Decorating Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining

When entertaining outdoors, decide on a party theme or style prior to contemplating ideas. Once you have established whether you want to host an elegant garden-inspired party or a rustic country-themed bash, create coordinating decor. If you have a flower or vegetable garden, use the fruits of your labor to add a fresh, summery flair to the party space.

Inspired Lighting

Infuse the space with a warm glow, which will create instant ambiance. Choose lighting elements depending on the party theme and style. For a tropical-inspired soiree, display vibrant orange and yellow faux flower- or seashell-shaped string lights throughout the space; wrap them around railings, tree trunks or table legs. If the has an artsy, bohemian vibe, suspend vibrantly hued Chinese paper lanterns from branches and porch rafters. Enhance picnic tables with natural herbal candles, which will smell fresh and keep bugs away. If you are hosting a summer pool party, allow floating ball-shaped lights to skim across the top of the pool.

Natural Candle Centerpieces

Take a cue from the party location, and celebrate the outdoors with nature-inspired centerpieces. For an exotic look, cover a wooden tray with palm fronds or any other green leaves, and top them with bamboo candles. Other candle options include essential-oil enhanced soy and charming beeswax versions. Get creative by wrapping assorted green plant and tree leaves around simple glass votive holders; secure the leaves with pieces of rustic twine. If the party takes place in autumn, use harvest-hued leaves instead.

Garden Gear

Spice up an outdoor party table with fresh, garden-inspired decor items. Fill a vibrantly hued water can with fresh-picked daisies and tulips. Suspend flower-filled tin buckets from wooden posts with grosgrain ribbons to achieve a country style. For a centerpiece that is a feast for the eyes as much as the mouth, display brightly frosted sunflower-inspired cupcakes on a tiered stand in the middle of the table; instruct each guest to take one on their way out.

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