After months of lockdown due to COVID-19, states across the US are beginning to reopen. The timing luckily aligns with July 4th, the biggest national holiday in the country. Despite people’s eagerness to celebrate, many Americans will opt to host small gatherings at home this year, rather than attend major events and fireworks.
These intimate parties are the perfect opportunity to showcase your home and backyard, especially as the weather starts warming up. For your patio in particular, there are a number of ways to prepare for the party. Whether you want a patriotic theme or a chic outdoor space, get inspired by these July 4th decoration tips.
An American aesthetic
If you’re a traditionalist, feel free to add dashes of the US flag around your patio – just be conscious of using it sparingly, as too much can look tacky and overdone. A few star-spangled cushions, napkins, and balloons add a sense of fun without looking like a children’s party.
At the same time, red, white, and blue are not only the colors of the US flag but also great shades to create a summer space. Use the colors for staple pieces to keep the theme running more subtly – things like red plant pots, blue tablecloths, and white furniture are timeless while being relevant to the day. Alternatively, a red, white or blue sun umbrella provides a much-needed respite from the heat and sets the tone for the occasion.
If you’re extra prepared, do some gardening beforehand and create bundles of red, white, and blue flowers. These will certainly impress your guests and can last past July 4 as fresh decorations around the house.
For lighting, try hanging fairy lights from your fence, in tree branches or around the pillars of your patio. This will contribute an extra splash of ‘white’ and give the space a cozy feel. If you can find colored fairy lights in red, even better, as they’ll give a warm glow once the sun goes down.
The declaration of design
At any party, you want to ensure that people are socializing and having a good time. To encourage conversation, designate intimate talk areas for people to break away from the crowd. Bean bags and stools dotted around your patio can do wonders to break the ice and get everyone comfortable.
Once you’ve got your Feng Shui right, a rug can tie all the elements of your patio together nicely. A general rule of thumb is to match the color of the rug to the furniture, however, if you’ve chosen all neutral colors, experiment with a bolder pattern for more personality in your design.
Feeling crafty? Old crates are some of the most versatile items in your house right now – not to mention, they’re super trendy. Do some recycling and spray paint old crates into rustic American flags. The slats make it easy to spray the red and white stripes, and then you just need the blue square and some stars. Once you’re done, lean your crate-flags around the patio or line them at the entrance to welcome people to the party.
Independence Day decor
Another popular trend right now is people cut out stencils and use construction marking paint to leave colorful stars across their lawns. You can line your patio pathway with the stars or completely cover the grass – the paint won’t kill the grass and if you use a soluble spray, it will wash off later.
If your patio is quite exposed and can get a little breezy, construct a basic frame (can be using metal poles or wooden beams) and drape linen or another light material around the perimeter of the patio. This will create outdoor curtains that block the wind and also establish a suave Grecian effect. No matter where you live, the curtains will look exotic and give your patio a beach home feeling.
Make sure you have some creative lighting for when the evening comes. String lights (in all styles from stars and orbs to tikis and globes), lanterns, and candles convert any patio into a snug, special spot. Electric lights are the safest option for outdoor lighting, plus you aren’t restricted with where you can place them.
Social distancing in style
Although lockdown has been partially lifted, you might want to come up with inventive ways to socialize with your neighbors on July 4th. Create openings in between your yard or home during the party to welcome the people next door while still social distancing. You could temporarily remove walls and plants that are normally positioned for privacy, or make clever modifications to your fence like cutouts and adding moveable panels. One set of neighbors even built a fold-down bar from the fence between their houses!
To maintain a healthy distance from guests, bar carts and beverage carts prevent you from having to move back and forth between the kitchen as you host. Instead, everyone can relax and have easy access to snacks and drinks – you’ll definitely appreciate it when you’re watching a firework display and only have to lean forward to refill your cocktails.
Remember to provide hand sanitizer and masks for all guests too. If you have the time, you could decorate the bottles and masks beforehand with some glitter and stripes – they’ll then make a novel souvenir from your memorable July 4th patio party!
Nothing beats a good old-fashioned July 4th event with family and friends. In fact, this year could be an opportunity to get creative and try a new aesthetic for your patio – you may even choose to keep some of the changes for the long-term.
Disclosure: This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company