10 Simple Ways to Make an Outdoor Entertaining Space

Creating a welcoming outdoor entertaining space can greatly enhance your home and provide a relaxing environment for gatherings.

Having an outdoor entertaining space is an incredible way to enhance your yard and home. But if you’re in the beginning stages of planning an outdoor space, I know it can be daunting to get started.

Here’s a simple guide covering 10 ideas for how to make an outdoor entertainment space. I’ve included budget-friendly options that can be implemented into any space, as well as some considerations to keep in mind.

 

10 Ideas on How to Make an Outdoor Entertainment Space

1. Evaluate Your Space

The first step in creating your outdoor entertainment space is to evaluate your setup.

I recommend measuring potential spaces that would work for entertaining and then looking at them closely to determine the best option.

Here are some considerations when deciding on an outdoor entertainment space:

  • How accessible is it from the inside of your house? Is there a door nearby that leads to it?
  • Does a path lead to it? Is it adjacent to your house or further away?
  • How many people do you want to accommodate when entertaining?
  • How large is the space you are working with?
  • What is the surrounding terrain like? Are there existing bushes and trees that will provide some natural privacy and shade?
  • How is the space oriented (will the sun hit it directly all day long? Or just in the afternoon or morning?)
  • How large is the space compared to your backyard?
  • Do you want a simple space that feels cosy or a large area for entertaining with multiple zones (i.e. dining, sitting, cooking. etc.)

Once you have a space picked out, get an idea of what you’ll be filling the space with. I suggest using some graph paper to jot down the sizes of different tables and furniture to see how everything will fit and to make sure there will be adequate legroom, a wide enough walkway, and spaces to add decorations.

 

2. Decide on Function

Once you’ve chosen an outdoor entertaining space, measured it, and planned the layout, make sure the space fits with how you plan to use it.

What will the primary uses of your space be?

  • Are you big on BBQs?
  • Will you need an outdoor kitchen or just a designated grill space?
  • Do you love hosting large gatherings where you entertain friends and family?
  • Do you want a simple space for unwinding outside with a cup of coffee or a book?
  • Do you want space for a formal outdoor dining table and chairs?
  • Do you need an outdoor sink?
  • Do you want to incorporate any storage into the space?
  • How much furniture do you want?


 

3. Consider Both Natural and Artificial Lighting

Lighting is essential for a safe and functional space for entertaining at night. But along with function, lighting can also be used to create a warm, inviting atmosphere or a vibrant, character-filled space.

Here are some outdoor lighting tips:

  • Do not run cords through windows (this is not aesthetically appealing and is also dangerous)
  • Be extra careful if using candles and be cautious with their placement
  • Make sure any stairs and pathways are adequately lit
  • Opt for a mix of lighting to add character (string lights, solar lights, solar lanterns, freestanding lamps, etc.)
  • If your outdoor area doesn’t have a ceiling, use wall-mounted styles or freestanding lanterns instead
  • Position solar lanterns to illuminate decorations and plants
  • To achieve a more formal setting, opt for permanent lighting fixtures
  • Stick to soft lighting that adequately illuminates a space without feeling harsh or too bright

Along with planning out artificial lighting, consider how natural lighting will affect your space. Test out your outdoor space at different times of the day. Is there any natural shade? Is your space up against your home, providing you with at least one wall for protection?

Add outdoor string lights, lanterns, or solar-powered path lights to create a warm and inviting atmosphere in the evenings.

 

4. Keep It Simple

There’s no need to go all out with expensive or excessive decorations. Over-cluttering the area will make it look smaller than it is and make it feel chaotic.

When choosing the decor, remember the items will be exposed to the elements. Always choose decorations, pillows, throws, and other items specifically intended for outdoor use.

My favourite outdoor decoration is potted plants or vases with fresh-cut flowers. Plants are budget-friendly, easy to customise, and add a sense of tranquillity to the space. Use different coloured planters and different pot sizes to add visual interest.

 

5. Consider the Elements

Do you want the option of entertaining in all seasons? Then some sort of shelter and shade is crucial.

If year-round entertainment is your goal I recommend a patio or pergola. Custom patios provide protection against the rain, harsh UV rays, and shade to stay comfortable even on scorching summer days.

Benefits of a custom patio include:

  • Privacy
  • Ability to entertain year-round
  • Protection against wind, rain, and sun
  • Ability to be customised to your colour and design preferences
  • Provide a space that is equally beautiful and functional
  • Adds character and charm to your backyard

I know staying warm and cosy probably isn’t high on your mind right now during these sweltering summer months, but if you want to entertain year-round, you may want to consider a heat source for the cooler months. Options include electric patio heaters, fire pits, and gas heaters.

 

6. Decide on a Budget

A lovely outdoor entertaining space doesn’t need to cost an outrageous amount. There are plenty of budget-friendly options that can transform your backyard and extend your living space.

If you are working with a minimal budget, consider an outdoor space that features pavers, a small side table, an umbrella, and a couple of outdoor chairs. Surround the area with flowers or potted plants and some simple solar lanterns.

These additions can create a cosy outdoor space with minimal cost and time. Once it is finished, you’ll have a great little spot to enjoy a cup of coffee, read a book, or sit and chat with a friend.

With a larger budget, you can create a designated outdoor space that features protection against the elements and extends your indoor living space

Whether your outdoor space will be a small or big investment, it is important to create a budget ahead of time to avoid surprise costs.

When budgeting, consider:

  • Contractor/material costs if you are having a custom patio built
  • Landscaping costs
  • Decorations (outdoor rugs, pillows, throws, etc.)
  • Lighting
  • Extras (outdoor TV, fire pit, etc.)
  • Patio furniture (patio table, chairs, outdoor sofa, stools, bar carts, etc.)
  • Outdoor grill or other outdoor appliances if you are creating an outdoor kitchen
  • Outdoor flooring (i.e. tiles, pavers, decking)
  • To be safe, I often recommend clients add 5 to 10% to their total to account for unexpected costs that may arise

Decide on a budget.

 

7. Consider Seating

Having enough seating in your outdoor entertaining space is essential, especially if you want to host large gatherings. Along with having enough seating, it is also important to consider how seating is arranged.

Make sure your seating arrangement doesn’t block walking paths or make the space feel cramped. To create an inviting space you want to achieve the right balance of adequate seating and open spaces.

In small spaces, get creative with hanging seats, corner seating, benches, or sectionals that can be rearranged depending on how you are using the area that day.

 

8. Decide on Outdoor Flooring

To truly integrate your outdoor entertaining space with your home’s interior, consider adding outdoor flooring. Rather than gravel or grass, outdoor flooring adds immense beauty and function to an outdoor space.

Some of the most common options for outdoor flooring include:

  • Poured concrete
  • Timber decking
  • Tiling
  • Pavers

When deciding on outdoor flooring, budget will play a large role. You’ll also want to consider durability and maintenance. Find out if timber decking will need to be stained or what steps need to be taken to maintain concrete or tile outdoor floors.

 

9. Consider Outdoor Blinds

Outdoor blinds are amazingly versatile, allowing homeowners to pull them down for privacy or open them up to enjoy the full views.

Outdoor blinds provide:

  • Additional protection against flies, bugs, and pests
  • Additional privacy while still maintaining airflow
  • More protection against the elements, such as strong winds, rain, or sun glare
  • A customised solution for temperature and light control

Consider outdoor blinds.

 

10. Set Up Zones

If your outdoor entertaining space is large enough, creating distinct zones can optimise the area. For example, if hosting BBQs is a priority, set up a dining area with a dining table and chairs, an outdoor kitchen, and a cosy seating area.

 

Create Your Own Outdoor Oasis With Custom Patios in Perth

I hope these 10 tips help you create the ultimate backyard oasis where you can enjoy time with friends and family.

If you’d like help revamping your outdoor space, I’d love to chat with you! Our team at Aussie Patio Designs has been helping Perth homeowners transform their backyards for over 20 years.

From flat patios to curved dome patios, we work with home and business owners to design and install custom patios that complement their homes, lifestyles, and yards. Contact us today for a free quote or with any questions.

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