Top Picks: The Best Dinner Party Decor for Outdoor Entertaining

It’s 72 and sunny, spicy margs are flowing, and there are veggies on the grill. You clink glasses and watch the sun melt behind the Golden Gate. If you ask me, outdoor entertaining is always a good idea in the summer.

To celebrate the season, I thought we’d pull together some of our favorite tips (and product picks) for dinner party decor, outdoor living spaces, and entertaining in style. Whether you’re setting the mood for an intimate event under the stars or planning a casual backyard BBQ, we’ve got you covered.

Dinner Party Decor: What You’ll Need

Outdoor Furniture

Your furniture is the foundation of your outdoor oasis. Whichever style and elements you include, you’ll want to ensure they are comfortable and constructed with durable materials. Encourage guests to stay awhile and relax by giving them a comfortable place to sit, like rocking chairs and chairs with cushions. (Look no further — we spilled all the deets about the top materials for outdoor furnishings in this post.)

Cozy Accessories 

Summer evenings in the Bay Area can get a bit chilly. We recommend creating a welcoming outdoor environment for your guests with pillows and comfortable throws. (I guarantee at least one of your guests will include that person who is always cold.) Store them in an outdoor, waterproof storage trunk that matches your style, and you’re good to go.

Tabletop Space & Storage

Have you ever been to a party, and there was nowhere to set your glass down? Awkward. And likely to induce unwanted spills. Be sure to create plenty of tabletop space for drinks and appetizer plates, and to help yourself out, add practical storage while you’re at it. This can be used to hide extra essentials, like blankets and outdoor decor, when not in use.

Bar Carts

Outdoor bar carts are the unsung heroes of a good dinner party. They provide ample and practical space for your go-to cocktail ingredients, and with unique glassware and fresh flowers, they can act as eye-catching decor. We recommend choosing a cart made of durable materials, like acacia wood, metal, or concrete for an entertaining essential that will last you long into the future. You can also choose between mobile and stationary options. (Keep reading to see where you can find this sassy bar cart.)

Warm Lighting

Ditch those harsh and mosquito-attracting floodlights. Instead, set the ambiance with soft lighting, like candles, string lights, and rechargeable outdoor lights that create a warm glowing space for your guests. 

We personally love these rechargeable battery-powered LED lights. Portable, practical, and great for outdoor dining. You can use them on the dining table and then move them over for added light by the fireplace.They can also brighten up high traffic areas like the bar cart, s’mores tray, or game board.

An Insect-Free Space

Bugs are never on the guest list…though they tend to crash the party anyway. For the ultimate multi-functional outdoor decor element, use a decorative candle or a centerpiece created with natural ingredients that will also repel unwanted pests. Decor that doubles as an insect repellent? Always in style. (Scroll to the end to see where we found this beauty…)

A Standout Fire Pit

Fire pits are crowd-pleasers, no matter your age. You can go the traditional route and burn a cord of wood, or you can select a propane or natural gas fire pit. These can be quickly turned off and on for convenience. Note: Consider whether or not you’ll be toasting marshmallows over the flame. Gas options are not intended for cooking food, so it isn’t a great option for s’more-making.

Pro Tip: Always consider safety. Especially if you have kids running around in the backyard with you. You can get a fire table that includes a glass boundary for protection.

 

Our Favorite Products for Easy Outdoor Entertaining

Looking for a way to effortlessly bring the party outside? Lucky for you, we’ve curated a few of our favorite products, perfect for enjoying late nights with friends and family…

  1. Storage…but make it stylish. This durable teak outdoor chest is the perfect place to keep all of your outdoor necessities.
  2. Upgrade your al fresco dining experience with shatter-resistant dinnerware and an organic, earthy vibe that we love.
  3. Practical comfort with dreamy texture? I’m in. (Warning: Your guests will enjoy lingering in these dining chairs so much, you’ll have a hard time getting them to leave.)
  4. Like we said, ambiance is important. An assortment of tasteful hurricane lanterns are a perfect way to set the mood.
  5. Enjoy your night under the stars without those unwanted buzzing and biting guests with all-natural insect repellent sticks.
  6. Looking for a multi-functional centerpiece? This cement trough citronella candle is a beautiful way to light your table…and keep those pesky bugs away from your food.
  7. Perfectly outfitted for your outdoor dining table, this comfortable and casual bench will offer a place to soak up lively conversation over a delicious meal. Worried about white? The slip cover is weather-friendly and stain-resistant.
  8. Don’t stop at the comfy seats. Layer on the cozy and add a pop of color with stylish outdoor pillows.
  9. Drinks in an exciting glass? A necessity. Serve your guests your signature cocktail with these fun and colorful tumblers. Also available in more punchy colors.
  10. If you’re looking for a versatile solution for more lighting, look no further. These rechargeable, portable lamps are as functional as they are cute.
  11. Use this colorful and durable bar cart to store all of your outdoor bar essentials. It’s also mobile and available in so many vibrant colors.

With all of these items on your wishlist, we’re confident you’ll create a fantastic outdoor entertainment space. And when you’re done, feel free to invite us to your next dinner party. 😉

Cheers,

Melanie