There's something inherently festive about entertaining outdoors. Perhaps it's the sunshine, fresh air or open space that gets all of your guests into a celebratory mood. Outdoor events offer ample space for entertaining, allowing you to transform even an ordinary backyard into a functional and festive space. With the right decorations, ample serveware and utensils and a little bit of creativity, you can host a modern and chic outdoor event celebrating any occasion. Consider these ideas when planning your next outdoor gathering with family and friends.
1. Add Ambiance With Lighting
If you're hosting a late afternoon or evening outdoor event, lighting is a must. Soft, singlekling lights add ambiance to your event, upgrading it from ordinary to extraordinary. Fortunately, you can incorporate lighting in a number of ways. Add string lights with large bulbs to your patio umbrella, or hang them from your covered patio. LED tube-style lights can accent your deck railing, adding a singlekling touch when the sun sets. Large metal lanterns don't just serve as a decorative accent. Fill them with small, battery-operated LED string lights to brighten your outdoor space. Lastly, candles are always a festive addition to your tablescape, and citronella varieties can keep the bugs at bay.
2. Design an Inviting Table
Al fresco dining calls for all of the beauty and charm of an indoor dinner party. As a result, your dining table requires decoration to make your outdoor event modern and chic. Linens always add a touch of elegance to your table. For an outdoor event, skip the heavy white tablecloth and instead opt for a lighter, more sheer fabric for an airy vibe. With an outdoor event, you can also incorporate plenty of colour, so don't shy away from bright or patterned linens.
Next, select a centrepiece that complements your linen selection. Pillar candles in various heights in a line down the centre of the table is a simple yet chic look. For a more rustic vibe, use a metal bucket or wooden flower box as your base. Fill it with fresh flowers or branches to make a statement. Votive candles add a touch of sparkle to your table.
3. Add Modern Flair With Dinnerware
You can also define your table decor with your dinnerware, cutlery and glassware. For a simple yet chic look, opt for crisp white dinnerware with dazzling gold accents. Or, choose a colourful look and select dinnerware that pops against your linens. Classic silver cutlery adds a chic touch to any dining table. Select glassware that coordinates with your party beverages. For example, a fiesta might call for margaritas, and colourful margarita glasses add a fun touch to your tablescape. For a family-friendly party, choose casual tumblers that are easy to handle. Carefully choosing these elements for your outdoor dining table ensures that your event has plenty of modern flair.
4. Create an Inviting Sideboard and Bar
Complete the modern look of your outdoor event by designing a sideboard and bar that are both functional and stylish. Even if you don't have a permanent space outside to serve food and drinks, you can quickly create one with a folding table or patio table. Choose coordinating linens to match your dining table to make your design seamless. For the sideboard, select serveware that's functional and coordinates with your dinnerware. The sideboard table can use platters of various sizes and shapes for added intrigue. Incorporate varied heights as well. A tiered serving tray, for example, makes food accessible. If you don't have any tiered trays, add height by placing small boxes under the linens and setting some platters on top of these boxes.
Stock your outdoor bar with all of the supplies your guests will need. In addition to glassware for a variety of beverages, your bar should include a mixer, coasters, wine opener, bottle opener and straws. Use a beverage dispenser to serve a signature cocktail. Decorate your outdoor bar with complementary decorations, such as string lights, a vase of flowers or candles.
Outdoor entertaining can be modern and chic when you make the right selections for decor and design. With your west elm dinnerware, glassware and serveware, you're sure to be well stocked with the items you need to create an outdoor event that's inviting and entertaining. Let creativity be your guide as you design an outdoor event that friends and family will love.