Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to get your exterior living spaces ready for outdoor entertaining. Although this process can be enjoyable for some, many homeowners become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be done.

The best part about summer is enjoying your outdoor space.  April is the perfect time to start preparing the exterior of your home for summer entertaining. There are so many different elements that come into play when transforming the exterior of your home into your ultimate outdoor oasis. Besides the obvious changes, like planting new flowers, it’s essential to take into account the condition of your home’s exterior and key factors like adequate shade and lighting.

Before homeowners begin to revamp their outdoor space, we recommend that they complete a quick inspection of their home’s exterior. Take a quick walk around the outside of the home and examine windows, doors, roofs, gutters and downspouts to make sure these small, but important, details are in order. Also, remove any debris, limbs and leaves scattered throughout the yard. This will make a big difference in the look of the outdoor space.

Once the homeowner has inspected the home and fixed any imperfections, the real fun can begin:

1.      Provide Ample Shade – Shelter from the sun is one of the most important aspects to any outdoor party. There are many different types of stylish products that can protect party guests from the sun’s rays, including umbrellas, canopies, trellises and retractable awnings.

2.      Add Low Maintenance Vegetation and Some Color – Plants and vegetation are a must for any outdoor living space, but you must always consider maintenance and upkeep factors. Try using long-lasting, drought-resistant plants to minimize the use of water. Also, keep in mind that having a variety of plants and flowers will add dimension and variety to your yard. Use flowerbeds, colorful planters and cache pots to add color and contrast to all the greenery.

3.      Accent Lighting – Not all entertaining happens during the daytime, so it's important to provide adequate lighting for late-night gatherings to make your parties feel cozy and inviting. Keep guests safe by making sure that entry lights are working and your driveway is well lit. Small, solar-powered lights along footpaths and around the entertaining area are a popular choice among homeowners. Once your standard lighting is all set, get creative! Go beyond the norm and add lights around each flowerbed or hang lights off your porch or trellis. Use gorgeous outdoor floor or table lamps to create the perfect ambiance in your outdoor dining space. For adding decorative flair to decks and patios, colored lanterns or Tiki torches are great for setting the mood.

4.      Keep It Warm – Fireplaces or fire pits are essential to any night party. Plus, adding one to your outdoor entertainment area will allow you to extend the outdoor entertaining season even longer. For areas where these options are not feasible, a firebox that uses a clean-burning fuel, such as ethanol, can be a smart, sleek alternative. Add luxurious throws to keep your visitors extra comfy as they circle around your fire.

5.      Furnish It. Now is the perfect time to get first dibs on this year’s hottest styles. Look for patterns like chevron, stripes and ikat. An outdoor area complete with weatherproof lounge furniture, a dining table and chairs is a great way to decorate for function and also allows a tranquil space for guests to relax. Add fabulous outdoor pillows, artwork, rugs and colorful tableware and placemats to complete your look.

So, embrace the season by getting outside, enjoy the sunshine and prepare for entertaining in style this summer. Until next time.

AuthorPaul Allegro