Creating Outdoor Party Space

With the flick of a match, a cozy fire and wraparound seats, turn an empty space into the ultimate gathering spot for your next outdoor party.

Outdoor party space with fire pit.

Tips For Creating An Outdoor Party Space

Expand your horizons and let guests gather outdoors. A fire pit makes an attractive focal point when kicking back and relaxing.

Two blue paper lanterns tied with scarves provide ambient lighting at your outdoor party.

Blue Paper Lanterns

Inexpensive paper lanterns come in a rainbow of vibrant shades that coordinate with your party's color scheme.

Colorful pillows and an outdoor sofa provide comfortable seating at an outdoor party.

Colorful Grouping Of Pillows

Decorative throw pillows make a fun and stylish statement while adding a touch of comfort to outdoor parties with friends.

Tray with several party drinks

Tray Of Party Drinks

Warm-weather entertaining is a breeze with cool, refreshing drinks made in batches. If you're serving alcohol, have a non-alcoholic option, too.

Gold-toned blanket on outdoor sofa

Gold-Toned Blanket

Scatter fabulous throws in the seating area to give instant color and warmth to your outdoor party space.


Whether you have a patio, deck or enclosed backyard, here are some simple ideas for creating an outdoor entertaining oasis.

Make a Firepit

It doesn’t get much easier than this, or more dramatic. Fill a low, round, firesafe concrete container with wood, and light it. We love the way fire’s irresistible glow brings people closer as daylight fades.

Hang Lanterns

Inexpensive paper globes bounce and flutter like balloons, but their look is more sophisticated. Tied to the rails with kicky scarves, the bright bubbles sneak more color into an already eye-catching corner.

Make Simple Pillows

Cushions invite cuddling, especially after dark. Raid your scarf stash and pick the wildest for cameos on neutral pillows (simply tie around), or sew your own from the scarves you no longer wear.

Add Candles

Even with a fire going, candles light up parties and add to the welcoming atmosphere. Tall glass hurricanes keep wind out, but for extra breezy nights, swap battery operated LED candles for the old-school kind.

Serve Great Drinks

In the spirit of summer, try a fresh take on the common cocktail. Two of our favorites, Passion Fruit Hurricanes and non-alcoholic Sunny Orange Lemonade, are made with zesty fruit juices in place of mundane mixers.

Add Comfy Throw Blankets

From Maine to California, summer evenings can be crisp, so don’t skimp on wraps to snuggle under. For stargazing in comfort, think casual, lightweight and well-worn.

Roll Out a Rug

As with indoor rooms, rugs outside encourage camaraderie, drawing furniture into groups and offering feet an alternative to bare ground. Though less expected outdoors, patio carpets (in weatherwise polypropylene) send an especially friendly come-hither.

Outdoor Party Styling by Dara Samuelson; written by Susan Heeger.

Photography by Jeremy Samuelson.


Leave a Comment