Once you've covered your patio with an awning, you have a cool oasis for enjoying the outdoors, including with guests. What about when guests show up unexpectedly? Naturally, you want to share that space with your guests, even those who just drop by. Make over your patio so it's always on the ready as an entertainment spot.
Identify Warm and Cool Spots on the Patio
Even with an awning in place, you're going to have different temperatures on your patio depending on location and time of day. Identify those areas ahead of time. Pay attention to where you see the sun shine in during certain times of day or spots that rarely get sun when the awning is in place.
The benefit of mapping these areas out is that you can easily set up for an impromptu gathering. Indeed, as you plan your patio layout, keep in mind which tasks require cooler temperatures and which might benefit from natural light.
Chooses Multi-Tasking Furniture
Naturally, guests often want to sit down. However, you're not running a bistro - you don't want your patio to resemble an outdoor café all the time. The solution is to choose multi-tasking furniture. For example, you can choose a sectional that doubles as a daybed. Some models even come equipped with internal storage, which would be an ideal place to store party supplies.
In that vein, consider other outdoor furniture as well. Look at your dining chairs. Try to choose models that are around the same height as your sectional. The same is true for lounge chairs. Instead of a full chaise style, consider a transitional model that can pull fully upright.
Wire the Patio Up
Wiring your patio up for spontaneous entertaining will require some forethought. Ideally, you should have your patio wired to your indoor surround sound. If this isn't the case, consider retro-fitting the patio or having discreet speakers mounted. Otherwise, you can have a portable speaker and docking station readily available for impromptu gatherings.
String lights and hanging lanterns also create a festive atmosphere. You can wind the string lights around the railings and leave them there all the time. That way, you can just plug them in when guests arrive. The same is true for hanging lanterns. If you have a spare outlet connected to a switch, consider plugging your lights there for even easier access.
Create a Festive Atmosphere
Lighting isn't the only way to create a festive atmosphere. You can do so with your general patio décor, too. Consider starting with bright colors - you don't need quite as many neutrals or subdued hues when it comes to a patio. Likewise, add patterns with cushions, an outdoor rug, planters, or other decorative items.
Additionally, put some focus on your walls. Naturally, you can hang artwork. However, consider planting a vertical garden or espaliered tree. The bonus here is that the living wall provides a pretty backdrop for pictures you and your guests take to commemorate your impromptu party. Just pay attention to how much sun the area receives when you have your awning in place.
Set up a Drinks Station
When you prepare for a planned party, figure out where to set up your drinks station. However, if you have a space designated for that activity ahead of time, you can utilize it even for spontaneous gatherings.
Your drinks station should be in one of the cool spots well-shaded by the awning, and it should include storage for glasses and drink-making utensils. Naturally, you'll also need countertop space for preparing, or at least pouring, the drinks. You can set up a permanent bar cart or designate a corner of your outdoor kitchen to this task.
Get your patio permanently ready for any spontaneous gatherings. The first step is keeping it cool with an awning. Contact Designer Awnings & Canopies for an attractive and practical patio awning.