Define a Kick-Back Space
By creating a focal point, a hue-happy area rug can transform an underutilized nook into a lively spot for entertaining. Just add a few places for your friends and family to perch themselves (benches and bistro chairs) and their drinks (side tables, tree stumps, or carts) and your lounge area is complete.
Have Fun with Your Accent Pieces
Really, the sky’s the limit: A planter or a garden stool (or even a cute wastebasket) can double as a side table when topped with a pretty tray; a wheelbarrow can hold buckets of ice and cold beverages; and a colorful blanket attached to tall wooden stakes can become a festive canopy.
Become a Grill Master
Infuse meat with out-of-this-world flavor by soaking fresh herbs in water (rosemary, sage, and thyme are aromatic options), then placing them directly onto the coals of your grill; the herbs will actually help smoke the meat. Smart tip: Before you start cooking, set your meat and veg of choice in an ice chest near your grill to minimize trips to and from the kitchen.
“MacGyver” an Extra Buffet Table
If you’re short on surfaces for serving guests, try this designer go-to trick: Lay a hollow-core door or a thick piece of plywood over evenly spaced sawhorses, then cover with a tablecloth. Voilà! A beautiful buffet table that you can easily break down and store after bidding your guests adieu.
Bring the Bar Outside
If you have the space, use a bookshelf to create a full-service bar so that people don’t have to head inside every time they want a drink refresh. It can also pull double-duty as additional storage for tableware and serving pieces.
Be sure to check out our Day of Outdoor Solutions sale with HGTV for tons of clutch items for your own backyard, plus many more smart and stylish ideas.