When summer (finally) arrives, it’s hard to imagine wasting even one warm evening indoors. Outdoor gatherings, dinner parties, or just everyday meals with you and yours are best enjoyed in the company of a sunset. Whether you’re styling an entire patio, a roof deck, or just making the best of an itty bitty balcony, you’ll need a few outdoor entertaining area ideas to get started. We’ve chosen a few of our favorites from At Home‘s outdoor collection, starting with a patio chair upgrade. Don’t even think about those garden variety plastic stackables this year.
A folding tray table is a must, regardless of available space. In larger areas, it’s the perfect I’ll-just-set-this-right-here surface, while in smaller spaces, it can act as everything from serving piece to tiny table, when it needs to.
The does-everything nature of a garden stool makes it a no-brainer outdoor essential. Multiple-use and available in multiple colors, this item will serve you well all season long.
A space without a throw pillow isn’t worth entertaining in, right? Create comfortable zones even outdoors by adding a few soft items here and there. And, with over 1,200 combinations, you can make it your own!
Take care with your outdoor seating situation this year. Make sure you’ve got ample room to entertain a crowd. If it feels like too much, remember that when the crowd isn’t around, that seating area is the perfect place for you to sprawl. Perhaps with your favorite magazine…
Don’t be the last home on Instagram without a set of copper cups. Perfect your Moscow Mule recipe and you’ll always have a go-to drink for nights outside.
No one really loves getting up every five minutes to refill drinks. Place a beverage dispenser within easy fill-up distance and keep it stocked with your favorite summer punch recipe, or even a non-alcoholic beverage infused with fruits or cucumber for keeping cool.
The sun will set eventually, and you don’t necessarily want to head indoors when that happens. Keep lanterns around and stocked with flameless, battery-operated “candles,” or the real deal if you don’t mind pausing the conversation to light ’em up.
Green thumbs will have patios packed with plants this summer, and nobody is particularly fond of the random pots the nursery will send them home in. Upgrade to something a little more elegant before guests arrive.
We consider character essential. An oversized chess piece adds charm and interest to your entertaining setup. We’d try this one alongside a side table or placed next to an oversized potted plant near your outdoor bar.
A fun alternative to the lantern, tall pillar candle holders add a little something romantic to your outdoor scheme. Keeping a few of these on hand will make outdoor tablescapes incredibly easy to style.