6 Ways to Create Party-Perfect Outdoor Spaces
It’s only ever a few months until another party season is starting. If your outdoor entertaining areas are looking a bit empty or sterile, it’s a good time to start thinking about what you can do to bring in some style and character and be ready for the next round of holidays and hosting.
Having the right furniture is always a good base for building your party-perfect outdoor space. But you’ll be surprised how just a few simple and inexpensive touches can really bring your entertaining area to the next level, and turn your humble barbecue into a memorable occasion for your guests.
Think cocktail style!
Most of the ambience from a party comes from the energy of your guests, and not from any one thing you’ve done. But it’s possible to harness the bubbling conversation, and use it to bring your party together into a warm and inviting whole by dispersing it throughout the space.
Always focus on inclusion and making conversation easy. If you’ve got a large outdoor table and chairs, it’ll fill up with the exact number of guests for the number of seats, making it difficult in a medium or large party for anyone to join or leave the conversation. Use the table for the food, but put it to the side, and spread the chairs around the edges of the party to encourage movement around the space and avoid creating little factions.
Turn it into a bar
Everyone knows that bars and pubs are for conversation as much as they’re for drinks—and if your outdoor space looks like a bar, you’re pretty well guaranteed to throw a decent shindig, especially in Brisbane. Sharing a plentiful selection of cold beverages will do most of the legwork, but if you really want to take the concept of cocktail style to the next level, you could consider investing in outdoor bars and bar stools.
Whether you choose glass-topped, steel or timber furniture, it will completely transform the atmosphere of your outdoor entertaining area. High-set bars and bar chairs really set the mood for partying, leaving your guests with the impression that they’re in the VIP section of an exclusive hotel, and giving them the ease of movement and conversation—whether they’re sitting or standing—that the best social events are made of.
Make it ambient
Choosing the right lighting is always a good way to turn an evening barbeque into a night of stellar entertainment. There are lots of options for electric lighting or outdoor fireplaces that will help you to sprinkle a bit of soft light throughout your space. Fairy lights, fire pits, and paper lanterns are always a good choice for bringing an extra element of decoration to your outdoor entertaining area, especially if you’re aiming to upscale the sophistication.
But to create a real ambience without the expense of investing in lighting, try tea light candles in paper bags. They’re cheap as chips, and they create a pleasant visual experience for any party, whether you’re going for a rustic and understated mood, or a vibrant and energetic celebration.
Add some decoration
There are lots of ways to add an extra pop of colour or texture to your outdoor entertaining areas without breaking the bank. Invest in an umbrella or two in a bold colour scheme to give any dull space an instant facelift, and enjoy the added benefits of keeping the food and guests out of the heat of the sun (or dry, if it starts to sprinkle).
But not all decorations need to be an investment. Kraft paper looks fantastic when it’s laid over your tables, bringing a vintage feel that will complement some handpicked flowers. It also protects your white linen from spills, and if you’re feeling really creative, you can even write on it—whether it’s to share the ingredients in the dip, or to keep the kids entertained with some drawing
One of the best ways to encourage movement through your party is actually by creating spaces yourself for people to congregate. While formal seating arrangements will make it difficult for people to mingle in a medium or large party, creating low-set zones can actually encourage it. You can create little ‘rooms’ with sun lounges, daybeds, and even squatter’s chairs, encouraging your guests to relax and participate in the conversation.
If you’ve got beanbags or large sitting cushions inside, bring them out into your entertaining area in clusters, making sure they face outwards to the centre of the party. Upcycled furniture is always a great idea: embrace the eclectic look of different colours and styles, and arrange them in horseshoe-shaped patterns to soften corners of your outdoor space. It’ll give your guests little areas to enjoy their company and have private conversations, where they can still look out onto the rest of the party and not end up disconnected from it.
Be a good host
Most of your friends will be comfortable taking care of themselves, and as long as you keep the esky full of drinks and ice and the table full of food, they’ll be happy. But some of the success of your parties will depend on you: your careful consideration of their comfort will often be the deciding factor in whether or not they enjoy your party.
One of the most important things you can do as a host is invest in quality outdoor furniture. Your guests won’t be able to resist the sleek stainless steel and luxurious kwila timber slats in the Australian Garden Furniture Company’s bar table and bar stools, and they’ll want to stay all day and night in reclined in the comfortable canvas slings of our squatter’s chairs.
Contact us anytime for more information, and we’ll be happy to share more advice about turning your outdoor entertaining area into the perfect party space.