7 Essentials for Entertaining Outdoors

There's something about being outdoors with the sun shining and a slight breeze in the air that brings a sense of calmness. After a series of cloudy, rainy days the smallest hint of sunlight brings a smile to my face! Once the weather warms up people are always excited to get their outdoor furniture and sit outside. With Memorial Day weekend a few days away the official start of summer is upon us.

 Sunshine brings happiness.

Sunshine brings happiness.

Just like our interior spaces our outdoor spaces need to be transformed into functional and stylish areas. Our exterior spaces should be a reflection of our interior. If you're like me and love to entertain guests, why stop inside? Create a warm, welcoming and comfortable environment in your exterior spaces for your guests. 

No matter what size your yard/deck/patio you can host a great get together or party outdoors that will have your guests enjoying themselves. Here are 7 essentials to start with. 

 Essentials for entertaining outdoors 

Essentials for entertaining outdoors 

  1. Outdoor Furniture. Determine how you are going to use your outdoor space before choosing your furniture. Are you going to be hosting formal dinner parties outdoors or casually hanging out with friends and family over your favorite barbecue? Choose your dining table first then select dining chairs that contrast or compliment your table. This will add more visual interest than buying from a "set", where everything matches.
  2. Drinks/Cocktails. Make a refreshing signature cocktail or non-alcoholic drink that will have your guests asking for more. Having a signature drink will save you time & money by eliminating the need to have a menu of beverages. You can make a large container and serve it in a simplistic glass pitcher or an elegant dispenser for guests to serve themselves. 
  3. Lounge Seating. Lounge furniture is exactly how it sounds. It should be welcoming, comfortable, and casual. Be sure to select a configuration that will fit well in your space. For example, if you have a small patio select a sofa, chair and ottoman as oppose to squeezing a sectional into the space. This will make your guests feel uncomfortable and awkward.
  4. Grill. You can't entertain outdoors and not have a grill. My husband is personally a charcoal grill fan so we do not use gas grills in our household. With that said, whichever grill you decide to use in your space be sure to strategically position the grill in a designated area fairly close to the dining area so you can still socialize with your guests while cooking. If you are installing a full outdoor kitchen I recommend having an island with a built-in grill and surface space for maximum efficiency. 
  5. Fire Pit. There's something cozy about sitting around a fire pit shortly after the sun sets and watching the fire burn, that brings people together. I personally love the smell of burning firewood. Make sure you use quality firewood like hickory, mesquite, alder, oak or fruit woods like apple and cherry wood for a great wood fragrance.
  6. String Lights. String Lights are my favorite decorative element to an outdoor event. It can transform and liven any backyard into a festive space! You hang them in straight lines from one end of your yard to another by securing them on tree branches, poles, or across your pergola. String lights are also a great solution to highlighting a specific area like your deck or patio.
  7. Potted Greenery. Bring a natural element to your outdoor space by adding potted plants and greenery. Your yard may be filled with grass, bushes, shrubs, and trees but it still needs accent plants directly incorporated into your entertaining space. It can be as simple as a set of 3 planters at different heights filled with annual flowers next to your lounge seating or a small flower pot as a centerpiece on your dining table. This will add color and texture to your space. Tip: If you live in the city with a small courtyard as your outdoor space, consider adding a wooden pallet filled with small pots to a wall for greenery and exterior wall decor.  
 using an island with a built-in Grill allows you to cook and still socialize with your guests. island: woodland direct

using an island with a built-in Grill allows you to cook and still socialize with your guests. island: woodland direct

Share in the comments below your favorite part of your backyard, I would love to know! 

Do you want to host a fabulous outdoor party but don't know where to start? Do you want to be able to just enjoy your outdoor space? Let me create a relaxing and fun outdoor space that you and your family can use and show off. Email me at sabine@georgettemarise.com to get started before summer comes and goes!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!