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Tips For The Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Area

There’s nothing like having an outdoor entertaining area in your home where you can just relax, unwind, bond with family, and of course, entertain guests. With a well-designed space, you can celebrate the outdoors while enjoying indoor comforts no matter the season. 

A cozy outdoor seating area featuring wicker furniture with cushions, a rug, and surrounded by lush greenery and a wooden lattice in the background.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a lot to create a cozy, modern, and functional backyard hangout area. You just have to tap into your creativity and know where to focus so that you can achieve the right balance between comfort and style.

In this article, I will guide you through some tips and important factors to consider to help you build and achieve your dream outdoor entertaining area. So, let’s get into it!

Outdoor patio setting with a wicker sofa, cushions, and a coffee table holding a vase and croissants, surrounded by lush greenery.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

How To Achieve the Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining Area

One hot summer day, while I was watching my husband and kids goof around in our backyard, I suddenly realized how underutilized our backyard is. We only ever go out here when it’s hot out, but we mostly stay indoors for the rest of the year.

Seeing now how much fun my family was having, I felt inspired to start a new project – transforming our backyard into the ultimate outdoor entertaining space. It would be a great place to hold birthdaysholiday parties, small family reunions, and even Easter activities. On top of that, I want to have a place in our home where my family can just bond, unwind, and enjoy quiet nights together.

“Outdoor living spaces can deliver a holiday-style vibe that indoors just can’t match,” says Jo Aird, an Outdoor Kitchen Expert designer. “Indoors, we must deal with chores and practicalities, but being outside is about being free from domestic duties and spending time together focused on fun and wellbeing – on laughter.”

My husband and I worked tirelessly on this project for months, and I am proud to say that we have achieved our dream outdoor entertainment space. Here are some tips so you can begin creating yours:

Consider the Design and Layout

The first step of the whole process, and probably the most important, is to plan the layout. Assess the available space you have and envision how you want to mainly utilize it, whether it’s for al fresco dining, lounging, or recreation. 

When planning the design, create defined zones in the area for different purposes like a cooking space, an entertainment spot, and a seating area. Having separate areas will open up the space, especially if you have a small backyard. Take advantage of your backyard’s natural features like existing landscaping and sunlight features.

Outdoor patio setting for entertaining with rattan furniture, cushions, and a table with refreshments, surrounded by greenery and a brick house.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Choose the Right Type of Furniture

Selecting the right type of furniture for your outdoor entertaining area is also very important. Choose furniture that’s specifically designed for outdoor use because they are made with materials that are weather-resistant and require minimal maintenance. 

Look into durable materials like wood (teak, cedar, or pine), rattan, aluminum, stainless steel, resin wicker, or tempered glass, depending on your needs or personal preferences. As for the design, choose outdoor furniture that will serve as the focal point and will enhance the visual appeal of the place. For comfort and personal touch, add cushions, pillows, throw blankets, outdoor rugs, and decorative accessories to make your outdoor living area feel like an extension of your home’s interior.

When planning your seating options, aim for a balance between seating space and open space so that guests won’t feel stuffed in one area. Corner or hanging seats are fun additions to add variety. The important thing is to provide comfortable seating to your guests, including kids and seniors.

Go For Ambient Lighting

Lighting alone can set the mood and create the desired atmosphere for your outdoor space. Warm lights give a cozy and comforting feeling, while cool lights add a lively and vibrant vibe.

I recommend getting dimmable lights that adapt to the changing conditions of natural light. You can have the setting on low for relaxed nights and turn up the brightness when you’re entertaining a large groups. I love these dimmable globe string lights that brighten my outdoor entertaining area.

Globe String Lights
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04/25/2024 06:38 pm GMT

Bring In Plants and Greenery

I love having plants in my home – from my collection of charming succulents to my indoor herb garden, of course my outdoor hangout area would have them, too. Not only will plants and greenery add natural beauty and visual interest to the space, but they can also provide shade and privacy, perfect for when you’re having dinner parties.

Cameron Fordred, a Landscape Architect at Henley Properties, says “Plants are like nature’s versatile superheroes, serving as green screens, windbreaks and providers of shade. Not only do they add a touch of tranquility, but they can also boost your mood. Plus, they enhance the view from the inside looking out.”

Go for low-maintenance plants that thrive in your climate and consider their functional benefits – think aromatic herbs for cooking or citronella or lavender for repelling mosquitoes. Whether you choose decorative planters, pot plants, or flower bushes, you won’t go wrong with adding greenery to your space!

Look Into Cooling And Heating Options

Weather changes throughout the year, so it’s important to consider cooling and heating options to make sure you will be comfortable in your outdoor entertaining area no matter the season. For warmer months, consider cooling features such as overhead fans, misting systems, or shade sails. For colder months, look into adding portable or built-in outdoor heaters, an outdoor fireplace, or fire pit to provide warmth while enhancing the aesthetics of your space. 

Add An Outdoor Kitchen

This was the part that I was most excited about simply because I love to cook. We only used to have a classic BBQ grill out back for our backyard barbecues, but now we have a fully integrated and convenient outdoor kitchen, complete with a pizza oven (requested by my kids because they love my homemade pizzas).

You can go simple or all out, depending on what type of food and drinks you like to prepare outdoors. A fridge, side burners, meat smokers, outdoor bar, drink dispensers, built-in sinks, drawers and cabinets for storage – the options are endless! Go with components that will help create a versatile and functional outdoor kitchen space based on your needs.

Wooden deck with a swing, wicker furniture with cushions, a guitar, and potted flowers in a sunny garden setting.
Photo credit: Deposit Photos.

Include Entertainment and Recreation Features

Just like outdoor kitchen components, there are plenty of entertainment and recreation features you can add to your outdoor hangout area – it all depends on your personal needs and preferences. The first ones that I added were outdoor speakers and a projection screen because Sunday night is movie night for my family, as part of our self-care Sunday routine. It’s like we have an outdoor living room – the perfect place to enjoy a quiet night while enjoying the beautiful weather.

Again, you can go as simple as having a board games collection or as elaborate as installing a swimming pool or a hot tub – all of these will come in handy if you decide to have a simple, home-based family reunion theme in the future. Having a variety of entertainment and recreation options will help you maximize your enjoyment at your backyard entertainment area.

Make it “Smart”

Did you know that as many as 70 million households in the US actively use smart home devices in 2024 alone? Indeed, smart technology is becoming more and more popular, and adds features of convenience, efficiency, and security.

From Wi-Fi-enabled BBQs, smartphone-controlled mood lighting, and smart outdoor speakers to remote-controlled hot tubs, rain sensors, and tilting canopies, tech upgrades offer comfort and convenience with potential added value to your backyard outdoor space.

As you know, these smart devices don’t come cheap. However, some choices might be worth the investment if you greatly appreciate the benefit. Start with a few key devices that align with your priorities and gradually expand your ecosystem over time as your budget allows. Just keep in mind that you can still have a great outdoor space even without these devices.

Wrapping Up

Achieving your dream outdoor entertaining area is easier than you think. By following the tips above, you can create a custom outdoor entertainment area in your backyard without breaking the bank. 

The trick is to do the project at your own pace, depending on your budget and availability. You can invest in furniture first, add the lighting later, then start building your outdoor kitchen when you have extra funds. Take it one step at a time and you’ll have it completed before you know it!

Did you like what you just read? Your family and friends might like it, too – it would be awesome if you shared this with them!


Thursday 2nd of May 2024

We're in the midst of building a new covered back patio and these ideas were so inspiring! I've always loved outdoor get-togethers and I'm looking forward to lots of hosting in our new space.

Easy Homemade Life

Monday 6th of May 2024

Wishing you all the best with your patio, Marna. Happy for you!