When the weather is fine, it is time to take the party outside. Whether you love planning elaborate menus and decor, or prefer simple last-minute cocktails with friends, the important thing is finding the fete to suit your style. Get inspired by these eight outdoor party ideas, from beachy cocktails into just desserts.
McGuire Furniture Company
1. Chill in an outdoor living area. Make your patio cozier by attracting a few home comforts outside. Roll out a rug, plump up the sofa with additional pillows and maintain a gentle toss within reach.
If you’re short on outdoor furniture, then haul a few pieces out from your living room briefly — sitting real furniture outside feels luxurious.
Molly Wood Garden Design
2. Sun bleached and beachy. Conjure a summery mood with pale tones of sand and white. Hang white drapes or suspend fabric overhead to give coverage from sunlight. Decorate the table with white shells, hurricanes filled with sand and miniature tea lights.
Scot Eckley, Inc..
3. Italian or French style, outdoor dining. Draw inspiration in the Italian and French customs for long, leisurely lunches al fresco. Set out large platters of simple, seasonal foods household fashion, along with wine from glass carafes.
Maintaining a basket of essentials (shades, straw hats, sunscreen) available for guests to grab as required is a thoughtful touch.
Tip: Make the celebration budget friendly. Hit budget-friendly stores such as Ikea and Target to stock up on party supplies in goes-with-everything white. Paper lanterns, string lights and candles set the mood, along with an inexpensive set of dishes and unbreakable cups will see you through several parties. Give a basic picnic table a DIY upgrade by stenciling words onto the surface.
APLD, Susan Cohan
4. Tropical takeout. Who says you have to cook to throw an awesome party? Purchase from your favorite neighborhood restaurant instead and concentrate your effort on the decoration.
A coffee table placed on vibrant outdoor mats and surrounded with floor cushions creates a fun spot for a small dinner party to congregate at. Set out brilliant parasols, lanterns, potted succulents and sculptures or other artwork borrowed from inside.
Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates
5. Homegrown-edibles swap. Get with garden-loving friends for a party that celebrates the bounty of the year. Invite guests to bring something they’ve grown, picked or made from scratch — by a basket of ideal juicy tomatoes from their garden to jars of homemade jam or pickles, or even home-brewed beer.
MTLA- Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture
6. Australian cinema. With a small projector (either bought or leased) and a notebook, it is possible to display a movie right on your backyard. For a classy evening, set up tables outdoors and show a foreign movie along with dinner.
For a twist spin, show an independent children’ picture and also follow up with s’mores around the fire pit. Check out the DVD listing in the New York International Children’s Film Festival for ideas.
7. Just desserts. When you’d really prefer to have people over, but dinner sounds like a lot of, host a dinner party instead. Invite friends to appear after dinner and then surprise them with an elegant dessert table set up on the terrace.
A few desserts, perhaps a cheese plate, plus tea and coffee are all you want. Finish off the day with a unique dessert wine if you like.
Katie Leede & Company Studio
Tip: Create mood lighting. Beautiful lighting is the key to hosting an outdoor party that really wows guests. And the wonderful thing is, it doesn’t need to be expensive! Line up hurricane lamps or tiki torches across a route, scatter tea lights on tables and hang lanterns and series lights overhead. If you’re worried about fire, stick with battery-powered candles rather than the real thing.
8. Cocktails at dusk. Ask guests to arrive just as the sun is beginning to set for cocktails and small bites on the terrace. Since the sun dips lower, turn on the landscape clusters and lighting of candles on every surface.
Tell us What was the very best outdoor party you have ever had?