A chill in the air, a cozy fire and colorful leaves falling everywhere — these are among the outdoor pleasures of autumn. With this lovely backdrop, fall is the perfect time for backyard entertaining. Using “warm” and “cozy” as your fall entertaining bywords, a little planning and a few fall decorating ideas are all you need to host wonderful fall dinner parties alfresco. To help you get started, here are ten suggestions:
• Let nature provide your theme. The changing colors of trees offer a beautiful setting for your fall dinner party. By scattering natural elements such as berries, leaves, pinecones and acorns across patio tabletops and into strategically placed mason jars along the window sills of your sunroom, you carry the fall theme throughout your party. Small pots of chrysanthemums on dining tables and around your pool deck are another simple decorative embellishment.
• Cloth table linens enliven fall backyard entertaining. While paper napkins and tablecloths are just fine for summer barbecues, cloth linens in the rich, jewel tones of autumn add a bit of warmth to fall dinner parties. Select one color for an elegant monochromatic look or use several fall colors together — orange, olive, maroon, gold — to create a warm, festive atmosphere.
• A fire pit chases the chill away. There’s just something about the warmth and beauty of a fire that draws people. That’s why your guests are likely to gather around your fire pit if you have one. If not, portable fire pits are available at every price point, making them easy to incorporate into your backyard for entertaining and for evenings with your own family.
• Add cushions to your outdoor seating. Whether wood, wrought iron or fiberglass, your seating immediately becomes warmer and more comfortable with the addition of cushions. Just be sure to use colors that complement your overall theme.
• Throws and blankets add an additional layer of coziness. Even with a fire pit, throws and blankets are a gracious way of offering guests an extra bit of comfort. Have them available in your theme colors. They will surely be a welcome addition to outdoor entertaining in the fall.
• Lighting sets the atmosphere. Rather than the glare of bright lights, soft lighting creates an inviting ambience. Combining two kinds of lights — low wattage bulbs and a multitude of candles — heightens the appeal. Place both throughout your screen enclosed patio at varying heights for a beautiful effect.
• Greet guests with hot drinks. From hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks to mulled wine with exotic spices, hot drinks are a nice welcome for guests as they arrive. Offer two different kinds and be sure to have plenty on hand to replenish glasses throughout the evening.
• Use an assortment of plates and glasses. Matching sets of plates and glasses are traditional, but using an eclectic mix of china and glassware adds playfulness along with color and vibrancy. What’s more, the weight of these items serves to anchor your table linens on a breezy day.
• Prepare hot foods in advance. Since grilling has become virtually a year round activity, you might choose it for your fall entertaining. However, preparing hot soups, stews, chili or other seasonal favorites is very appetizing at this time of year. Besides, making them in advance affords you more time to enjoy your guests. Chafing dishes will keep everything hot.
• Be prepared to bring your gathering indoors. As delightful as fall temperatures are, the weather can be unpredictable. Holding your event on an early fall date, for example, makes cold weather less likely, but it may still rain. You will avoid a ruined evening by installing an aluminum awning and having your patio covered so it’s ready for entertaining in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
Coming up with plans for hearty fall fare and creative fall decorating ideas is just part of the fun of outdoor entertaining. After all, the key to entertaining is to make your guests feel comfortable and welcome. Then just relax and enjoy your guests.
We hope you enjoyed these Fall entertaining tips! We love helping you make the most of your outdoor living space and Florida lifestyle. Since 1968, Dulando Screen and Awning has built thousands of patio, screen and pool enclosures and sunrooms in Central Florida.
We’re a local company, family owned and ready to help you learn more about a quality screen enclosure, sunroom, patio or deck for your home. We offer free in-home consultation, please contact us today! Phone: (407) 862-6060