Prep Your Patio for Festive Entertaining with These Tips

With autumn in full swing, one of the busiest (and best) times of the year has arrived: the holidays. If you’re hosting a gathering or two, consider taking the party outside to give your fall entertaining an extra-festive touch—whether it’s a Halloween bash or a Thanksgiving dinner.

A stone fireplace in front of a dining table.

With autumn in full swing, one of the busiest (and best) times of the year has arrived: the holidays. If you’re hosting a gathering or two, consider taking the party outside to give your fall entertaining an extra-festive touch—whether it’s a Halloween bash or a Thanksgiving dinner.

A candle is burning while a couple sits on a sofa in the background.

HERE ARE OUR ESSENTIALS FOR PREPPING THE PATIO FOR FALL ENTERTAINING

A dark gray dining table with six chairs.

BEGIN WITH YOUR
DINING FURNITURE

Think about preparing your outdoor entertaining area the same way you would an indoor space. Begin with a dining table that’s large enough to accommodate your guests, along with enough dining chairs for everyone to have a seat.

If you’re not sure exactly how many guests you’ll be hosting—or you have several fall entertaining gatherings planned—an outdoor table with expanding leaves is a versatile option that can expand or collapse as needed. Tables with trestle bases are a great option if you know you’ll be pulling up multiple chairs around the ends of the table, as there are no legs to get in the way. Also consider investing in good-quality outdoor folding chairs, which are easy to store and helpful to have on-hand in case the need arises for additional seating.

A man is pouring a cup of coffee from a machine.

PREPARE
SERVING STATIONS

When it comes to outdoor entertaining, prep your space with plenty of serving stations and surfaces. A weather-proof serving cart or console is both a versatile piece of patio decor and a great place to display beverages or appetizers for guests. Also consider setting up multiple stations; place accent tables or bar and counter-height tables around your space for guests to place cocktails or appetizers on throughout the event.

Various inside lantenrs on some stone steps.

INCORPORATE
PLENTY OF LIGHTING

Keep the party going long after sunset with high-quality lighting specifically made for the outdoors. Outdoor lanterns are an easy way to add light throughout your space and an essential for fall entertaining. For more control over brightness, opt for a lantern with dimming options and customizable settings. For a classic and more permanent solution, outdoor torches feature crackling flames and can be operated by a simple on/off switch.

Three women sitting on a sofa drinking some wine.

KEEP TEMPS
COMFORTABLE

Keep things cozy into the evening and throughout the seasons by incorporating high-quality patio heaters, an essential for fall outdoor entertaining. For a permanent, space-saving solution, you can professionally mount patio heaters on the wall or ceiling. Alternatively, freestanding heaters are an easy (and usually portable) way to add heat to your space. Choose from gas and electric options, depending on the size and style of your outdoor area.

A large umbrella with various tables around it.

PROVIDE SOME SHADE

Even for fall entertaining and into the winter, shade is something to consider, especially for those living in warmer climates. While many tables come with an umbrella hole in the center, a cantilever-style umbrella is a great option that doesn’t take up any tabletop space, giving you and your guests more table space for meals or drinks. Cantilever umbrellas are also equipped with a pivot mechanism that can easily spin away from the table to shade adjacent seating areas.

Two chairs on a deck with a small round table in between them.

Ready to host outdoors?

Whether you’re planning your fall outdoor entertaining or hosting for the holidays, it’s important to have your space prepped and ready for guests. This will allow you to relax and enjoy the moment once the party is in full swing. Happy hosting!