Tips for Flawless Outdoor Entertaining


Candle and string lights outdoor dinner

 

Summer will be here before we know it, which means longer nights and warmer weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips that will help things run smoothly.

 

Prepare your yard

Tidy up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses or toys.

 

Choose the right seating

Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.

 

Keep guests comfortable

Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. Have ample shade coverage and consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab — think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans and iced spray bottles.

 

Plan a simple menu

Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and will withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.

 

Add lighting

Outdoor globe lights, lanterns and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.

 

Play relaxed tunes

Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Create a long enough playlist to avoid repeating songs too many times while guests are there.

 

Display fresh cuts

Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.

 

Offer activities

Providing lawn games like cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.

 

Keep pests away

Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.

 

Create a beverage station

Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and plenty of ice.

 

Opt for melamine

Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce waste and also keep the area clear of lingering paper cups and plates.

 

Visit ebby.com to view all of the extraordinary outdoor patios on the market that are begging to have you as a host.

Fall Wishes and Fireplace Dreams


As fall approaches, we’re anticipating warming by the fireplace, rather than baking under the Texas summer sun.

 

These relaxing fireplaces will leave you wishing for fall and dreaming of a cozy fireplace scene. Plus, they’re all currently on the market.

 

8_09family25-braewood-pl-dallas-tx-High-Res-8FAVORTE.jpg

25 Braewood Place | Dallas | $7,995,000

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5300 Spanish Oaks | Frisco | $1,999,000

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5516 Roberts Drive | Plano | $1,349,800

Fireplace.jpg

647 Lake Point Drive | Irving | $1,175,000

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255 Whistling Duck Lane | Double Oak | $999,900

6707-istina-dr-mckinney-tx-High-Res-11.jpg

6707 Istina Drive | McKinney | $879,400

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717 Boardwalk Way | Little Elm | $484,000

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4617 Portrait Lane | Plano | $424,900

11543-las-polamas-dr-frisco-tx-High-Res-13.jpg

11543 Las Polamas Drive | Frisco | $359,000

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5816 Birchbrook Drive, No. 224 | Dallas | $279,000

 

To see more homes currently for sale, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly Ebby.com.

Love Where You Live: Living Area


At Ebby Halliday, we believe you should always have a love affair with your home. It’s your own space and sanctuary.
 
Over the next week leading up to Valentine’s Day, be sure to check the Ebby Blog for daily heart-throbbing spaces that inspire you to “Love Where You Live.”
 
Today’s pick for the series is a living area that is stylish, cozy and inviting. Take a look at 6615 Bandera Ave. No. 1E in Dallas to see why we’re crushing on it!
 
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Cozy Fall Fireplaces


The cooler weather approaching presents the perfect time to warm up by a crackling fire. Whether indoors or outdoors, relaxing by these fireplaces is the quintessential way to spend a cool, crisp evening. And, they’re all currently on the market. (Chestnuts not included.)


5003 horseshoe outdoor fireplace
5003 Horseshoe Trail | Dallas – Bluffview | $1,849,999
WIW 6655 green knoll (1)
6655 Green Knoll Drive | Dallas – Crestway Forest Estates | $1,495,000
6204 martin (1)
6204 Martinique Street | Plano | $1,324,900
662 chisholm
662 Chisholm Ridge Drive | Rockwall | $1,275,0006526 chevy chase
6526 Chevy Chase | Dallas – Preston Hills Estates | $1,225,000
LoveHenry
715 Love Henry Court | Southlake | $1,099,000
Post Oak
3706 Post Oak | Corinth | $724,900

To see more homes currently for sale, visit the award-winning, mobile-friendly Ebby.com.

 

Outdoor Entertaining Tips (+ the Perfect Homes for Hosting)


Some vegetable and meat skewer and some pieces of pork meat on a flamy grill in a garden. XXL size image.
 
Summer will be here before we know it, and that means longer nights and warmer (okay, much warmer) weather. What better way to spend a summer day with family and friends than at an outdoor gathering? If you’re hoping to host a backyard soirée, here are some tips and tricks that will help things run smoothly.
 
*Prepare your yard
Be sure to clean up your yard before hosting guests. Mow the grass and pick up any tools, hoses, or toys.
 
*Choose the right seating (and have enough)
Patio furniture with thick, comfy cushions are the best option for homeowners who frequent their outdoor space. When hosting a gathering, make sure you have enough seating. Benches and tree stumps are a casual, rustic way to add seating to your outdoor space. Make sure all the seating is clean of debris before your guests arrive.
 
*Keep guests comfortable
Guests will be more inclined to stay for the duration of the party if they are comfortable. In addition to having ample shade coverage, consider running a fan near the dining area to keep guests cool. You may also want to set out a basket with warm-weather essentials for guests to grab (think sunscreen, insect repellent, handheld fans, and iced spray bottles).
 
*Keep the menu simple
Opt for recipes that can be prepared in advance and can withstand crowds and heat. Fresh grilled vegetables, pasta salads, and guacamole are all popular (and colorful!) choices.
 
*Add lighting
Outdoor globe lights, lanterns, and LED candles are all great options for setting a relaxed summer atmosphere. Setting out candles with an open flame is a bit riskier — instead, use hurricane lanterns or jars to shield the flames.
 
*Keep music relaxed
Set the right tone with a playlist that is easy and laid-back. You don’t want to overpower any conversations among guests. Make sure your playlist is long enough as not to repeat too many times while the guests are there.
 
*Display fresh cuts
Use flowers and foliage from your own yard as centerpieces. Arrange your fresh cuts in jars or buckets and set them out to brighten up your display.
 
*Offer activities
Providing lawn games such as cornhole or croquet will keep your guests occupied and happy. Use butcher paper as a tablecloth and set out crayons for creative people of all ages.
 
*Keep pests away
Be sure to protect food with mesh food coverings and light up citronella candles to keep bugs away. Eliminate any standing water in gutters or the bottom of flowerpots to keep mosquitoes from breeding there. Offer guests bug wipes and insect repellent.
 
*Create a beverage bar
Make sure your guests are hydrated by preparing a beverage bar or cart stocked with the essentials. Include straws and PLENTY of ice.
 
*Opt for melamine
Melamine is an affordable and durable option for outdoor dinnerware. Using the break-resistant plastic will help you reduce your waste and also keep the area clear of all those lingering paper cups and plates.
 
Now that you know the tricks for a perfect outdoor party, here are some outdoor patios currently on the market that are begging to have you as a host.
 
Outdoor Entertaining6413 Old Gate Road | Plano | $6,999,000
Outdoor Entertaining
1750 Trace Bella Court | Westlake | $4,995,000
Outdoor Entertaining5701 Arcady Place | Plano | $1,999,999
Outdoor Entertaining
5003 Horseshoe Trail | Dallas – Bluffview | $1,998,000
Outdoor Entertaining11111 Eastview Circle | Dallas | $1,960,000
Outdoor Entertaining
5001 Pinehurst Drive | Frisco | $1,350,000
Outdoor Entertaining1300 Lincoln Court | Allen | $1,140,000
Outdoor Entertaining2803 Edgewood Lane | Colleyville | $995,000
Outdoor Entertaining712 Basilica Lane | McKinney | $885,000

Special Ways to Make Your Guests Feel at Home


Holiday Guests

 

The holiday season is just beginning, and that means there’s a good chance you might be hosting family or friends. Here are some quick tips that will make your guests feel extra special during their stay.

 

1. Cheat sheet

Create a home cheat sheet that provides your guests with the Wifi code, instructions to turn on the television, garage code, and anything else they may need. Be sure to include your address, landline number, and any emergency contact information.

 

2. Spare samples
Have tons of hotel freebies and sample products lying around the house? Put them all in a jar in the guest bathroom. Your guests will like the availability of extra products, especially if they may have forgotten something.

 

3. Flower power

Placing fresh flowers or plants in the guest room adds brightness and freshness that anyone will appreciate. Bonus points if your foliage is festive!

 

4. Cozy essentials

To create the ultimate retreat for your guests, put a basket in the corner with items that will make them extra comfortable. Think soft throw blankets, magazines, bottled water, snacks, and a reading light.

 

5. Freshen up

Make sure to leave extra towels and washcloths in the bathroom so guests can always use dry ones. An extra toothbrush is always a nice touch too.

 

6. Sense of smell

Adding a candle or diffuser to the guest suite is always a good idea. Be careful, however – not all guests love the smell of warm vanilla. It’s best to steer clear and find neutral scents – think fresh linen or the like. If you’re feeling extra fresh, a small bottle of room or linen spray is a great addition to the room.