How to Create the Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Space

We'll show you how one dusty deck turns into the ultimate outdoor party pad. From intimate gatherings to grand affairs, this well-designed outdoor space is ready for its debut.

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August 21, 2015
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Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

The Ultimate Party-Ready Deck

This expansive deck is divided into three separate areas: a casual dining space, a cozy lounge and a conversational hangout with a fire pit. Although all three areas share the same laid-back approach, each presents a different function.

Casual Dining

The space below the pergola is perfect for casual, alfresco dining. The simplistic decor features a modern table and an eclectic mix of seating, including a weathered, wooden bench.

Low-Maintenance Plants

For a touch of natural life and beauty, the shaded spaces of the deck are accessorized with maidenhair ferns. These low-maintenance plants are perfect picks because they thrive in indirect light.

Plenty of Seating

Anytime you're arranging chairs around an outdoor dining table, try using a variety of seating styles to maximize capacity. This modest table can seat eight guests comfortably, thanks to a mix of outdoor chairs and a long, wooden bench. Get our 10 tips for an outdoor fall party >>

Chic, Portable Seating

It's easy to run out of seating options as guests move around and mingle. Ensure a seat for everyone with collapsible stools that are easy to store and can be added quickly.

Fall Party Decor

An additional layer of fall charm is hung from the pergola with a garland made from organic materials and enhanced with of-the-moment hues. Learn how to make this magnolia garland >>

Three Spaces to Relax

Each of the deck's separate areas are represented through a clever mix of outdoor drapery panels, indoor-outdoor rugs and functional furniture placement. To keep everything cohesive, the same hues are used throughout.

Shaded Lounge

A comfy lounge space for 12 is created with a modular sofa, Adirondack chairs and collapsible stools. The oversized coffee table creates the perfect spot for guests to gather around and enjoy conversation from every angle.

Consistent Colors

Throughout all three areas, cranberry and gray are used as accent colors against the pine-green exterior of the home. Peek into fall's hottest color palettes >>

Rustic Finds

To make the lounge area feel more cozy, a rustic, wooden ladder is hung above the sofa. It breaks up the monotony of the home's exterior and adds a rich texture.

Throws on Hand

Several woven baskets filled with seasonal throws are placed around the deck. Once the sun goes down, guests have plenty of options for warmth.

Rustic Accents

To add visual depth throughout the entire deck, rustic pieces are added as accents. This is an easy way to make a space, otherwise packed with brand-new items, feel more curated and welcoming.

Repurposed Serving Supplies

Large serving vessels are a must-have when trying to entertain a crowd. Put an old sled or garden trug to work by using it to house s'mores and hot chocolate supplies during the party.

By the Fire Pit

With so many fire-pit styles available these days, it can be difficult to choose the right one for your outdoor space. Consider propane-fueled fire pits, as they help conceal the small tanks and foster a clean look.

Fall Foliage

Allow guests to take in the fall foliage by grouping furniture around large trees. As the leaves begin to change from green to red and orange and yellow, guests can soak up the change of the season — cocktail in hand.

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