Can you feel the excitement? Spring is almost here (March 19). That means the return of sunny weather and 70-degree temps. Spring is one of my favorite times in Charlotte… even though it can get a little chilly now and then, there are plenty of opportunities for a little outdoor entertaining, sitting outside with friends before the humidity and bugs of summer descend upon us.

You don’t have to have a palatial estate to create a wonderful setting for outdoor entertaining. Your pint-sized patio can work just as well as a spacious deck.

Here are a few ways to add some style to your outdoor entertaining.

  • Furniture placement is key: Typically you want to arrange the furniture in a way that encourages conversation. I love sitting on the patio around a table laughing with friends.  In a smaller space, however, avoid putting a giant table in the center if you aren’t serving dinner so that your guests have room to move. Instead, try using small tables between chairs for people to put their drinks on.
  • Add pillows: Pillows are comfy. They are great for adding color! Really large ones can even be used as extra seating.  I love pillows inside and out. I even have a whole section in my staging warehouse dedicated to pillows.  
  • Hang up lights: Some of my favorite patios in town are at restaurants (link to patio blog) that have tiny bistro/white lights strung overhead. Paper lanterns can be fun too. They just scream “sit here and feel fancy while we talk!” The warm glow is perfect as the days start to get longer but nightfall still comes relatively early.
  • Details, details, details: Add fresh flowers, candles, even fun plants to the space to make it feel welcoming and fun. Larger plants can also add a little privacy if they are placed strategically.
  • Add a bar cart or designated drink area: This will help you avoid the constant flow of people going in and out of your house to get a drink. If you don’t have a bar car, designate a little side table or cooler for drinks so no one has to go far. Not sure what to serve at your casual dinner party? Here are a few ideas.

Most patio’s have a relatively monotone color scheme so the pops of color in the details (or the pillows) can have a big impact.

If you need a little inspiration on taking it up a notch with outdoor fireplaces and other high-end features, Check out these stylish outdoor rooms.

Happy Spring!