There's nothing better than outdoor entertaining -- the fresh air makes for fresh conversation and an opportunity for creative moments that perhaps aren't as flexible inside. We've talked about making outdoor spaces feel like home, but what specifically can you do to make patio party entertaining even better?
Alfresco entertaining can be a lot of fun, especially if you do a little planning & organizing in advance. Here are our Plum Deluxe-tested tips for patio party entertaining.
1. Spruce & Clean, Vigorously
I hate to mention this, but I've been to plenty of patio parties joined by splintery back decks, moss-covered chairs, and weedy gardens. While I don't think your entertaining space has to be immaculate, a little tender loving care goes a long way for guests to feel welcome.
Today's sponsor, BEHR DeckOver®, is a great option to bring new life to any old wood or concrete surface - it conceals cracks and smoothes splinters up to ¼’ deep and can be used on both wood and concrete surfaces. You can rent or borrow a power-washer and give your outdoor space a good polishing, clearing off spider nests, moss, mold, etc. If this is your excuse to go freshen up the back yard so that the next sunny weekend day you can invite over impromptu guests, stop reading and get out there -- we'll be here when you get back.
2. Pick a Theme and Organize Your Space Around It
There are so many options for outdoor parties, it doesn't have to be beers and burgers. How about an Australian Christmas BBQ? A sangria bar, or maybe an iced coffee bar? Seriously, get creative and make it fun. And then organize the space around it!
What do I mean by that? Visualize how your guests will mingle and interact with your theme, and then make some smart choices about where you put furniture, serving stations, trash cans, outdoor games, etc. For example, if you're going to have an outdoor movie night, you'll want to put that in a spot where people won't be having to walk through. If you've got some beautiful glass pitchers for your sangria bar, make sure those get set up in a spot where they won't get bumped accidentally by a flying Frisbee or excited puppy.
3. Pause to Consider Your Guests' Comfort
While your backyard might be just fine for you and your other half, what about when you have several guests in tow? For outdoor parties I always like to have a few extra chairs around, as well as small tables so guests have a place to sit wine glasses or plates instead of having to put them on the ground and share with the ants.
Other things to consider:
- Bugs: If you have any buggy problems, consider having some bug spray or essential oils for guests to use.
- Lighting: Sometimes outdoor spaces can get dark pretty quickly as the sun sets. Always have a plan and test your lighting to make sure it is sufficient -- nobody wants to trip and sprain an ankle after a couple of sangrias.
- Temperature: If you'll be entertaining in the afternoon/evening, have a few blankets on the ready for guests who might get cold.
4. Clear the Path from Inside to Outside
I've never been to an outdoor party where there wasn't some part of the party going on inside; at the very least, you'll probably be needing to fetch items from the kitchen (or to use the kitchen sink) -- and, of course, the bathroom is inside. Plus, if guests have to come in the front door to get outside, you'll want to make everything obvious and clear.
A welcome sign is helpful if guests need to go around back or enter in an unusual door. And it goes without saying that, even if you're entertaining outdoors, you should give your indoor living spaces a spruce up and quick clean just in case you end up with rain.
5. Designate a Helper
Last but not least: host/hostesses need not work alone!
Have someone who can help you take care of business indoor and outdoor; this will help minimize your efforts running back and forth. That doesn't mean one of you stays inside and the other outside, just have a designee who can help you so you can keep an eye out on all the moving parts of your outdoor party.
This is a sponsored conversation written by the author on behalf of BEHR®. The opinions and text are all the author's.