Regardless of the weather outside, you want to make the most of your outdoor spaces if you like to entertain. While the elements certainly play a role in your ability to entertain outdoors, the bigger issue is creating a space that is conducive to entertaining when the weather permits.

While it’s not very difficult to add some seating and tables to your patio, deck, or other areas of the backyard, you don’t necessarily want to take a willy-nilly approach to your outdoor decor. If you entertain frequently, you must put some thought into your decorations to make sure they are both functional and beautiful.

Here are a few strategies you may want to incorporate into your decorating plans to ensure that your outdoor decor helps to make every event a smashing success.

Furniture

There are nearly endless options when it comes to choosing furniture for your outdoor spaces. You have an abundance of materials and styles to choose from. How do you pick the pieces that are right for your yard?

You definitely want to select furnishings that offer comfort, function, and durability, so start by doing some research into brands, materials, construction, and more. Don’t forget to take the time to check out pieces in person as a way to determine comfort and utility.

You also need to consider how the style of pieces fits with the style of your home, as well as your personal aesthetic. Form follows function in design, but you still want furnishings that offer both utility and visual appeal.

Finally, don’t be afraid to mix it up with a variety of furnishings, including lounge pieces like sofas and chairs, accents like tables, and even unusual options like covered daybeds or rockers. All will help to make your space more inviting for guests.

Layout

Where you place your furniture can be almost as important as the furniture pieces you pick, especially when it comes to hosting events. The trick is to leave some large spaces open for guests to mingle, but also to arrange furniture into smaller groupings to facilitate more intimate conversations.

The layout you choose may depend somewhat on the type of event you’re hosting and the number of attendees, but with the right furniture, you should be able to rearrange as needed to accommodate different types of entertaining.

Lighting

Whether you simply want to illuminate outdoor living spaces for family BBQs or you’re interested in throwing soirees with massive guest lists, the lighting you choose can not only serve an important function, but also create a certain atmosphere.

For example, you could add lampposts to create a park-like setting. Or you could crisscross strings of Edison bulbs overhead for a festive, party-like aesthetic. Lighting plays key role in decor, indoors or out.

Theme

If you’re having trouble narrowing down your options for decor, consider selecting a theme that will make your job easier. You could go with a nautical or beach theme if you live near the coast. If your home style is Mediterranean or Spanish, you have a built-in theme already.

You could also choose styles from around the world to give you some direction, spur your creativity, and enliven your decor. With so many possibilities to consider, you’re sure to find the perfect furniture for your outdoor entertaining.