During the summer everyone seems to want to take advantage of the hot weather and the warm evenings. This means a lot of hangouts, get-togethers, and parties. If you want to do some summer entertaining of your own, you’ll want to make sure you give a great performance for your guests to keep them coming back again for more!
Here are a few brilliantly simple things you can do to make your place into the best environment possible for party-goers:
1. Set Up Separate Areas
Nothing makes a party more interesting than being able to move around the place and experience different environments whenever you please. If you want your guests to get the best experience possible, set up a few different places inside and outside the home for them to collect and loiter.
There are a million great ideas for hangouts, but some work more universally than others. Create a cozier conversation area either indoors or outdoors with closely positioned chairs and an intimate feeling. If you are getting together in the evening, light up a fire pit outside to draw people to the great outdoors. Keep a room with some background noise going on such as the TV with a movie on for those who just want a moment to relax away from the crowds and conversations.
Make sure to position separate food and drink stations all over the place. Drinks should be in multiple places to make it easier for your guests to get their beverages, and food can be split up into the main meal with dessert and appetizers elsewhere. Whatever you’re doing, encourage movement to keep your guests interested the whole time they’re at your place!
2. Stock Up on Ice
Ice is a necessity during the hot summer months, even when it gets a bit later and things start cooling off a little. If you plan ahead you can use ice as part of your decorative scheme rather than just placing a metal bowl of cubes on the drinks table.
Choosing an original, organic home item as your ice storage containers can be a real hit with your guests. Check for old wooden buckets, small wheelbarrows, colorful flower pots, or other assorted items that might make a good ice boat if they’re cleaned out and lined with plastic wrap. Consider getting something cool and funky like LED glowing ice cubes if you’re hosting people at night.
3. Arrange Your Tableware
Tableware and cutlery are sometimes in short supply during a party. Make sure you load up your mobile serving cart with everything you’ll need for eating and drinking, plus some extras. This will make it a lot easier for you to set up for guests and to provide any extra tableware as needed.
Don’t be afraid to break out your patterned china dishes for serving, even if they’re mismatched, as this creates a unique and laid back feel in your decorations.
Disposable tableware is a good idea if you’re going to have more guests than you have plates, bowls, cups, and silverware sets. You don’t have to settle for generic department store patterns and waxy sets. Instead, you can check out some biodegradable models from companies like Earth's Natural Alternative, or Bambu if you want smothing more stylish.
4. Remember Proper Shading
You have to keep in mind that during the summer many people will need a place to escape from the intense summer sunlight. If you’re setting up hangout zones outdoors, put up umbrellas, canopies, cloth, or any other temporary shades as necessary to create a more inviting atmosphere for fair-skinned guests.
Food and drinks also need to be put under shading, so don’t forget to get enough shaded spaces to allow guests to sit and relax without having to block the way to food and drink tables set up outside.
The easiest way is party pop up tents which come in varying sizes ans shapes and can be re-used at all your parties. A very basic tent will cost around $50 and a nicer canopy gazebo, which can stay on your patio all year round, could cost $250 or more.
5. Keep Your Place Clean
Once the house or the yard start getting dirty or messy your guests will start to feel less comfortable in the spaces you’ve prepared for them. Don’t let a little trash or food scraps scare off your guests! Be sure to put out extra trash bins in very visible areas so that guests will never have an excuse not to throw out their own trash. Check these bins regularly to see if they need to be emptied or not.
If you’re going to allow smoking in your home or outside, keep ashtrays in convenient, out of the way locations for the smokers to use. Ash can make a nasty mess on your porch or in your yard, so by providing a simple tray you’ll be saving yourself the hassle of cleaning up later.
Lastly, it’s a good idea to cover your table with a disposable craft paper tablecloth when you’re preparing food and when people are eating at the table. You’ll be able to put up the tablecloth and throw it straight away with all of the food scraps and spills contained inside.
6. Always Have Sufficient Lighting
During the day it might be bright and sunny, but the evening can come quickly during the summer and you need to be prepared for when they lights get low. We’ll go over some good ways to light up the outdoors, as most homes are well equipped with lights already.
Break out the lanterns and string lights, as these will provide a soft ambient lighting that promotes good conversation. Solar lights can work as well, if you make sure to charge them in the sun before they’ll be used.
You can create a more festive atmosphere by doing something unique like paper lanterns. These can be bought or made on your own. Another great idea for creating a great atmosphere is a use an outdoor fire pit as a source of light.
7. Keep the Bugs Away
Bugs are the bane of outdoor summer parties! Luckily, there are ways you can get around this obstacle and keep those pesky insects away. Try keeping some lavender plants around to ward off a lot of pests and citronella candles or sticks to keep away the rest. These two things in combination should work against most bugs to thin them out in the areas you’ll be hanging out outside.
If you have problems with mosquitoes at all, you can consider offering mosquito repellent to your guests. During the day you might give out sunscreen with mosquito spray, but during the night you can place around some spray bottles of repellent around in strategic places for guests to use.
Electric insect killers can be great in some outdoor places around porches, patios, and decks, while Tiki torches are a popular option for other outdoor spaces.
8. Take Pictures
Want to do something special that will make all your guests hope for the invite to your next party? Make sure you take a lot of pictures throughout the event and print them into small photo books to give out to your guests. This will help them remember the great memories you all had and make them wish for more in the future!
You can order some online or make your own:
These are just a few suggestions for setting up a great party. Implement whichever you think will work best in your home and yard, but remember that the most important thing is to set up the party you want to throw.
Tweak these tips to fit into your theme, so that when your guests arrive they can share a unique part of you that they might not normally get to see!