If you have a beautiful outdoor living space, such as a deck, patio or backyard, you already have the perfect venue for a barbecue, picnic or al fresco dinner. Many homeowners are excited to show off their beautiful property to friends, family and neighbors, so they create an event to do so. If you plan to do a lot of entertaining outdoors, however, you will need a variety of accessories to create the perfect event. Unlike indoor events, where the majority of accessories revolve around decor, outdoor events focus on comfort and convenience. Here are some of the top accessories you should invest in for outdoor entertaining.
1. Collapsible Chairs
Most people with outdoor spaces have plenty of seating for the residents and a few guests, but you may not have adequate seating for larger events. Without enough seats, you might force some guests inside or leave them standing, splitting up the party and making them uncomfortable. The solution is to invest in some collapsible chairs that can be stored away when not in use or brought out for parties and events.
2. Cocktail Cart
Since you may not have an outdoor server or a bar for guests to access outside, a cocktail cart is the perfect solution. These don't have to be expensive or elaborate, but they are a great way to store bottles, glasses, napkins or anything else you might need to make a cocktail or pour yourself a drink. You could even store bowls or snacks on the cart.
3. Awning or Table Umbrellas
Although in an ideal world the weather would be perfect for outdoor entertaining, the reality is that rain can sneak up on you at any moment. Without overhead protection, the event could be a disaster. Be sure to invest in an awning to protect the entire outdoor space. If that is beyond your budget, then table umbrellas are ideal for smaller groups to wait out the worst of the rain.
4. Ice Chests and Drink Dispensers
One of the biggest problems with outdoor entertaining is going in and out of the house all day serving people drinks and bringing out ice to keep drinks and food cold. Thankfully, an ice chest is the perfect accessory to combat this problem. A simple cooler will work fine, but nice ice buckets can add a more elegant look to the party. Large drink dispensers or pitchers can also save you from multiple trips into the kitchen.
If you are planning an outdoor event that goes beyond sunset, you will need some sort of outdoor lighting as well. Outdoor lighting can be anything from a string of festive lights to a full outdoor lighting system, so it can fit into any budget. Both practical and decorative, lights are a vital element for outdoor entertaining at home.
6. Seat Cushions
It is common for homeowners to invest heavily in their interior seating but to scrimp when it comes to outdoor furniture. If you don't find your outdoor furniture to be comfortable, get some basic seat cushions to ensure that guests don't want to leave simply because of discomfort. You could even make your own basic seat cushions with simple sewing knowledge.
7. Music and Entertainment Options
To turn an outdoor event into a party, there should be some kind of entertainment. Weatherproof speakers or an outdoor sound system can transform your backyard living space into an exciting venue for any occasion.
Whether you are planning your first outdoor event or getting ready for a major celebration, ensure that you have plenty of these top accessories for outdoor entertaining.