have the blazing sun push your party back indoors. If your outdoor space is lacking shade, you may want to invest in an umbrella, sunshade or even a pergola. Adding a structure like a pergola or awning can add value to your property and give you the necessary amount of shade for continuous hours of family time on your patio.
Heat In the evenings and in the fall months, the nights can get cool. Don’t watch your guests get up to leave early because they are chilly. Keep a wood burning fire pit or outside propane heater on hand to keep everyone warm and comfortable. Propane stand-up heaters have been around for a while and are getting more affordable, while the newer style pyramid heaters with exposed flames are becoming more popular.
A Grill for The Chef There is nothing like having an outdoor party with the aroma of food coming from the chef’s grill. This item is crucial, it is the heart of outdoor entertaining. A grill gives you additional cooking space for your meats and treats. Make sure your grill is clean, free of rust, and working properly. If your grill seen better days, invest in a new one. If your budget allows for an outdoor kitchen, then go for it! An outdoor kitchen gives you a secondary space to hold your extra beverages, food for grilling and space for your guest to taste test your creations while grilling the night away.
When entertaining outside, you need a go-to space to keep your cool summer drinks for your guests. Beverage stations are a great way for your guests to easily find refreshments. Be sure to check it periodically throughout the day to make sure refreshments don’t run low.
If you intend to use your patio during evening hours, you should install supplemental lighting. Landscape lighting is a great and permanent way to provide lighting as the sun goes down. If you are looking for something for affordable, solar lights can be stuck into the ground around your patio. Or, simply run a string of lights from an exterior outlet using an outdoor extension cord. Add in some lanterns and candles for an added sparkle and soft glow.
Natural Insect Repellent
Playing and entertaining outdoors is a lot of fun until unwanted, buggy guests arrive. To ward off pesky mosquitoes, try planting beautiful lavenders. They are known for their colorful purple blooms and for its natural ability to repel mosquitoes! Citronella candles and torches around the perimeter of your yard will also keep those buzzing biters at bay.
Fun Family Games
Give your guests something to do in between eating and talking. Add some fun games that will get your friends and family moving. An oversized checkerboard game, cornhole, horseshoes, bean bags, or bocce are just a few lawn games that bring out friendly competition. And with all that exercise, your guests will be ready for seconds on the food spread in no time!