Backyard entertaining during a summer afternoon is a breeze. Mix good food with fun activities, and you can watch your guests have a great time. When you’re entertaining outdoors at night, however, there are a few extras you should make sure to have:
A Comfortable Seating Arrangement
Since your guests most likely won’t mingle around the yard in the dark, comfortable seating is most important. Consider deep cushion chairs, sofa and sectionals, which will allow your friends to settle in for intriguing conversation. Also consider ottomans that invite people to put up their feet and can serve as extra seating if your crowd grows.
Blankets and Throws
Anticipate your guests’ needs when you’re entertaining outdoors at night by placing blankets and throws outside near your seating. If the air becomes brisk, they can easily wrap themselves in warmth without interrupting the flow of the party.
Summer nights in the Midwest often see dropping temperatures, and the perfect solution is adding a fire pit to your patio design. Not only will this feature add ambiance and lighting, it will put out some warmth to take the chill out of the air. Choose stand-alone fire pits that radiate heat in chosen spots. Or select a fire pit table, where guests can gather to enjoy conversation – and perhaps s’mores.
Lanterns and Lights
You’ll want to have ambient lighting during your nighttime gathering, and candles will do the trick. Their glow will create a wonderful sense of intimacy. Use lanterns so that a soft breeze won’t disrupt the flame. You can also fish out the old Christmas lights and string them in the trees or the spokes of patio umbrellas. Or hang them across your patio. Lighted fountains also add an accent glow, and they provide a soothing sound of running water. The more layers of light you have, the more enchanting your back yard will feel.
Fall weather is unpredictable, with the occasional warm afternoon followed by a chilly night’s air. While it can feel like the days of relaxing in the back yard are numbered, there is still plenty of time to enjoy your patio or deck if you transition it to fall. Here are five ways to create the ideal fall patio.
Add Some Heat
The quickest way to take the chill out of the air is to build a fire, and fire pits offer the perfect solution. Choose one that allows you to burn wood, or check out easy-to-use gas fire pits that light with the push of a button. Fire pits can be freestanding or as the centerpiece of an outdoor table. Either will create a cozy atmosphere and the perfect spot to curl up with a cup of hot chocolate – or a hot toddy.
Warm Up Your Colors
Bright colors like yellow and marine blue are perfect for creating a summery scene, but you can instantly update your fall patio by swapping out cushions or umbrellas. Choose deeper, richer tones such as orange, red, dark green and brown. The shades will complement the changing colors of the foliage in your yard.
Shorter days mean longer nights, but you can easily add hours to your outdoor space by incorporating lights. From tabletop lanterns to twinkling strings of mini-lights, you’ll create a magical fall patio when you light up the area. Also consider highlighting walkways and stairs with spot and floodlights to create a safe path to nighttime entertaining.
Use An Outdoor Rug
Warm up your feet by covering cold patio and deck surfaces with an outdoor rug. Made to withstand the elements, outdoor rugs add texture to a space. They also offer a great opportunity to add color or pattern. And cleaning is a breeze – just hose them off!
Change to Fall Decor
Finally, let your décor set the mood by adding fall flowers and accents. Fill pots with planted mums. Add blankets, ottomans and throw pillows to seating arrangements to warm up your guests when the temperature starts to dip. A warm and cozy atmosphere will help you enjoy your fall patio as long as possible.