Essential Supplies for Your Outdoor Soirée

CanopyFor many of life’s celebrations an outdoor party is a perfect way to mark the occasion.  Weddings, holidays, victories and simply because you like to hang out together, throwing a soiree on the patio is great fun.

How can you transform your backyard living space into the ideal location for a party of any size?  With the right supplies and a sense of adventure, every yard can get ready for the year’s best bash.

Cozy Comfort

Your guests need to be comfortable and have the space to relax without standing in your flower beds or perching on a windowsill.  Extending your patio or deck may not be an option, but you can easily create more space by creating a patio setting out on the lawn.

Choose a fairly flat location and place some standing torches around a few sets of patio furniture.  Arrange everything with a firepit in the center for the ultimate in warmth and beauty.  No matter what is underfoot, this type of set up gives the illusion of an outdoor room and welcomes your guests to come on over.

Fantastic Food

Besides grilling up some juicy meat and sizzling veggies, you will likely be serving plenty of drinks out on the patio.  Keep it simple and convenient with a built in stainless steel cocktail station, designed to perfectly compliment your grill.

Or go mobile and opt for a drink trolley.  Your guests will feel truly pampered with this level of personal service.  For poolside or patio prep work think about investing in a stainless steel prep cart designed to act as a mobile workstation.  With this type of set up you should have no trouble enlisting help from the party goers – who wouldn’t want to chop, slice and sample the snacks right in the center of the party?

Portable Shade or Permanent Shelter

Chances are your guests will want some protection from the elements – whether that’s a shady break from the sun or a dry spot out of the showers.  If you have a permanent shade structure on your home, like a gazebo, overhang or awning, be sure to set out comfortable furniture underneath to invite guests into the area.

If that’s not an option or your covered area is limited, look at temporary shade structures to fit your needs.

Quality canopies come with screens, extensions and roofs of varying heights.  Figure out how much space you’ll need using a rough calculation of 64 to 81 square feet for each table of six people.  This is only a guesstimate since your tables could be different sizes and guests may need more room to spread out.

Maybe you’ll decide not to place the tables under the canopy and instead opt for a dance floor, bar or simply as spot to mingle.  Or maybe you’ll have more than one canopy-covered area for seating and mingling.  It’s entirely up to you (and dependent on your yard space obviously).

Why rent a shade structure that’s been beat up and used at countless other functions when you can purchase one for your own backyard and look forward to using it over and over?  The investment is a sound one when you think about how many different uses an outdoor canopy can have.

Set it up over a sandbox and provide safe outdoor fun for the kids or grandkids.  Place it beside the garden and enjoy a cool shady nook to rest in during weeding spells.  You can even use it as a car port for your favorite motorized toys – like a snowmobile, motorcycle or four-wheeler.  Canopies are extremely handy well beyond the scope of your outdoor parties.

Final Finishing Touches

The most essential thing you’ll need for a backyard soiree is the ability to express yourself.  Putting the final touches on your outdoor décor is much like decorating your home’s interior.  Show your personality and add items, flair and style that is unique to you.  When guests arrive at your home they’ll feel much more welcome and comfortable amid these finishing touches.

Be fancy or make it casual, whatever suits your tastes and the occasion.  Create drama or let the guests take care of that element.  Never be worried about being yourself and the party is sure to be a smashing success.


Diana Dart was born into the patio design business.  Working in her family contracting business for years, she’s now part owner and loves spending her time helping homeowners create an oasis in their backyards.  She’s also published countless articles about gardening, curb appeal and landscaping online and in various print publications.

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