Summer is very quickly winding down (I mean, HOW are we half way through August already?!) which means it’s time to make the most of the warm weather and long hours of daylight and get outside as much as possible. The best way to do just that? Take your entertaining outdoors! From backyard BBQs to casual weeknight wine al fresco with friends, there’s no place better than your own backyard, balcony or even just your favorite neighborhood park, to celebrate summer and take full advantage of the season.
I recently had a really fun opportunity to help throw the ultimate block party bash for a Pier 1 giveaway winner in the Bay Area. She was lucky enough to have a backyard with an absolutely incredible view and thanks to a full makeover with some of my favorite Pier 1 goodies, we set her up with a perfect space for outdoor entertaining. We started with a blank slate and decked out her yard with Pier 1 outdoor furniture to create a few separate areas for guests to enjoy with an outdoor sofa, a dining table and even a swing seat, then added some bright accessories and dining pieces to really get things ready for her party and it was SO amazing to see the homeowner and her guests’ reaction to our makeover and see them enjoy the space with a block party to welcome her back to the Bay Area.
Inspired by our epic backyard makeover project (it was seriously like an HGTV show!), I wanted to pass along a few tips for backyard entertaining like a pro:
1. Brighten things up with color & pattern: Even if your typical style is muted neutrals, consider your backyard your playground to explore ways to combine pattern, texture and color to brighten things up and have fun. Pick a general color palette (we worked with a lot of rich jewel tones to align with the homeowner’s bohemian style) and then mix things up with your outdoor dining pieces, napkins and accessories like pillows and lanterns.
2. Avoid any fuss: Make it easy on yourself and save time, effort and energy wherever possible – I promise your party will still be great! Skip the risk of breakage or heavy glassware to clean up and opt for Melamine dining pieces that will make clean up a breeze. We also ditched glass drink-ware and used amazing stainless steel wine glasses with a copper finish to bring the metallic trend to the party in a really effortless way (and they might have been my absolute favorite piece we used!)
3. Create space for conversation AND fun: If you have space to spread out a bit, consider the flow of your space and create separate spaces for intimate conversation and more rowdy fun, like backyard games. We wanted the homeowners family and friends to be able to connect in multiple spaces in her backyard and intentionally created the seating area with a sectional outdoor sofa away from the dining table so guests had multiple areas to mix and mingle, adding in a few outdoor game areas as well for some instant entertainment.
4. Keep it going after sunset: Sunshine is great but the best part of the party often happens after sunset and adding outdoor lighting helps make sure you’re prepared to keep the party going after dark! We added glass lanterns that matched our color palette throughout the entire yard with flameless LED candles inside to add some mood lighting and even wrapped a tree in twinkle lights and hanging lanterns for a little whimsy.
What are some of your own outdoor entertaining tips?
This post was sponsored by Pier 1 and as always, all opinions are 100% honest and my own – authenticity is a top priority and I only partner with brands I truly love. Thank you for supporting the brands that partner with Pretty & Fun!