Outdoor Entertaining Must-Haves
Jun 19

Outdoor Entertaining Must-Haves

Elevating Your Backyard Soirees to New Heights

Ah, summer – the season of sun-drenched days, balmy breezes, and the allure of al fresco entertaining. As a self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiast, I find nothing more delightful than gathering friends and family in the comfort of my own backyard for a laidback gathering. However, I’ve learned that successful outdoor parties require a bit more planning than their indoor counterparts. Between protecting guests from the elements, keeping pests at bay, and ensuring everyone’s comfort, there are quite a few must-haves to consider.

Luckily, I’ve perfected the art of outdoor entertaining over the years, and I’m here to share my top tips and tricks to elevate your backyard soirees to new heights. From shatterproof serveware to innovative lighting solutions, get ready to be the host(ess) with the most(est) on your next alfresco adventure.

Shade and Shelter: Keeping Guests Comfortable

Let’s start with the basics – providing ample shade and shelter for your guests. After all, no one wants to bake in the scorching summer sun or be at the mercy of unpredictable weather. That’s why a sturdy, adjustable umbrella, like the Cantilever Sunbrella Umbrella from Pottery Barn, is an absolute must-have. Not only does it offer generous coverage, but its sleek, modern design blends seamlessly into any outdoor setting.

For those with a bit more space to play with, consider incorporating a cozy cabana or daybed into your backyard oasis. The Swinging Daybed with Canopy from Home Depot is the perfect solution, providing both shade and additional seating for your guests to lounge and unwind.

And let’s not forget about those pesky mosquitoes and other flying pests that can quickly ruin an otherwise enjoyable outdoor gathering. Strategically placed elevated mesh food covers from Terrain and citronella coils from Crate & Barrel can work wonders in keeping those unwanted guests at bay.

Durable and Versatile Serveware

Now that we’ve got the basics covered, let’s talk about the all-important serveware. After all, you want your guests to be able to enjoy their food and drinks without the worry of fragile china or clumsy spills.

Shatterproof bamboo-fiber dinner plates from Anthropologie are the perfect solution, providing a stylish and durable alternative to traditional porcelain. And for those who prefer a more casual vibe, this melamine set from Food52 is both weather-resistant and easy on the eyes.

But serveware isn’t just about plates – it’s about keeping everything organized and accessible. A rotating lazy susan from Pottery Barn is a game-changer, allowing guests to easily reach for their favorite dips, chips, and crudités without the need for awkward table-crossing.

And let’s not forget about beverages. Keeping drinks cold and easily accessible is key for any successful outdoor gathering. A rolling cooler from AllModern is the perfect solution, allowing you to effortlessly ferry refreshments to your guests wherever they may be.

Ambient Lighting and Cozy Accents

As the sun dips below the horizon, it’s time to shift gears and focus on creating a cozy, inviting ambiance for your guests. Strategically placed solar-powered lanterns from Ballard Designs can provide a warm, soft glow without the hassle of outlets or extension cords.

And if the evening air starts to turn a bit chilly, a wood-burning fire pit from Wayfair can be the perfect solution, offering both warmth and a cozy, flickering ambiance. For a more low-key approach, a basket of plush Sunbrella blankets from Ballard Designs can be a lifesaver for guests who want to cozy up as the evening chill sets in.

And let’s not forget about the little touches that can make a big difference. Travertine oil lamps from CB2 can provide a subtle, elegant glow, while a discreet outdoor trash can from Pottery Barn can help keep your backyard tidy and clutter-free.

Serving Up Summer Favorites

Of course, no outdoor gathering would be complete without a delectable spread of summertime favorites. While the menu is entirely up to you, there are a few key essentials that can make your life as a host(ess) infinitely easier.

A sturdy beechwood salad stand from Houses and Parties can be a game-changer, allowing you to toss and serve up fresh greens without taking up precious tabletop real estate. And for those messy barbecue staples, a melamine marinade and prep tray set from Williams-Sonoma can keep things clean and organized.

Speaking of organization, a sturdy utensil caddy from Williams-Sonoma can be a lifesaver, allowing guests to easily grab what they need without rummaging through a drawer. And for those small bites and quick clean-ups, don’t forget to stock up on Brawny Tear-A-Square paper towels – the perfect combination of convenience and sustainability.

Of course, no backyard bash is complete without a few lawn games and a killer soundtrack to set the mood. But those are topics for another day. For now, let’s focus on making your next outdoor soiree one for the books!

Elevating the Ordinary into the Extraordinary

As the owner of Sofa Spectacular, a custom sofa company in the UK, I’ve had my fair share of practice when it comes to hosting unforgettable outdoor events. And let me tell you, the key to success lies in the little details.

Sure, you could just throw together a basic barbecue and call it a day, but why settle for ordinary when you can elevate the experience into something truly extraordinary? By carefully curating your outdoor entertaining essentials, you can create a backyard oasis that will have your guests raving long after the last s’more has been devoured.

So, the next time you’re planning an alfresco affair, remember these must-haves and get ready to bask in the glory of being the host(ess) with the most(est). Your guests will thank you, and you’ll be well on your way to outdoor entertaining perfection.

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