Kori is an illustrator and designer, raised in the South and living as a Floridian, a mommy and wife, an optimist, a lover of the sun, smiles, and good parties. When she is not drawing, painting, or spending time with her family, you will find her talking about all of the above on her blog!
Long summer days are still here, and the beautiful nights of fall will be creeping up before we know it. From barbecues and cookouts to having friends over for the big game, there are basics you can add to your backyard to make entertaining feel simple and stylish from summer to fall! Here are the things I consider to be backyard entertaining basics:
A place for s'mores. S'mores are the outdoor staple dessert year-round, so make sure you're prepared with a place to make them! Whether you choose a fire pit, an outdoor fireplace, or even a grill, you need flames to make s'mores. With a circular fire pit, you promote a group activity where several people can be sitting around the fire chatting and roasting away!
Outdoor pillows. Pillows automatically create a homey, comfortable feeling. They make the space feel finished and inviting, plus you can use pillows (and throws) to bring in some pops of color that can be easily changed with the seasons! When you use outdoor pillows, you can leave them out long after your party is over without the worry of them being ruined.
Extra seating. Make sure there are places for people to sit, especially if you're serving food. Not everyone will want to sit and those that do, may not sit the whole time, but having plenty of seating will make your guests feel welcomed. Cute metal folding chairs, ottomans, garden stools, and benches make great seating options that are easy to fit into an area that already has an outdoor table and chairs.
A cocktail tree. (Or a citrus tree, if you choose to call it that!) Okay...maybe this one is a personal preference, but I think adding a potted cocktail tree to your outdoor entertaining space is both fun and functional! I adore having potted plants on the patio, so why not make them usable? WIth so many varieties of container lemons and limes you can really find something that suits your specific tastes and you can make a tasty cocktail!
Cute serving pieces. I collect white serving pieces that go with anything, but for outdoor entertaining, it's a wonderful idea to be bold with color! Maybe you want to buy a few colorful trays and pitchers to match your outdoor pillows, or your favorite football team, but these pieces should feel more casual and full of personality than your traditional serving dishes (which can of course be mixed in as well). I love to have a variety of serving trays so you can easily move drinks and food around the backyard while entertaining! Melamine is a shatter-proof plastic and it's available in many varieties (plates, platters, glasses) and designs.
Fresh flowers. Every yard should have fresh flowers...even if they aren't in your garden! If you have a cutting garden, then fabulous! Snip away some of your beauties and display them in small vases or jars. If you don't have any flowers to cut, do not fret. The farmers market and stores always have them! Our climate here in Florida isn't too friendly with a lot of my favorite flowers, so entertaining in my backyard gives me the perfect excuse to grab some at the store and fill my yard (even if they can't stay).
Check out some of my favorite Wayfair.com picks on the side rail to complete your basics checklist!