There are few things better than dining al fresco on a warm summer night, surrounded by friends, family, and good food. Except, of course, when you’re doing it at your beach house. There’s something about being at your home away from home that elevates just about any experience into an event. Get set for a season of memory making in style with our tips and picks for creating an outdoor entertaining oasis at your vacation home.
- Treat it like the special place it is. Beach houses are dream homes, places designed for enjoying the finer things in life. So, while we’re all in favor of plastic cups and melamine plates for a lunchtime barbecue, keep a fancier set of china (or at least porcelain!) and crystal on hand for nights when the good company is in town, the good wine is out, and the good times are rolling. If something breaks, you know the evening was a success! (Afraid to spend money on tableware that might be broken? Try shopping secondhand to get all of the style without the high price tag).
- Get the light right. Nothing kills an outdoor party faster than the dark. Keep the fun going long after the sun sets by ensuring your outdoor space has plenty of lighting. Like you would do indoors, design your outdoor lighting plan so that illumination comes from a variety of sources: lanterns, overhead spotlights, and ambient string lights are must-haves.
- Be prepared for a crowd…Because vacation homes have a way of attracting them (and hey, the more the merrier, we always say). If you’ve ever had guests in town on the same weekend you happen to spot your old neighbors on the beach and your mother’s best friend in the grocery store, you know that a quiet night at home can suddenly become a block party. Be prepared with a large grill, a separate bar area, an oversized outdoor table, and extra seating that can be pulled out in a pinch.
- Add a dose of style. Your décor doesn’t have to stop at your sliding door. Transform your patio or deck into an outdoor room with all-weather versions of your favorite indoor décor: think throw pillows, rugs, planters, and even wall art.