It’s always so refreshing to see the sun make more of an appearance this time of year. My family loves to spend the weekends playing in the backyard, socializing with friends, and soaking up the good weather.
I’m sure we’re not alone in this! And if you live in a warmer state, there’s no doubt that you spend a whole lot more time outdoors. Having a well designed outdoor space enables you to spend quality time with friends and family during the warm weather.
When I’m designing outdoor areas for clients, I always approach them in the same way I would with an indoor version. After all – your outdoor space is an extension of the inside of your home! And this helps to ensure both indoors and out work seamlessly together, with all spaces feeling cohesive.
In this article, I’m going to take you through the fundamentals of creating an Outdoor Entertaining space! And share what should be included to help create a fun, inviting, and inclusive outdoor area for everyone!
Determine the Purpose
As with any room inside the home, consider what your outdoor entertaining space will be used for the most. Will you be relaxing during the day? Hosting pizza nights? Or a combination of both of these?
It’s important to think about how you will be using your outdoor area so you can include the right pieces to support this.
For example, at my home, we have an outdoor wood burning pizza oven. We have a space for this and dining for a larger group in addition to an area for lounging.
For other homes I’ve worked on, I’ve created outdoor kitchen spaces for cooking, and comfy outdoor living spaces for relaxing.
The most important aspect of entertaining is providing comfort for your guests.
Do you have enough shade available, or an option to add shade to the area? Some people are more sensitive to the sun than others, so provide a good mix of sunny spots, and shaded areas.
What sort of seating do you have? It’s a good idea to include both outdoor dining, and a relaxed lounge-like area if possible. Use seat cushions and outdoor pillows to add an extra layer of comfort.
When I design outdoor spaces for clients I try to include different types of seating. Dining chairs, loungers, outdoor poufs and even floor cushions! This gives everyone options.
The Table Set-Up
When preparing an outdoor dining table, consider some decorative accessories to finish off the table. Think outdoor candles, lanterns, a table runner, and napkins.
If your space allows, it may be a good idea to have a dedicated area where you can keep spare dishes and glasses. This will make it easier for you – the host – to grab extra items as and when required. It means that you won’t have to disappear indoors to fetch anything!
Did you know that there are dishes made specifically for the outdoors? Incorporate these into your outdoor space if you can!
At the end of the day, you want to enjoy the time with friends and family, and have fun! And what better way to encourage some laughs than with some fun accessories!
Think a large floor chess set, or a tic tac toe set for the coffee table. Or a classic game of bocce!
Lastly, to set the tone for your outdoor entertaining space, it’s important to get the lighting right! Here are some ideas:
String Lights – Use string lights above your entertaining area to create an intimate atmosphere and overall lighting to the whole space.
Lanterns – Have a mixture of large, medium, and small lanterns with battery-powered or real candles to enhance the cozy feeling of being outdoors on a summer’s evening. Place lanterns next to seats, in a similar way to table lamps inside.
Outdoor Table Lamps – Did you know that you can now buy outdoor table lamps?! These are a total game changer! Use these to really make your outdoor space feel like an extension of the home.
Wall Lights – On the exterior of your house, install wall lights either side of the doors to help complete the outdoor lighting scheme.