Warm weather is perfect for entertaining outdoors. Creating a space that’s comfortable and stylish makes guests feel welcome for friendly gatherings.

“Exterior spaces are just as much in need of decorating as interior spaces,” says Home and HGTV designer Sabrina Soto. “Before you begin to decorate, think about how you plan to use your outdoor space.”


Envision your patio, garden or deck as an extension of your indoor living space and design it based on how you will use it most. Even a small outdoor area can serve dual purposes if you choose multi-functional pieces, such as a bench or chairs that allow for dining as well as a casual conversation area.

Start creating your space with a great piece of furniture as the focal point. Once the large furniture pieces are selected, accessories like cushions and toss pillows can add pops of color. Lush green, turquoise and rust add an elegant playful touch to neutral furniture. Create a more sophisticated environment by keeping accessories simple, or mix-and-match bright, patterned pieces to add a whimsical look to your outdoor space.

Planters and lighting can be used to complete the look, and will create a more festive setting outdoors. Tall planters filled with green foliage can define your space and add privacy. Hanging lanterns and string lights — especially L.E.D. lighting — are a great way to illuminate an outdoor space and create ambiance for nighttime gatherings without spending a lot. Line the perimeter of your party area with lanterns and create a lit pathway to lead guests out when the party is over.