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summer paper lanterns tree sky

Today is the first day of summer here in the Northern hemisphere!  Before you get all your friends together, you may want to prepare your outdoor living space for the fun. Now is the time to get your backyard ready for parties and barbecues. These DIY tips should help you prepare for the perfect backyard summer parties.

1. Give the lawn a makeover

Put the dogs and the kids inside the house, grab a pair of reliable goggles and crank up the lawn mower. Be sure all the obstacles are out of the way – the last thing you need is an old golf ball shooting across the yard and through a window.

If you’re feeling like making a bigger change, consider getting rid of your lawn entirely for a more eco-friendly land space. Scatter wildflower seeds and watch them bloom or plant a vegetable garden and grow your own produce. Your guests will enjoy the veggies or beautiful blossoms throughout the summer.

2. Install outdoor lighting

Lights are a must for backyard entertaining. Fortunately, they aren’t too hard to install. To ensure that your lights stay up, screw-in strong, weight-bearing hooks, then drape the lights between the hooks. Just make sure the end of your lights is near the electrical source.

Another fun option for outdoor lighting is to purchase balloons and small LED lights. Turn the LED lights on and insert them into balloons. Fill the balloons with helium and let them float to the top of your outdoor canopy, or attach them with string and let them float free.

3. Plant small garden boxes

Whether it’s in the front yard or on the backyard patio, containers with pretty blooms will enhance the feel of your outdoor party arena. The key to success is to fill the planters or boxes with lightweight soil mix. This sustains the growth and health of plants and flowers by providing excellent drainage and aeration.

4. Think about shelter

Sometimes in the summer, the weather can turn, just like any other time of year. When that happens, outdoor elements like awnings and pergolas over your deck or patio can be the perfect solution to keeping your party going, even when it begins to rain. Summer is about being outside. So, make sure that you’re prepared in all kinds of conditions.

pergola and deck in outdoor living space

5. Put up an outdoor bar

You want this to be the perfect outdoor party. Nothing fouls that up more than having to constantly run back inside and grab drinks. You can get around this with an outdoor bar. The easiest and most inexpensive way to set this up is to use a tiered rolling cart.

Stock the heaviest mixers and other extras on the bottom level. Place your glasses and cups (unbreakable) on the middle shelf. Your drink selections are best displayed across the top. Be sure to leave enough room for mixing. Now just leave out some prepared-in-advance garnishes (limes and lemons) so everyone can easily access them, and voilà, you’re ready to go.

6. Build/buy a fire pit

This may take a bit of time and effort, but the result will be worth it and can be used again and again. Start by digging out a trench or hole the size necessary for a large enough fire. Fill the bottom with several inches of gravel. Then use blocks for building the walls — interlocking styles can give it a professional touch.

Of course, you could also just buy a fire pit. There are a wide variety from which to choose, and designed to be incorporated into a variety of spaces, big and small.

How do you feel about your space now?

Take a look around? How do you feel about your space now? Add what finishing touches might have been overlooked; some additional outdoor chairs for extra visitors, perhaps? Now you should be ready for a summer of good times in your backyard.

What kinds of activities do you engage in beyond eating and drinking during an outdoor gathering at home? What kinds of elements have you added, or are thinking of adding, to make your summer party in an outdoor space memorable?

Tell us all about it in the comments section of this post!

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.