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deckorations-outdoor-party-guide

By the time spring rolls around, many of us are itching for an excuse to spend more time outdoors. What better way to usher in the arrival of warm weather than by throwing an epic outdoor party on your deck or patio?

Imagine you and your guests lounging on your new patio furniture, enjoying the long-awaited sun while sipping on craft cocktails and noshing on hors d’oeuvres. With the right décor and a little creativity, you can make your outdoor living space come alive after a long winter.

Before you can pull off the ultimate outdoor soiree, you’ll need to get your outdoor living space ready for your guests. From selecting the perfect flowers for your tablescape to choosing the perfect patio flooring that your guests will gush over, there is a lot to consider before you throw an epic backyard bash.

Are you already stressing over the details? Planning an outdoor party doesn’t need to be daunting. Just follow this ultimate outdoor party guide, and we’ll guide you through everything you need to throw a fuss-free bash.

Jazz Up Your Deck

staining wooden planks

With summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time to ready your deck or patio for warm weather gatherings. Whether you’re installing entirely new patio flooring or simply giving it a fresh look, this is one step that you’ll want to tackle sooner rather than later.

If you wait too long, you could end up with a half-finished deck by the time your party rolls around. With that in mind, here are a few ways to jazz up your patio or deck before your backyard bash:

  • Give Existing Outdoor Flooring Some TLC—Your decking has survived yet another brutal winter. After being exposed to the elements, it could probably use a good inspection for signs of damage, rot, and mildew. If you don’t need to do any repairs, your outdoor flooring could still probably benefit from a good staining, pressure washing, and a thorough scrub with a formulated deck cleaner. A little deck maintenance and cleaning will go a long way in making your space beautiful and vibrant once more.
  • Install New Outdoor Flooring—Maybe your decking came out of winter looking worse for the wear. If you can spiff up your patio and get it looking new again, then great! But if it’s too far gone or simply outdated, it may be time to start thinking about new patio flooring. Choosing the right patio flooring for your home can be a difficult decision, so be sure to give yourself enough time to mull over your deck tile samples before you end up with something you aren’t in love with. If you’re struggling to find the perfect outdoor flooring to elevate your space, BuildDirect is always happy to help you with any of your flooring inquiries.
  • Build/Buy a Fire Pit—Installing a fire pit on your deck or patio is a great way to play up the cozy ambiance and add some warmth to your favorite outdoor living space. In addition, it’s a fairly easy DIY project for homeowners to tackle on their own. While you do need to take a few things into consideration when choosing your fire pit (i.e., safety, local ordinances, material, etc.), the result can be a spectacular structure that is perfect for entertainment purposes.  
  • Install Planter Boxes—When it comes to stunning deck décor, nothing beats fresh blooms and lush greenery. Installing planter boxes with bright blooms can revitalize a space and even make you and your guests happier by triggering the feel-good chemicals in your brain. Just remember that this is yet another task that shouldn’t be put off to the last minute—you need to give your flowers time to bloom!

jazz-up-your-deck-graphic

Choose Patio Furniture with Style and Comfort in Mind

The comfort of your guests should be a top priority. After a long night of dancing and mingling, partygoers will need a place to rest their weary feet, grab a bite to eat, and strike up a conversation with fellow guests.

When selecting patio furniture, make sure that you have a mix of long wicker sofas and single chairs to give your guests options. Also, don’t overlook comfort in favor of style! Your outdoor living space may look like something straight out of a Better Homes & Gardens magazine, but your guests won’t be thrilled to sit in an uncomfortable chair.

It’s not just the choice of your patio furniture that requires careful consideration. How you arrange your outdoor furniture can also affect how well your guests mingle and enjoy themselves. To encourage mingling, don’t be afraid to arrange furniture in a more intimate fashion. Consider bringing comfortable fold-out chairs to place in-between your existing patio furniture to bridge the space and get people talking with one another.

Set Up an Outdoor Bar

When your guests run out of drinks, they’re forced to stop conversing to run back inside for a refill. Adding an outdoor bar to your deck is a stylish and effective way to solve this problem.

Most people will hover around the bar area, so be sure to put it in a strategic location. Place it far enough out of the way as to not disrupt the flow of people, but close enough to where it’s still easily accessible.

If you’ve ever set up an indoor bar cart, rest assured that there isn’t much difference to setting up an outdoor bar cart. The only thing you’ll want to do differently is to make your outdoor bar cart sturdy in case of inclement weather. Use a heavier bar cart that won’t tip over in the wind and consider stocking it with resilient drinkware for accidental drops and spills.

Enhance the Mood with Your Lighting

Lighting can make a huge difference to any space, and your deck is no exception. If you have an awning for your deck or a pergola, take advantage of this by creating a beautiful canopy of lights that hang gently above your guests.

woman hanging bulbs on porch

If you don’t have an awning or a pergola, you can take the less expensive route by installing four pieces of stripboard in each corner of your deck. Simply hang the string lights in a crisscross fashion, and you now have a cozy, backyard retreat for you and your guests.

Here are some other outdoor lighting options to consider:

  • Deck Rail Lighting—Show off your new outdoor flooring with deck rail lighting and provide guests with soft illumination. Deck rail lighting instantly elevates the ambiance and adds a beautiful glow to your backyard.
  • Decorative Lanterns—Don’t have any outlets outside? Use decorative lanterns with battery-powered light instead. You can even make your own by purchasing flameless LED candles and sticking them inside chic lanterns for a romantic vibe.
  • Hang a Chandelier—Hanging a chandelier from your pergola may not be cheap, but it can create a dramatic look that will be the envy of all your guests. An elegant chandelier will also enhance your tablescape décor.
  • Illuminate the Pool—If you have a pool, turn on your inside lighting so that it reflects off the surface of the water. The reflection adds a dreamy, relaxed ambiance with soft and subtle light.

Create a Beautiful Tablescape

Once you have the layout and lighting figured out, it’s time to create a beautiful tablescape that perfectly suits the vibe of your outdoor party. A stunning spread is a great opportunity to introduce bright colors and show off your impeccable taste.

create-a-tablescape-quoteTo create a jaw-dropping table spread, you’ll first need to come up with a color palette. To find the right color combos, think about the vibe you’re going for. Is it elegant and sophisticated? Seek out rich purples, navy blue, and gold for a striking spread that isn’t too dark for spring and summer. For a playful vibe that pops against your wood table, use blush, light blue, and sage green as accents in your table décor.

Once you’ve got a color palette, you can use the following ideas to transform your table spread into a striking outdoor display:

  • Incorporate Fresh Elements—There is something about fresh blooms that instantly brightens up a space. Just be careful to avoid over-doing it with your gorgeous flowers. Big and dramatic flowers can be distracting for guests and make conversation difficult.  
  • Give Napkins a Twist—Have some fun with your napkins by wrapping them into fancy rings that match your theme or fold them neatly and stick a fresh sprig of rosemary inside for a natural look.
  • Play with Textures and Patterns—Use table runners, napkins, and placemats with different textures and patterns to add visual appeal to your spread. For example, you can cut a burlap sack and use it as a table runner and pair it with wooden accents for a rustic aesthetic.

Be Respectful with Your Music

Nothing sets the mood like your choice of music. But, before you choose the ultimate party playlist, keep in mind that you probably have neighbors who won’t appreciate loud music playing late into the night. Disregarding local noise ordinances is one of the major outdoor party don’ts that every host would do well to remember.

It doesn’t hurt to touch base with your neighbors and let them know to reach out if things are too rowdy for them. Most guests prefer music that is on the low end, anyway, because it’s easier to hold a conversation.

Don’t Forget the Games

Although your deck will be the main gathering area, guests will want to move around and do something other than talking. If you have a decent-sized backyard, why not set up fun games for partygoers to play?

bean bags on cornhole board

Croquet and horseshoes are both popular lawn games that are always a hit at outdoor parties. If you have patio flooring, take advantage of the even space with a giant Connect Four set or a fun bowling set. Having a party at night? Set up glow-in-the-dark ring toss or a light-up bocce ball set to keep the fun going all night long.

Make a Contingency Plan

When you live in a place with temperamental weather in the spring, making a contingency plan for any outdoor get-together is a must. One minute the skies can be blue—and the next, you and your guests are being pummeled with rain or hail.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature couldn’t care less about your outdoor party plans. To keep the weather from ruining your bash, plan for an alternative location in your home that can quickly be converted into a party spot.

If you don’t already have a patio awning, you may want to consider installing one over your deck. Not only will this provide shelter for you and your guests, it can also improve your home’s value by adding functionality to your outdoor space.

Getting Your Outdoor Living Space Party-Ready

stylish-patio-decking-quoteHosting outdoor parties requires a little more planning than your typical house party. In addition to stressing over the typical details such as drinks, food, and decorating, you’ve also got to worry about a major wild card: the elements.

After a brutal winter, your deck or patio may not be in the best of shape. Whether you’re giving it a little TLC or installing new outdoor flooring altogether, your guests are sure to be stunned by your stylish patio decking.

If you need help choosing the ideal outdoor flooring for your home, BuildDirect is always happy to assist. Get in touch with us, and we’ll help you find stylish patio flooring that instantly elevates your outdoor living space.

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David Montagliani