In the Chicago suburbs, we’re really starting to see the weather warming up, which is really pleasant after our harsh winter months! With that in mind, plus the global pandemic keeping many of us cooped up inside, we’re all gearing up for some much-needed family time outside to enjoy some nice weather. With the shelter in place still in effect, most of that time will be spent within our own backyards for now.
Today we wanted to share with you how you can create an outdoor entertaining space, fit for the summer! We all love spending quality time with family and friends, and during the summer it’s even better when we can all get together outdoors in our backyards. If you plan on hosting some social events over the coming summer months, it’s time to start planning and implementing some ideas to create an outdoor entertaining space fit for your needs.
Let’s take a look at some key considerations for creating an outdoor entertaining space.
Like almost anything else, without the right foundation, it can be really difficult to set up a great outdoor living or entertaining space. Consider installing pavers to your outdoor patio if you haven’t already. They are extremely versatile and kept looking the part with fairly low maintenance. If you have some pavers or patio space in your backyard, it’s a good time to sweep and clean them up ahead of the warmer weather.
If your backyard doesn’t have an obvious place to install a patio, you can always install paving slabs that pave the way to an entertaining space further into the back of the yard. Use pavers to create walkways that connect separate areas if needed.
A paver fire pit is a great design-led addition to any backyard if you have space. Adding warmth to entertaining areas is important for late summer and springtime months. If you have enough material left over, you could even create a ledge for seating or placing drinks and plates.
Should pavers not be your style, you could even create wooden decking if your house is raised, or use more luxurious stone such as limestone or more generic flagstones. Clearly defining an area of your backyard is key for creating an outdoor entertaining space.
Style and Function
Next up, you’ll need to decide on the overall style and feel of the entertaining space you’re wanting to create. It’s good to get as much inspiration as possible from Pinterest or Instagram before going crazy on the shopping!
Do you see the space centered around dining outside, with the barbeque? Or perhaps a more casual gathering area centered around a fire pit? Maybe you have space for a variety of different functioning outdoor spaces; living, dining, and a fun space with a fire pit. It all comes down to the size of the area you have available to create an entertaining space, and what you ultimately want the space to have functionality for.
Another thing to consider when choosing a style is, do you prefer a classic or more contemporary look to backyards? Would you prefer furniture made of wood or have a woven texture to the main pieces? Or metal finished legs?
Once you have gathered some inspiration on how you’d like your outdoor entertaining space to look like, and you know what the area will be used for specifically, you can get to work!
Only once the foundational elements are determined and you have an idea as to the style of furniture you prefer, it’s time to start looking into the key pieces of furniture!
Key things to consider when selecting outdoor furniture are:
- Do the pieces come with a guarantee or warranty? If so, for how many years.
- What materials are they made out of? Look for longevity such as; aluminium, wood, stainless steel or wicker / woven.
- For any cushions that come with the furniture, are they removable from the main frame so they can be washed and stored away during the winter months?
Lastly, it’s important to make sure your new outdoor entertaining space is as welcoming as possible for your guests. Start to think about the various finishing touches you can add to your outdoor entertaining space in a similar way to the interior spaces of your home.
You may wish to add an outdoor rug, cushions, tiki torches or outdoor heaters. Lighting should be a priority, for all those lovely warm summer nights! If your outdoor entertaining area is predominantly in the sun throughout the day, you may also want to consider installing a sun shade or sail.
There are so many different items available, the sky really is the limit!
Other Fun Ideas
Aside from the standard outdoor furniture and accessories, there are some extra fun ideas that can give your entertaining space that “wow-factor”!
Add fun furniture like hanging egg chairs or swinging benches to diversify the seating available in your entertaining space.
Instead of just using outdoor lights installed within the ground, explore the option for hanging outdoor string lights. These lights add a lovely ambiance for warm evenings spent socializing with friends and family! You can hang these on your back porch area, through the trees or above the main furniture area.
We hope you have enjoyed reading through this post and having a browse at all the wonderful outdoor furniture and accessories that are available! How do you furnish and dress your outdoor entertaining space? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.