The season of summer entertaining is upon us! It’s the perfect opportunity to open the doors to your home and move the party outdoors. Somehow, the mood is more relaxed and less stressful outside and so are you!

When creating the perfect outdoor entertaining spot, focus on the comfort of the seating and access to a table for setting down a drink and food.  No one wants to sit on a folding chair from the basement and balance food on their lap! Whether it’s several groupings of chairs and side tables, or a more formal layout with a sofa, loveseat and coffee table, it should be all about comfort and ease.

Once the furniture is placed, it’s time to make the setting a little more intimate.  Candles will add a bit of romance and magic; hang lanterns and tealight holders in the trees, in a gazebo or even on a fence.  Place lanterns on tables, on steps to light the way or set on the ground for a more subtle effect.  Party lights look great in trees and umbrellas or on your house. Make it fun!

Tall Chairs and Table - Patio bar SeatingCreate a place for serving food that is convenient to your cooking area.  If not sitting at a table to eat, use the dining table for serving food, a bar counter or even a covered folding table.  It is important, no matter what you use, to make a beautiful presentation.  Using festive serving bowls and platters is a great start but don’t forget to accessorize your table with flowers from your garden, an arrangement of fruits or vegetables, garden statuary or even a gazing globe.  Be sure to add color!

Once you’ve placed the furniture, accessorized and set a table to make Martha proud; it’s time to enjoy your guests and your backyard – just add food, drink and people to have a good time!