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.
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.
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.
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.