10 ways to host a fabulous backyard par-tay

It’s summertime, and there’s nothing like hosting a lovely party outside. I know the summer in the mountains only lasts 3 months, so I better get my party on. Here’s 10 ways to help you host the perfect summer night out…in your backyard!

1. CREATE A BAR
Most people cannot build a permanent outside bar, and when you live somewhere like we do, where its cold all winter and winter lasts forever, it doesn’t make sense to have an outdoor bar. The good news is bars can come in all shapes and sizes, so it can be versatile. From a trendy bar cart on wheels, to a small tray like this beautiful rustic one from Pottery Barn, a DIY cooler or even a bucket – as long as there is liquor, and all the accessories – IT WORKS! This kitchen cart from Ikea could be a rocking bar cart. And, this is an affordable option from CB2 and I just LOVE this one from Pottery Barn. If you just want to add a shelf to your wall you can flip down when there is a party, then flip back up when it’s over, this one is perfect inspiration.

2. STOCK THE BAR
Now, you must stock the bar. Make sure you have an ice bucket and tongs, a cocktail shaker, bottle opener and limes. Essentials are vodka, rum, tequila and gin. Don’t forget the mixers, seltzer’s and juices. Try mixing a signature cocktail for the evening, and place it in a cute container so it can be self-serve. You should 6 or 8 of each of the following: short glasses, tall glasses and stemware. I love melamine for the summer. Mix and match glasses if you need to – makes for an eclectic look, which I love. I’m obsessed with these glasses from Sur La Table.

3. CREATE A LIVING ROOM OUTSIDE
A comfortable environment will make people feel at-home. You should provide comfortable seating for friends. That can be folding chairs stored in your garage, wicker furniture or a comfy love seat. Pillows add a pop of color and personality, and also add that extra level of comfort. Like a living room, only outside. I love the collection of outdoor pillows at Pier1.

4. LIGHT THE NIGHT SKY
Create an ambiance with lighting. You can create an intimate setting, a colorful setting or a soft glow. You can opt for candles like this. Or, for more of a rustic look, we love these. For an industrial look, we love these caged lights from Target.

5. SET THE MOOD
Create a playlist for the evening. Oldies. Pop Hits. Soft rock. Country. Have a little something for everyone.

6. ENTERTAINMENT
Play traditional games like Bocce or Horseshoe, or bring another fun game into the mix.

7. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH BLOOMS OR GARDEN HERBS
For a nice touch, decorate with flowers from garden beds or herbs in pots. Depending on the flowers you choose, it can create a sweet aroma, and it makes for a pretty setting. It doesn’t have to be large bouquets – even single bloom flowers and bud vases would do the job.

8. SERVE YUMMY APPS
With these family favorites, your guests will be ‘wowed.’ The Avocado and Corn dish will be devoured.  

9. FIRE UP THE GRILL
Slice meat and veggies and make a variety of kabobs pre-party, or get everyone involved and they can make their own kabob with an array of chicken, steak and veggie options. This recipe from Two Peas and their Pod looks delish.

10. SATISFY THOSE SWEET TEETH
Serve a yummy dessert, like this Fruit Pizza. Check out the recipe from The Pioneer Woman.

{images via A Curated Lifestyle, Style Me Pretty, One Kings Lane, Style at Home, Sunset, The Pioneer Woman}

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