The Property Broth­ers’ guide to out­door en­ter­tain­ing

Per­sonal party tips from Drew and Jonathan Scott to en­sure your back­yard event is a suc­cess

Richmond Hill Post - - Homes -

Sum­mer’s here! In the last is­sue we of­fered de­sign ideas to make the most of your out­door liv­ing space. Now it’s time to en­joy some al­fresco fun with friends and fam­ily. Here are some of our favourite tips for out­door en­ter­tain­ing:

• No mat­ter how good your out­door space looks, to be a hit it has to make guests feel com­fort­able and right at home. Make sure you have enough places to perch and enough am­ple cush­ions.

A good se­lec­tion of chilled soft drinks and adult bev­er­ages should be within easy reach. Ditto for chips and dips, cru­dités, nuts and other nib­bles. If it’s buggy, light up citronella can­dles or torches and have re­pel­lent on hand.

If your party goes well into the evening, make sure you have heat lamps and soft throw-blan­kets so that the colder evening breeze doesn’t cut your soiree short.

• As with in­door en­ter­tain­ing, pre­pare in ad­vance so you can re­lax with your guests.

If you’re grilling, have what­ever it is — along with snacks, side dishes and desserts — ready ahead of time. Skew­ers are a great way to grill chunks of meat or fish with mush­rooms, cherry toma­toes, squash and other veg­eta­bles, mak­ing it easy for guests to sam­ple dif­fer­ent flavours hot off the grill.

And if you’re re­ally ready to have fun, con­sider get­ting your food and bevies catered. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll en­joy the evening with the stress taken off your plate.

• Cre­ate a fes­tive mood, as you would in­doors. Get fes­tive and ac­ces­sorize. Col­or­ful table­ware, nap­kins and fresh-cut flow­ers can give even the most ca­sual get­to­gether more flare.

Af­ter sun­set, add the glow of can­dles, tiki torches, strings of out­door lights and/or a firepit.

Don’t for­get to set the mood with the right tunes — the lat­est por­ta­ble Blue­tooth speak­ers, paired with an app like Songza that cu­rates playlists to match any ac­tiv­ity, make it eas­ier than ever to bring mood-en­hanc­ing mu­sic out­doors.

• If chil­dren are part of the mix, sup­ply some age-ap­pro­pri­ate fun for them. This could be a back­yard game, from cro­quet to hide-and­seek, or in­door di­ver­sions like board games or an an­i­mated fea­ture. DIY ice cream sun­daes are pop­u­lar with all ages (in­clud­ing grown-up con­trac­tors and real­tors). Re­mem­ber that par­ents can linger longer if the kids are en­joy­ing them­selves.

• Kick it up a notch by cre­at­ing a theme. We are the kings of theme par­ties!

Call it a luau; ask guests to wear Hawai­ian shirts and add some beachy decor and trop­i­cal fruit items on the food and drink menus.

You can even host an out­door screen­ing party, us­ing a com­pact video pro­jec­tor to show a favourite movie — a white pain­ter’s drop cloth or white black­out fab­ric (drap­ery lin­ing) makes an in­ex­pen­sive but ef­fec­tive screen, at­tached to an ex­te­rior wall or a rope stretched be­tween trees or posts. What­ever theme you choose, the key is to com­mit to it fully!

Put a lit­tle panache into your out­door en­ter­tain­ing, and your guests will re­mem­ber the oc­ca­sion long af­ter the sea­son is over.

Use splashes of bright colours to wow your din­ner guests

THE PROPERTY BROTH­ERS Post City Mag­a­zines’ colum­nists Jonathan and Drew Scott host The Property Broth­ers, on the W Net­work, thescot­tbroth­ers.com.

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