If you want to have people over but do it cheaply, The Spruce says, try a summery theme such as a luau, “glamping” or game night; outdoor games such as badminton, cornhole and horseshoes are obvious choices. Shop at party, dollar and thrifts stores (the latter of which are often supplied by generous donations to ClothingDonations.org) to keep decorating costs low, and ask guests to bring a dish suitable for a crowd-pleasing cookout. Then, just add a summery playlist of your favorite music — or get your musician friends to jam — for an outdoor party that rocks.
The difference between a boring backyard, deck or patio and a welcoming outdoor oasis is often as simple as a few well-placed plants or accessories. To spruce up your space fast, Love Your Landscape says, hang a mirror, grow climbing vines, or build a pergola. Potted plants can add visual interest and color, and solar lanterns or string lights will bathe the area in soft light after sunset. Sawhorses and a sheet of plywood or an old door (covered with a tablecloth) can serve as a dining table, and benches with cushions and/or folding stadium chairs will give guests a place to sit.
The garden may be looking a bit haggard after a long winter and wet spring, and you’ll need to clean it up to make it presentable for the summer. Trim the bushes and prune the trees; clear the yard of sticks, leaves and other detritus. Weed the flower beds, plant annuals and mulch the beds to keep weeds at bay. Clear the cobwebs from your shed or garage and organize your stuff into bins. Finally, give your deck or patio and its furnishings a good power wash and dress up the whole are with hanging baskets and pots, House Beautiful says, and you’ll be able to create a welcoming space for entertaining guests or relaxing in the great outdoors.
Clutter can be just as frustrating and unappealing on a deck or patio, says the Houselogic blog. The solution? Make do-it-yourself bins to organize and hide your stuff. Paint wooden crates a fun color using a waterproof paint and/or sealant, and place them wherever you need storage. Attach casters, and they can be moved alongside the table or grill easily, or serve double-duty as extra seating. “Storage can be as important outdoors as it is indoors,” landscaper Keith Sacks says.