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Decorating for Outdoor Entertaining: Tips for Decorating Your Outdoor Space for Hosting Guests

As the weather warms up and the days get longer, it's the perfect time to start thinking about outdoor entertaining. Whether you're hosting a backyard barbecue, an intimate dinner party, or just enjoying a casual evening with friends on the patio, decorating your outdoor space can help create the perfect atmosphere for your guests.

Blow the dust off your outdoor patio, vacuum the sofas, mow the yard, and start anticipating your first party! Here are some simple tips for decorating and preparing your outdoor space for hosting guests and stress-free entertaining.

Define Your Space

The first step in decorating your outdoor space is to define the area you’ll use for entertaining. A larger outdoor patio or backyard can seem to lose people, so highlight the area you plan to use for hosting guests. This can be done with various techniques, such as adding an outdoor rug or stringing lights overhead. Consider using outdoor curtains or screens to create a sense of privacy and intimacy.

An umbrella does more than just shield you from the sun. It can also create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your outdoor space. If you have a yard that gets a lot of sun, you can set up multiple patio umbrellas and small seating areas throughout your backyard or deck. These shaded spots will not only provide a relaxing retreat for you and your guests but also encourage socializing at a party, as people gather and chat at the different seating areas.

Provide Comfortable Seating

No matter what type of event you're hosting, comfortable seating is a must. Invest in quality outdoor furniture that is stylish and functional. Cushions and pillows can be added for extra comfort, and outdoor heaters or fans can regulate the temperature.

Adding new seasonal pillows is one of the easiest ways to refresh any space. No matter the type of furniture you may have on your patio, a couple of new, colorful throw pillows will welcome guests to sit and relax. Plus, multi-colored pillows can help to blend several colors in one space.

Consider Attractive and Functional Lighting

Outdoor lighting can help create a magical atmosphere for your guests. It also allows you to keep the good times going as darkness falls. Consider using string lights, lanterns, or candles to add warmth and ambiance to your space.

Decorating your outdoor space with paper lanterns hanging from tree branches or white Christmas lights can add a charming and magical touch to your evenings. You can even create a cozy atmosphere by using inexpensive tea lights placed in clean glass jam jars. Just remember to use dark extension cords for the lanterns and lights to blend in with the surroundings.

Solar-powered lights are a great option for eco-conscious hosts. They can light up pathways or highlight specific areas of your outdoor space. You may also want to include bug-repelling lights or candles to keep pesky nighttime critters at bay and make your guests more comfortable.

Create Simple Table Settings

The table is the centerpiece of any outdoor event, so make sure it looks beautiful. Use tablecloths, placemats, and runners to add color and texture, and choose dishes and glassware that complement your decor. Here are some simple yet stylish ideas:

  • Fresh flowers or greenery can be used as centerpieces.

  • Outdoor candles can add a touch of elegance.

  •  Fill bowls or baskets with fresh fruit.

  • Add garden or photo books.

  • Place a few clear bowls of water with floating stemless peonies and gardenias.

Bring your garden into the entertaining space with potted flower boxes on your outdoor patio or around seating areas and smaller ones on the tables. Potted flowers and plants add color and vitality to the space and can even become conversation pieces.

Include a Cold Drink Station

Make serving beverages easy with a simple drink station near your seating area. Any small table or bar cart can become an attractive self-serve counter for guests to get drinks. You can use multiple drink dispensers and provide simple glasses and straws. Why not use small mason jars or other interesting containers?

  •  Tea
  • Lemonade
  • Soft Drinks
  • Fruity water

Another idea is to create a large batch of a cocktail crowd-pleaser along with beer and non-alcoholic options.

Spend More Time Enjoying Instead of Decorating

Use these great tips to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that is perfect for entertaining guests. No matter the size, you can have an outdoor patio or backyard ready for entertaining in just a few minutes! But beware – a comfortable space with a great vibe will make your guests want to stay longer!


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