Forget chairs. Provide lots of cushions on a soft rug instead. The change of perspective will amuse your guests and put them in a festive mood—after all, it’s hard to be uptight when you’re sitting on the floor.
Improvise a low table. The one used here is actually the base of an ottoman. Its white cushion top is used on the rug for sitting. Or saw the legs off a garage sale find and give it a quick spray-painting.
Pick the right rug. Since it will be the first thing your guests notice, its pattern should be strong and striking. A simple graphic design, like this blue, yellow, and white stripe, is ideal. The sunny yellow pot below echoes the similar color in the rug.
Provide portable shade. Umbrellas cost a lot less than permanent structures and are more flexible. Take them down at night to gaze at the stars, or move them away completely for dance space.