Come spring and summer, we LOVE an outdoor party—save the indoor stuff for the winter doldrums, we say! You don’t have to hunt for an outdoor venue, either. To maximize your summer bashes, simply throw them in your own backyard. Whether that translates to ‘tinis on the balcony or a full-fledged poolside rager, we’ve got some hot tips on how to spruce up your outdoor space and make get it in party-ready shape.


1. Keep It Simple

Hosting an outdoor party doesn’t mean you have to own a complete set of outdoor furniture or even that you need a whale of a backyard. For the ultimate no-stress fete throw down some blankets (whatever you got will do the trick!) and let the casual picnic vibes ensue. If you are looking to raise the style bar a bit, opt for patterned blankets in bright color-ways (think ikats, indigo mudcloths—the works!) and don’t be afraid to mix in a rug or two, either. Suzanis, kilims, and chunky faux fur throws can make for an unexpected but completely yummy mix. The best part? If someone spills their vino, it’s super easy to gather up the crew and toss them in the wash.

Photo by Natasha Lee

2. Bring In Light

If your party will be dipping into the after-hours, make sure you’re on the ball when it comes to lighting (after all, no one wants to end up in the ER when they should be chatting and cocktail-ing the night away). For a romantic sparkle that will have you swearing you we’re dropped down in Marrakesh, string LED rope lights from tree to tree, or from patio overhang to a tree (or concrete-set pole) and back. If you’re looking to REALLY knock guests’ socks off, you might also think about plunking down a few glowing lanterns. Keep them ground-level or set them on tables for an extra ambient (face-flattering!) glow.

3. Show Off Your Green Thumb

Little green monsters (aka: plants) may seem like a given when talking about the outdoors, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider dropping in a few more for extra pizzaz. In addition to being easy-peasy to source, potted plants make for an apt décor item, especially if you pay special mind to the pot itself. When making your selects, think about your party’s color palette, but also stick to blooms that complement your furniture. Still stumped? Think easy, breezy grasses for a summer white party, or punchy pots full of pansies, Gerber daisies, or petunias for a kooky spring garden party.

4. Maintain Your Decor

As they say, there’s ain’t no rest for the wicker, and that’s especially true when it comes to your outdoor furniture. Whether you have a single buffet table or a fifteen-piece set, your outdoor furniture is likely to be the secondary host of your party. With that in mind, maintain those bad boys! Remember to dust your furniture regularly, especially those pieces with open weaves, which can trap all bits of dirt and dust. It also never hurts to clean with a detergent mix. To whip up a quick batch of grime-buster, mix two tablespoons of detergent with one gallon of water. Wipe down all surfaces and rinse THOROUGHLY. Between cleanings, make sure to protect your furniture from extreme elements. We’re talking snow and heat, so no one’s out of the loop, here, people! Also, check for mold and mildew regularly. Keep it all up on the reg, and you’re golden.

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Lead photo by Sarah Dorio / Design by Betsy Burnham 

August 1, 2019

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