Summer is in full swing and I bet your desire to entertain outdoors has taken over, right? With the beautiful warm summer nights and the upcoming cool and tranquil autumn nights, you are envisioning your family and friends having the time of their lives in your impressive outdoor space. But, the only problem is where is that amazing space outside and what items do I need to create one?
Like you, I am in the midst of researching the best items to have in our future outdoor space, so I thought to myself…”Why not share my research with you too!” After hours of pinning amazing ideas from Pinterest to lots of retail therapy (window shopping), I have compiled a list of 10 must-haves for outdoor entertaining.
1. Shade For Your Guests
There is nothing like spending hours decorating for a fun evening outdoors with your guests and then to have the blazing sun push your party back indoors. If your outdoor space is lacking shade you may want to invest in a pergola. Adding a structure like a pergola can add value to your property and give you the necessary amount of shade for continuous hours of family time on your patio.
2. Comfortable Seating
In order to keep your guests engaged, you must have comfortable seating. When your guests are at ease they are more likely to stay longer to enjoy all of the festivities planned during your party. I love this set from pier1, it’s neutral in color which makes it easy to change the look and feel. My favorite thing about this set is even without guests you can lounge on this sofa and enjoy a cup of morning coffee or an evening glass of wine.
3. A Grill For The Chef
There is nothing like having an outdoor party without the aroma of food coming from the chef’s grill. This item is crucial for it is the heart of the outdoors just like the kitchen is the heart of the home. A grill gives you additional cooking space for your meats and treats without breaking the bank. However, 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.
Source: Patio Productions
4. Fun Family Games
I don’t know about you, but I tend to eat way too much at my family’s cookouts. As a result, I usually feel guilty and I am ready to get up and get moving around. I am sure your guests will feel the same way so try adding some fun games that will get your friends and family moving! I love this enlarged checkerboard game I found on Buzzfeed…!! Imagine the amount of exercise you will get from bending down and moving your winning piece around!! Another fun game to add to the mix is a fun toss-up of cornhole.
5. A Beverage Station
When entertaining outside you will need a go-to space to house your cool summer drinks for your guests. Beverage stations are a great way to call attention to your guest as to where to find refreshments. You can get very creative as to how you showcase your spread. I love how this blogger created a beverage station out of a planting station use for gardening. How inexpensive and cute is this!!
Source: The Creativity Exchange
6. Outdoor Lighting & Fans
When creating your space you will want to have different sources of lighting. The two sources of lighting I recommend is direct and ambient. In the space below you will see direct lighting from the ceiling fans. This is great to have when the natural light from the suns goes down. Your guests will not be left in the dark unless you are trying hint that it is time to go home, lol.
The other source of lighting is that romantic ambient lighting you can get from lanterns with candles burning or adding a sparkle of string lights for fun. In addition to lighting, adding fans are perfect for cooling off your space during the warm summer months.
Source: Better Homes and Gardens
7. Beautiful Tableware
An outdoor party does not exist without food, right? Okay, I am sure you agree with me on that one. With that said you will want to invest in some nice outdoor dinnerware. When purchasing your dinnerware try adding some colorful melamine pieces. Not only is it functional, but it is durable for the great outdoors. Look at the photo below, I love the coastal look of this table setting with the monochromatic blue dishes accented with the fish-shaped bowls. The point is to be creative and have fun with your tableware.
8. Bring the Movies Outside
After all of the eating and playing fun games your guests will really want to sit back and relax. A great way to get everyone to settle down is by bringing the movies outside. There are many ways to create an outdoor movie screen in your space. All you need to add is a few cool drinks, popcorn, and a movie!!
9. Add A Natural Insect Repellent
Playing and entertaining outdoors is so much fun until your unwanted guests arrive, aka the mosquito. To ween off those pesky insects try planting beautiful lavenders!! Yes, they are known for their colorful purple blooms, but it is also known for its natural ability to repel off mosquitoes? You will pat yourself on the back for planting lavenders and so will your guests. Goodbye Mr. Mosquito!
10. A Durable Storage System
Most outdoor spaces call for decorative pillows, throws, and other accessories. However, once the party is over you may not want to leave all of your goodies out exposed to the sun, nature, and pests. I highly recommend investing in a storage system to place your accessories away after a fun outdoor party with your friends and family. It will help protect your items and keep your space clutter-free.
I hope that you found this article helpful as you begin to create the perfect space for your family. Just make sure that as you plan a budget, measure your space, research the best materials for your climate and find pieces that express you and your family the most. By doing that you will have the outdoor space that gives you the ability to entertain your guests for years to come. Until the next post may you all have a great day and thanks for visiting!!