Now that spring has officially sprung, it's the perfect opportunity to prepare our outdoor spaces for outdoor entertaining, and if you're really lucky, the outdoor season may already be upon you.
Because we love nothing more than a big night at the park, we've turned to the queen of entertainment: designer, entrepreneur, lifestyle expert and philanthropist Brigan Jane. Read on to find out how Jane prepares her outdoor spaces for big spring and summer events, as well as tips for throwing parties your friends will love even when the temperature drops.
Now is the time to start preparing
Jane says that waiting until it warms up to occupy her outdoor space is a common mistake. In fact, there's no better time than now to start investigating winter damage to your garden or yard. "There's still a lot of work to do before the season starts," Jane notes.
He recommends cleaning and drying areas that may collect rainwater, checking seat cushions for replacement, and checking floors or furniture for chips or jagged edges. And psst , this is a great time to pick up accent pieces that may need an update for the season.
Design a layout with guests in mind
If you're not quite ready to replace your large garden furniture, or simply don't need it, Jane recommends looking at smaller items that can make a big difference in restoring the atmosphere. Remember, this year you're thinking of your outdoor space as an extension of your indoor space.
"I always tell guests that small side tables are such a simple addition that can really enhance your guests' experience," says Jane. “Several side tables ensure that guests can place their glasses and plates while chatting. You can find some really nice options that will match your decor and add some flair.
There are many simple additions that can really enhance your guests' experience.
Arrange or rearrange your seat accordingly
Whether you're buying new things or complimenting what you already have, Jenn says creating simple, functional seating is a must for any great party.
"What's the point of an outdoor party if no one can easily communicate with each other?" Joan asks. "People are very focused on the look of a space, and that's certainly important, but you can always find a good balance between functionality and aesthetics."
When designing an outdoor space, consider not only how your seating area will look, but also how it will be used. Group chairs and sections so people can easily talk to each other, Jane suggests.
"Think about the distribution of space, especially if there are food or stations, to ensure adequate space and continuity of design," she says.
Comfort above all else
You have small side tables for drinks and plates, your seating is festive and your layout is functionally defined. Next, Jen suggests thinking about guest comfort.
"People's comfort needs to be taken more seriously," he says. "When you invite people to a party, you want them to stay long enough to enjoy all the work and preparation that went into your event, right?"
Think of small and big ways to make your design positive for customers, suggests Jane. Choose comfortable chairs and cushions, and if your outdoor space isn't covered, consider a large canopy so guests can stay cool in the shade.
Floor covering also plays an important role outdoors.
Jane let us in on a little secret: you should always think about the floor. Outdoor rugs aren't just a way to add a pop of color or make a room more cohesive, they're also a way to make your outdoor space more comfortable.
"I always recommend looking at the flooring you choose for your outdoor space," says Jane. “From lawn care to outdoor rugs that provide a soft surface for your feet, the comfort of your guests can make or break your party. Don't forget about it."
Add holiday lights
Just as designers regularly talk about our indoor spaces, Jenn assures us that good lighting is just as important to setting the mood for an outdoor party. He likes solar lanterns that come in different shapes and styles and are environmentally friendly.
"Hang lights outside to not only create a festive mood, but to keep the party going after the sun goes down," she says.
Read next. 10 Outdoor Recreation Mistakes to Avoid