If you love hosting parties and events, it’s time to move the party outside. The mark of a true host or hostess is the ability to put on a great party no matter the location, but it helps if you have the right supplies. Here’s what you need in your outdoor entertaining space:
1. Outdoor Fireplace
It’s hard to fully appreciate the comfort of an outdoor fireplace until you’ve installed your own. It provides all the cozy comforts of a second living area at home and provides the perfect ambiance. It’s also ideal for crisp spring or fall nights when temperatures are cooler.
2. Wet Bar
Having drinks on hand is all part of the entertainment factor, and it’s much easier if you have a wet bar at your disposal. You can keep cool drinks in the refrigerator and serve them without leaving the party. Include bar seating to encourage conversation while you’re preparing drinks for your guests.
3. Adequate Seating
A great environment is nothing if you don’t have a comfortable place for you and your guests to sit. Comfortable, plentiful seating is vital to a cozy, entertaining space.
An all-weather sofa is an excellent choice, but you could also use a combination of chairs, floor pillows, and benches to set the mood. A long table with plenty of chairs is also a great option.
4. Overhead and Ground Lighting
A party should never be cut short by disappearing natural lighting. Keep the party in full swing with artificial lights installed both overhead and at the ground level.
The type of lights you choose depends on the mood you’re seeking. For a more romantic, intimate feel, try stringed lights overhead that cast a soft glow on the party. If you’re interested in a full view of the yard, install flood lights.
In either case, ground lights that mark the walking paths are essential for the safety and comfort of your guests.
5. Optional Yard Games
Many of your guests will have no interest in doing anything other than sitting on the patio, sipping their drink, and enjoying the air. Others, however, will want to be moving and socializing, so have a few optional yard games on hand.
Some fun yard games for guests of all ages include:
- Yard dice
- Bocce ball
- Ladder golf
- Corn hole
- Giant Jenga
Have the games laid out so that guests can easily see them and ask to play if they’re interested.
6. Widespread Bug Control
Bug control is always an issue, no matter where you live. Sometimes, it’s only about treating pesky mosquitos while in other cases, you have to prevent flies, gnats, chiggers, wasps, spiders, and all manner of creepy crawly things from infiltrating your party.
There are many strategies for controlling bugs, from hiring pest control to mixing DIY concoctions. At the very least, install Tiki torches, burn citronella candles, and spray down your furniture with a repellant.
You could also try growing plants that are natural bug repellants, blowing bugs away with a fan, removing standing water, and/or spraying your patio and grass with an anti-bug mixture.
Unless you want to reserve your outdoor entertaining for the evenings or the cooler times of the year, you’ll invest in quality shade for your entertaining area. A large patio umbrella, trendy pergola, or fixed pavilion can provide a space of comfort for you and your guests, no matter the weather. These coverings can also help protect your furniture during rainy or snowy weather.
8. Climate Control
Last, but not least, don’t let the elements ruin a perfectly good party. Investing in climate control features for your patio or deck will make it a restful atmosphere no matter the time of year.
At the basic level, you’ll want a few fans for cooling it down in the summer, but you could go the extra mile and install a portable A/C unit. This is not an efficient method for cooling the space, but it will keep it more comfortable.
For heating, an outdoor fireplace may be all you need, but you could install a few outdoor heaters as well. This will make it possible to entertain all winter long.
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