Being a good host means planning food and drink options that accommodate everyone’s tastes and needs and making sure that all your guests know when and how to get to your place. But most importantly, it means having a comfortable, visitor-friendly home. When the weather is nice, that includes your patio!
For Americans, barbecue parties are a quintessential fair-weather activity, perfect for birthdays, holidays like Fourth of July or Labor Day, or for no reason other than to enjoy nice weather and good company. While parties like these don’t really require more than a grill, a table, and a guest list, there are certain touches you can add to level up your barbecue game.
Building the perfect patio space doesn’t take much effort. With the right decorations and arrangement, you can create an outdoor dining and entertainment space that will leave your guests eagerly awaiting your next backyard bash.
Use this article as a checklist to get started!
Make Your Space Welcoming with the Right Patio Furniture
Think about where your guests are going to gather when they arrive. Where will they go to relax and socialize over drinks and appetizers? If you only have a table and chairs, there’s a good chance they’ll just end up standing around, which isn’t the end of the world, but it’s also not ideal.
The solution is simple – building seating groups in different corners of your yard helps facilitate comfortable gathering. Group outdoor chairs and couches to avoid overcrowding and encourage easy conversation. Make sure you also have a surface for snack bowls and platters and to serve as a place for guests to rest their drinks.
When it’s time for the main course, you’ll want to have a dining table that can fit all your guests. An extendable table is great because it’s adaptable to any size gathering.
Illuminate with String Lights
String lights are one of the most popular lighting options for outdoor spaces, and with good reason. Not only are they an efficient way to evenly light up your yard, they’re super cozy! When the sun goes down, string lights lend an intimate and festive touch to your patio.
Choose between classic Christmas tree-style lights or trendy bulb lights, both of which you can find easily at any major retail location, like Target or Walmart. Or, for a fun twist, pick up a set of themed string lights to complement your party’s theme. Oogalights has hundreds of designs to choose from, such as hotdog, watermelon, and American flag-themed lights.
Adapt It for All Seasons
If there is any downside to having an awesome patio, it’s that depending on the climate you live in, you only get to take advantage of it during certain seasons. If your patio isn’t adapted for changes in the weather, you won’t get to take advantage of it during the colder months. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are certain measures you can take to make sure it usable all year round.
To prepare for cold weather, adding a space heater is an easy way to make your patio into a pleasant place to be. Installing a patio cover or awning is a smart way to make sure that heat has a place to gather and doesn’t escape too quickly, not to mention it’ll shield you from harsh weather. Otherwise, you can also incorporate an outdoor fireplace or fire pit, which is just as enjoyable on cozy summer nights!
Designate a Bar Corner
When you’re not in party mode, this bar corner might look like an outdoor shelf or table for displaying potted plants and patio accessories. But in the event of a party or BBQ, it’ll come in handy as a drink station.
Having a designated bar corner prevents your guests from having to pull their drinks out of a boring cooler or tracking dirt inside to pull something out of the fridge. It also provides a space to mix drinks or display options. It’s not totally necessary, but it’s sure to qualify you as a great host!
Make Your Patio Pop with Decorative Stick-On Tiles
One of our favorite trends of the moment is using tile stickers outdoors. Many people don’t realize it, but Quadrostyle tile stickers are made from outdoor resistant vinyl and can easily be installed on waterproof cement patios. In terms of making your outdoor space more lively and interesting, our funky patterns like Hamra and the ever-popular Corona in black will do most of the work for you.
Adhesive tiles are durable against regular wear and tear and can even stand up to the sun, but we consider them to be a temporary option. The good news is that, without having to spend a ton on costly cement tiles, you can easily switch up the style of your patio whenever the mood strikes you.
To make them last as long as possible, we recommend you use them mostly in covered, as they won't fare well if exposed to intense heat or cold. Because the adhesive is sensitive to moisture, you should also avoid installing them in areas that receive snow, which pools as it melts, seeping through cracks and unsticking the adhesive.
Accessorize to Add the Final Touch
Even with the right patio furniture, grill, and fun floors, your outdoor dining space will look incomplete without the right accessories. Adding potted plants is a good way to complete the outdoor vibe. A few tabletop planters and a statement palm, for example, will tie your lounge area together.
Then, for an intimate touch, add candles, lanterns, or tiki torches, if you’re feeling tropical. And to add interesting variety, incorporate different textures. Woven cushions and throw pillows, knit blankets, and a textured rug made of seagrass, for example, will keep your guests’ senses engaged.
The final accessory you shouldn’t forget to add is a sound system! No party is complete without a playlist, and to keep the energy up throughout your get-together, a sound system is mandatory. If hooking up the wiring sounds like a hassle to you, a portable Bluetooth speaker will do the trick!
*Thumbnail image source: stylebyemilyhenderson.com