Bringing the indoors outside is a wonderful way to make guests feel comfortable when hosting outdoors. Designated areas that feel like “rooms” help with functionality and flow while still bringing an appealing aesthetic. Tony LoBello, design director at Mariani Landscape Architecture, creates these vignettes by using outdoor rugs, large dining tables, vines and florals to define smaller spaces.
When hosting dinner outdoors, it is important for guests to be able to see each other without spotlights and bright patio lighting. To help set the mood, LoBello suggests strung globe lights, lanterns or chandeliers to create a soft, fanciful ambiance. Pergolas, while primarily used for shade during the day, are wonderful structures to hang lighting from for evening entertaining, as well.
No party should ever be without music! Background music helps guests to relax (or rev up!) and sets the tone for the event. With all of the wonderful wireless technology, it’s super easy to install speakers throughout the space that hook up to a smartphone or Bluetooth device. LoBello and the design team at Mariani have a wealth of experience installing speakers that replicate stones or blend into the foliage, which has become a popular option in landscape design.
Proximity to Kitchen
Hosting guests can be a big feat, so anything you can do to make the process easier for yourself is essential. LoBello recommends creating the dining space in close proximity to the barbecue or an entrance into the house so as to save time running between the table and the kitchen.
One of the keys to a successful party are ice cold libations! Keeping beverages on hand and accessible to you and your guests will make everyone comfortable — guests won’t have to bother you every time they need a refill and you won’t have to play bartender. There are many festive ways to display drinks, such as rolling bar carts, galvanized tubs and built-in outdoor coolers and refrigerators. As long as the drinks in hand are cold and tasty, guests will be happy, says LoBello.