Indoor invitations can keep the festivities contained when the weather turns bleak, but taking the fun outdoors can bring new life to your social world. When the weather invites you to head outside, it’s time to jazz up your porch and patio spaces to welcome guests and create the perfect party locale.
But if those outdoor spaces are looking a little rundown, it’s time to give them a fun facelift! Here are seven ways to make your porch and patio party perfect:
#1: Get Cozy…Furniture!
Whether your outdoor gathering spot is a un/covered porch or a patio, create a relaxing area for guests with weather durable furniture. While you could go luxe for those tables, chairs and sofas, there are many stores that sell reasonably priced furniture that looks just as fantastic.
Your outdoor furniture should meet your hosting needs. If you love to invite friends and family to an outdoor barbecue, then a large table with plenty of seating is a must. Picnic tables and benches can add a rustic touch, and, yes, you may want to purchase cushions for those benches. Search for colorful table cloths to dress up the look of the area or to add a thematic touch to your party.
For homeowners who love outdoor cocktail hour or just late night chats on the porch or patio, invest in plush outdoor couches that inspire friends to kick back and stay awhile. Add an outdoor coffee table for quick eats and a place for those refreshments.
Remember, though, that any table (or other furniture) you choose for your outdoor space should be suitable for different types of weather. You don’t want a little rain or sun to damage any new investment.
#2: Groom the Garden (and the Yard!)
When you’re hosting any outdoor get together, your space should look inviting. This means no untrimmed grass and hedges or littered lawns! Keep the look neat and tidy.
For covered or uncovered porches, decorate the space with potted plants and flowers. Be sure to research which varieties do best in your area.
For patio spaces, you can add plants or flowers along the border of the patio to create a gorgeous green outline.
#3: Light It Up With a Glam Touch
For those late night parties, make sure you have plenty of outdoor lighting, but make the glow unique. You could choose to add a fire pit or string lights for a sparkling, starry effect.
Your covered porch may feature a ceiling fan with an over head light. Or install lights that ‘plant’ in the ground. White light looks best, but you can opt for colorful options too.
Feeling funky? Install a disco ball!
What about candles? While the soft glow of candle light looks elegant, be careful. It’s safer to use flameless candles; they look the same and are not a fire hazard!
#4: Keep the Bugs Away
Nothing kills the buzz of a great outdoor party like the bugs that actually go ‘buzz.’ Keep these annoying pests away from guests by installing bug lights. Those flying party poopers will be attracted to the light and you will see them no more!
You can also use mosquito incense (or sticks) to drive those biting bugs away. And, yes, there are all-natural options that don’t smell awful! A mosquito net or screen for the porch also can help protect revelers.
#5: Great Grilling
No party is perfect without the ideal barbecue! Outdoor weather is ideal for grilling burgers, brats, steaks and chicken.
Invest in a grill that fits your outdoor space, though. While you don’t have to spend a fortune, you should buy a model that lasts. If you’re about to renovate the porch or build a deck, you also might consider installing a built-in grill.
#6: Dish it Up
Serving food outdoors? Get colorful and creative with dishes and serving ware. There are so many colorful designs and colors of outdoor dishes and picnic ware. Have fun choosing a set the complements your outdoor décor.
It is a good idea to theme dishware for the event. Choose something patriotic, tropical or even south of the border (for Cinco de Mayo). For the dishiest outdoor dishes, choose a material called melamine. Many melamine dishes are designed in fun shapes or designs.
And don’t forget cute and quirky cocktail glasses! Just be sure to stay away from actual glass. Instead, choose plastic glasses in breezy summer or spring hues. Feeling extra special? Buy little umbrellas to add to tropical drinks!
#7: Game On!
Party games are so much fun! Invest in a few outdoor games to liven up your party. Croquet, a volleyball net, a life-size chess board or even a washer toss can keep guests busy. You can even purchase a portable putting green for golf enthusiasts.
A fun diversion you should stay away from? Trampolines! Those could be fun…but risky. You don’t want someone to get injured at your party! Plus, these bouncing diversions also don’t look that great in the backyard.
Want to cool off with some watery fun? Install a portable water slide (remember slip n slide?) to add some fun and to help guests beat that summer heat. Just don’t install it downslope or in an area where guests could get injured.
Spring and summer are great times to take the festivities outdoors on the porch or patio. Just make sure your outdoor space is clean and inviting for guests. Invest in furniture that’s comfortable, classic and that can sustain the weather. Always make sure the yard is well maintained—no long grass or crazy weeds growing everywhere! Keep guests free from buzzing insects by installing a bug light or using other natural repellents and keep them cool with ceiling fans or a canopy.
The best part of entertaining is the food and the fun! Grill up the good stuff and serve it up on colorful, festive and summery dishware meant for the great outdoors. While you don’t have to spend a fortune on entertainment, include some lawn games like volleyball, croquet or even a mini putting green. For those hot days, you might even pull out the kids’ portable water slide!
However you choose to entertain, take the time to make your space safe and inviting. Good friends, good times and, most importantly, good memories will certainly follow!