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5 Ways to Create a Perfect Outdoor Entertaining Space

We’re enjoying the last few weeks of summer around here! And what better way to do it than with some outdoor entertaining. How many of you live in the Midwest or other northern states? We know we have to hunker down soon, right? So let’s make the most of what’s left of summer! Although we have to admit… we are kind of counting down the days to cooler temps. You would be, too, if you had to get ready for markets in an 1843 building with no air conditioning 😉 Today we’re sharing our five favorite ways to create the perfect outdoor entertaining space!

How Can I Make My Patio More Interesting?

Think outside the box when it comes to outdoor decorating and entertaining. So many things you use inside, can be used outside. Especially when it comes to entertaining — anything you use inside can definitely go outside for the day.

For example, a metal sign like this or this “choose happy” sign can definitely go outside. Maybe just brush on our Wise Owl Varnish if it’s not going to be covered to prevent rusting.

How perfect would this coffee sign be next your favorite seat outside or if you’re hosting an outdoor brunch?

How Do I Make My Patio More Interesting?

Just like you do inside, you want to make sure you’re using varying heights outside, as well as the odd number rule. In this video, we broke it all down for you. We talked about how to use the odd number rule and varying heights. This is how to style a bookshelf and can be applied to every vignette! A vignette is just any area of decor – you can see that in the video, too.

Here are a few examples of how we use varying heights, the odd number rule, and a ton of texture! Take this same concept outdoors when you’re decorating for added interest.

Another tip for making your patio more interesting: bring your color scheme outside! You probably have a few different colors that you decorate with throughout your home, right? Take that idea outside! Pick a color scheme and decorate with those colors. Have a couple that you use throughout and don’t forget to add pops of color. A great way to do that is with flowers — something that’s always outside. You can also add pops of color to your table when you’re entertaining out on the patio or deck. Read this post for more tips/details on picking a color scheme.

How Can I Make My Patio Cozier?

You can make your patio cozier for everyday life and for entertaining outdoors with rugs, pillows, linen tablecloths, and runners. You can have designated outdoor rugs & table linens even if they’re not actually “outdoor”. We love this black & white striped table runner and this cream & black runner in the online shop for indoor or outdoor entertaining. You can keep these items outside, especially on a covered patio, and always bring them in for a wash. Or when you know it’s going to rain for several days, just throw them in the shed, garage, or storage box for a bit.

Read this post for 5 ways to make your outdoor space cozy. Your husband might think you’re a little crazy for having “indoor” pillows outside but what does he know about decorating anyway?

This rug is actually an outdoor rug but the pillows we used outside aren’t! They’re just designated outdoor pillows that get thrown in the washing machine every now and again.

What Makes Any Space Even Cozier? Candles. Always Candles.

Another way to up the cozy outside is with candles! Bring your candles outside from inside or use these faux candles. We will have them available at our August Market. The best part is, you don’t have to worry about them getting blown out or anyone knocking them over. Especially if everyone is having a few drinks in the dark – that always gets interesting.

These seriously look and feel SO real! They’re amazing and even flicker. They’re the perfect touch of ambience for outdoor entertaining. This is also the black & white striped table runner we were talking about before.
A simple table setting with the faux candles, striped runner, faux tulips, and brick mold as the vessel to ground everything. And yes! You sure can use faux flowers outside. Another great candle holder is this heart shaped wood bowl.

And what’s cozier than a fire when entertaining outside? We LOVE these fire starters that will be available at the next market, too. This is the Citronella scented one. We also have fall scents coming so stay tuned for those!

The ultimate way to cozy it up for your outdoor shindigs! It’s even Citronella scented to keep the mosquitoes, that are absolutely insane this year, far away. We have fall scents coming, too! Seriously. Does it get cozier? The fire starter is sitting atop the cream table runner with black stripes, too.

How Do I Turn My Backyard into the Ultimate Entertaining Space?

You can turn your backyard into an entertaining oasis by creating vignettes. Have designated areas for different activities. For example: You can have a small bistro set for chatting; an area set up around the grill with a radio for game watchers; a dining table with plenty of chairs for eating together; and some chairs set up around the firepit for relaxing. This blog post gives more details and tips on setting up these areas, too.

As you can see here, we set up a sitting area on the deck. We also set up chairs around the firepit as a separate sitting area. This way you can have intimate conversation areas when you’re entertaining outdoors.

What Do I Need for Outdoor Entertaining?

The basics for outdoor entertaining are the same as indoor entertaining. Start with the table — like this gorgeous handcrafted table that has already been sealed for outdoor use. This makes the perfect dining table because there’s room for four chairs. You could also use it for a cocktail/coffee bar or buffet for food and dishes.

After you’re done entertaining outside for the summer, you can unscrew the legs on this table so it’s easier to store it for the winter. And there’s that striped table runner again!

You’re going to need plates, silverware, napkins, and glasses. Of course you can use paper goods like these paper napkins and paper plates. You can always use the same dishes and such you use inside, too. Make it easier on your guests and have the table set up already or everything they’ll need for enjoying their meal on the buffet table.

If you’re going to use paper plates for entertaining outside, there’s no reason they can’t be super cute! We love these rooster plates and have a couple other styles, as well. Pictured here are the blue cottage stripe paper napkins. We have a few styles of those, too. You can find them all in our Hostess with the Mostest Collection.

Now for the Most Fun Part… Making it all Super Cute!

Again, just like you do inside, set up your table for outdoor entertaining, like we did here. We also wrote a blog post on tips for how long your table runner should be. Click here for those tips and different ways you might not expect to use a runner.

It’s always a good idea to use a basket, especially when you’re bringing things outdoors for eating/entertaining. It’s the perfect vessel for bringing your napkins, silverware, and other necessities outside.

Were these tips helpful for outdoor entertaining? Let us know in the comments! If you have any questions, or need more details, we’re happy to help!

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