5 Tips for Throwing the Perfect Outdoor Patio Party
Food, decor and guest list are magical ingredients to any patio party, but a spectacular setting can make all the difference. From comfort and convenience to ambiance, your patio design greatly influences your guests’ experience. Here are some tips to help simplify your outdoor entertainment and enhance your al fresco experiences.
Build seat walls
The nature of your patio parties can vary from modest Sunday lunches with a few close friends to large, booming cocktail parties. By incorporating low walls into your hardscape design, you can create enough seating for guest lists of any size. When all the outdoor furniture is occupied, vibrant cushions can be placed on these smooth surfaces, transforming them into casual seating spaces. These walls can be designed to hold hidden compartments in which cushions and throws can be stowed, keeping them protected and out of the way until needed. Using low walls as emergency seating space will save you from having to force in additional chairs, which can make an area feel cramped and unorganized.
When seat walls aren’t being used, they can serve as functional surfaces upon which to place drinks, plates and decorative items such as planters. They also serve to divide a patio into different conversation zones, allowing big crowds to break up into smaller, more comfortable groups.
Involve the chef
Good food is central to any successful party and many guests love watching the magic happen. A centrally-located outdoor kitchen, equipped with bar stools or other comfortable seating options, will invite guests to socialize with the chef and watch the food being prepared. Positioning the kitchen at the center of the festivities allows guests easy access to food and drinks. Beer taps and mini-fridges filled with drinks can make the space more inviting, provided their positioning doesn’t interfere with the kitchen’s most important function – cooking. This can be ensured by providing ample counter space for eager helpers. A pizza oven is another show-stopping addition to any outdoor kitchen, providing opportunity for pizza parties, quickly feeding hungry guests and allowing guests of all ages to enjoy making their own pizzas.
Light up the night
Landscape lighting will prevent the setting sun from putting a stop to your celebrations. Pathways, staircases and poolside surrounds should always be well-lit for safety, but this need not be stark or austere. Pool lighting can add glamour to your pool and accentuate any adjacent water features or plant life. Flood lighting can be used to illuminate a large area from above while underwater lights can be installed flush with the pool’s sides, creating an alluring glow within the water. A fire pit, tiki torches or other forms of decorative lighting can add sparkle while contributing a warm, cozy atmosphere.
Have sufficient shelter
An elegant pergola or gazebo cover for your poolside patio can extend the use of your pool, provide swimmers with a respite from the hot afternoon sun and keep guests comfortable while they enjoy your spectacular poolside ambiance. Homeowners who’d rather not commit to a permanent structure can choose from a wide variety of collapsible alternatives to keep near at hand during gatherings. Free-standing parasols are portable, making them a more flexible alternative to beat the summer sun. Canvas outdoor curtains or shade cloth fitted to your pergola, as well as awnings and even trees can provide shade to ensure a more comfortable pool area.
Create aquatic attractions
A pool can take any summer patio party to the next level. Throw in a few unique poolside accessories for entertainment and gorgeous features to set the scene, and you have a winning combination for unforgettable summer fun. Discreet waterslides can be created in muted shades and nestled between natural stone, providing hours of fun for the kids while blending stylishly into the surrounding landscape. An island in the center of your pool is not only a unique feature that will set your pool apart from the rest, but can serve the function of a sunbathing platform, or to house tropical plants and rock features. Alternatively, a varied collection of plants on this island can be paired with the sunny shades of sandstone for a beachy effect. Incorporating organic curves and waterfalls into the design of your pool can also contribute to a tropical appearance while the cascading water improves pool circulation and aeration while contributing to poolside atmosphere.