Backyards are not oil paintings. They’re not to be stared at and admired. They’re meant to be used. But for some reason, you haven’t quite managed to create a hub for your friends and family to enjoy. It’s nice enough, but it’s missing that ‘oomph’. In this guide, we’ll tell you how you can turn your boring outdoor space into a bonafide entertainment venue.
Seating is Key
The key to a good backyard party is making sure your guests are comfortable. If they have to sit on annoying plastic chairs that dig into your back or, even worse, the floor, they’ll make their excuses and leave your would-be party in a real hurry. Here’s our advice:
- Varied options. You want seats in different areas, rather than just one big round circle. It gives people the chance to mingle with different crowds and people prefer small groups for a conversation.
- Seats should have padding. If you can’t help having cheap plastic seats, for example when running a big event, then the very least you want to do is have padding.
- Seats that are made to mingle. You want seats that will encourage conversations. Huge chairs that lean back are great for a spot of reading, but it won’t keep the chat flowing.
Sort Out Your Garden
Untrimmed hedges. Overgrown lawn. Dead bushes. Creepy crawlies everywhere. If this sounds like your garden, it’s time to sort it out:
- Take care of your lawn. Your lawn is going to perform a key function in your backyard parties. Keep it healthy and green, rather than a yellowing mess. If it does end up changing its colour, it is important to consider the factors that can lead to discolouration, besides lack of irrigation as the main culprit.
- Plants and trees are a good thing. They’re nice to look at and offer shade during those warm summer months.
- Garden paths. Worried that your guests are going to trample all over your garden? Create clear garden paths for your guests to follow.
- Prune. Plants that look overgrown or messy is not a good thing. It’s not just the aesthetic part of it, but they also tend to get in the way and are just annoying.
Guests are fragile creatures. You want to ensure they’re kept as comfortable as possible, which often means providing a way to keep warm or cool down as necessary:
- Buy a decent fan. We’re not talking your tiny desk fan. If you’re used to hot summers, provide the right kind with multiple settings.
- The shade is important. We all love the sun, but spending too long in it can be uncomfortable and it’s also unhealthy.
- Blankets. As it gets cooler into the evening, guests will start to feel the chill. Have a few cosy blankets available for them to wrap up in.
- Light a fire. This may not be possible for everyone, but it sure is nice. If you have space and can afford it, think about a fire pit.
Choose the Right Sound System
Your sound system has worked for every indoor party you’ve had. So it’ll work just fine for your backyard event, right? Wrong. Here are the factors you need to consider:
- The elements. You don’t want your speakers to malfunction the minute a little rain starts to drop.
- Ramp up the power. In your house, you have walls to contain the sound. Outdoors, it’s all wide open space. This means you need to ensure your speakers have the right amount of power. Bear this in mind when testing units in stores.
- Cover the zones. If you have a large garden, it’ll be made up of different ‘zones’ (think of them as separate rooms. You need to ensure the music isn’t super loud at one end, and a faint whisper on the other.
- Your own for small gatherings, hire for big events. If you usually have small gatherings that spill into your patio, a small set is more than enough. When you do branch out to a big event every once in a while, you can easily hire speakers. It’ll be far cheaper overall.
Clean Up After a Party
The worst part of a party? When everybody leaves. And no, we’re not being sentimental sops with this statement. We’re talking about the empty plastic cups, the leftover food, the dirty dishes, and a lawn that looks like it’s just had a football team run all over it. To keep your backyard in top entertainment condition, do this:
- Use tablecloths. You don’t want your lovely wooden table to be ruined with spilt drinks or ketchup stains.
- Use plastic plates and cutlery. You definitely don’t want to use your best china when it comes to garden parties. We recommend (reusable) plastic or, even better, ceramic instead. Don’t throw them away, if possible. Let’s keep it environment-friendly. If you absolutely must go for disposable, check that they are recyclable.
- Buy garden trash cans. They’re a little ugly, but they work. Get one of those huge garden trash cans so that people can keep things clean for you.
- Everyone helps out. It’s not just up to you. Grab your partner, kids, or best friends and ask them to give you a helping hand. Doing a clean-up job alone is one of the worst things.
- Clean the grill right away. Your grill/BBQ requires a little TLC to keep it in tip-top condition. It’s annoying, but it’s got to be done. Clean up that BBQ as soon as you can, making the job easier than if you leave it for days/weeks.
Remember to Relax
You’ve created that perfect space. You’re ready for the first guests to arrive. But then the anxiety starts creeping in. What if you’re boring? Will people like the food and drink? What if they ruin the garden?
Before you cancel the whole thing, remember to relax. This is meant to be fun, remember? Take the tension out of those muscles and breathe. Your friends and family are coming to see you because they like you. Who doesn’t like a good BBQ? And finally, we’ve already told you how to clean up after your guests leave. In short, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.
Follow the aforementioned steps, and you’ll have a perfect entertainment backyard that can rival any festival venue. And that’s all there is to it. Now put that hot dog on the grill, grab yourself a cool beverage, put on some party mood music, and wait for the fun to begin.
Author – Bethany Seton
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