We believe that outdoor spaces can be as comfortable, beautiful, and functional as indoor ones, and with the right touch can feel like you’ve added on another room to your house! With picturesque summers and warm, sunlit evenings, it’s the perfect time to explore creating outdoor spaces that are ideal for entertaining. Let’s redefine the boundaries of your home by transforming your backyard or patio into a stunning haven for social gatherings or tranquil family time.
In our previous post, ‘Seasonal Decor Inspiration: Summer Edition,’ we highlighted ‘Creating an Outdoor Living Space’ as a paramount summer tip. Today, we aim to delve further into the realm of outdoor living by offering you a comprehensive guide to shape that perfect space under the sky.
1. Decked-Out Deck: Whether you’re working with a compact balcony or a sizable yard, a well-constructed deck can serve as the foundation for your outdoor oasis. Choose materials like composite decking for longevity or go traditional with high-quality wood to add a warm and natural ambiance. Think about your deck as an extension of your indoor living space and plan its layout accordingly.
2. Al Fresco Dining: An outdoor dining set can become the heart of your open-air entertainment area. When selecting the perfect dining table and chairs, consider factors such as weather resistance and maintenance requirements. Teak, wrought iron, or aluminum are excellent choices. Also, think about the size of your gatherings. A larger table is great for hosting big family dinners, while a smaller bistro set is perfect for intimate, romantic meals.
3. Comfortable Seating: An outdoor space designed for relaxation needs plenty of comfy seating options. Outdoor sofas, loveseats, and armchairs allow you to create conversation nooks. Add outdoor-friendly pillows and throws to make your seating area even cozier. Remember to choose furniture with fabrics that resist fading and withstand the elements.
4. Light it Up: Outdoor lighting is not just about practicality, it’s about setting a mood. Strategically placed lanterns, festoon lights, or solar lights can create a warm, welcoming glow. For more dramatic effect, consider a fire pit or a modern outdoor fireplace that serves as a radiant focal point.
5. Plants & Green Space: Plants bring life, color, and texture to your outdoor space. Don’t be afraid to mix and match pots with different colors and textures for layers of interest – like the fun scalloped planters from CB2 that keep it neutral but add a lot of interest with bold texture. You can also consider incorporating a vertical garden or “living wall” to add greenery without taking up much space. Choose a mix of flowering plants, succulents, and foliage for a visually appealing look. Remember to select plants that are suitable for your climate and the amount of sunlight your space receives.
6. Outdoor Rugs: Outdoor rugs are an excellent way to add comfort underfoot and visually define different zones within your space. They come in a vast array of styles, colors, and sizes, allowing you to choose a rug that complements your outdoor furniture and décor. Make sure the rug you choose is suitable for outdoor use and easy to clean.
Nordstrom has a fun option made from recycled fibers from Lorena Canals for those looking for a neutral option but love texture or the Avalyn Handmade Coral Indoor/Outdoor Rug from All Modern which keeps things fairly neutral with some blocks of color for a great piece to pull things together in a subtle way. But if you are looking for some bold, bright colors and geometric patterning, West Elm has great fun Half Moon Layered Blocks rug that will liven up any patio set.
Above: West Elm
7. Barbecue and Bar: An outdoor kitchen or barbecue station turns your patio or deck into the ultimate entertainment hub. It can be as simple as a standalone grill or as elaborate as a full outdoor kitchen complete with a refrigerator, sink, and prep space. Also, consider a mobile bar cart, which provides a convenient spot for mixing drinks and can be moved around as needed.
8. Heating Elements: Nights can get chilly in many parts of the world, so a heat source is often a must for outdoor spaces. Fire pits, outdoor fireplaces, and patio heaters not only offer warmth but also create a cozy ambiance that encourages guests to linger.
9. Sound of Music: An outdoor sound system can elevate the atmosphere of any gathering. From soft background music during a relaxed dinner party to a lively playlist for an afternoon barbecue, music sets the mood. Choose weather-resistant speakers that blend seamlessly into your landscape design, whether you want to invest in a fully built-in system or grab some portable options. There are some speakers that even offer a lantern/speaker combo that are great for a evening parties!
And for a couple portable options that also happen to be waterproof (did someone say pool party?!) a nice small option is the Soundcore Mini 3 that also comes in a nice subtle gray color that will pair beautifully with any decor and then for a more colorful option, the Ultimate Ears Megaboom 3 can literally float right in your pool and go with anywhere the party takes you.
10. Play Zone: If you have kids or pets, don’t forget to incorporate a designated play area. This could be anything from a swing set or a sandbox to a secure spot for dogs to play. Make sure this area is visible from the main seating area so you can keep an eye on younger ones.
Above: gated area for play at the Wallingford Modern Farmhouse by Atelier Drome
Crafting an enticing outdoor space is all about thinking creatively and practically. You want to create a space that is both beautiful and functional, tailored to meet your unique needs and reflect your personal style. Whether you’re hosting grand garden parties or enjoying quiet family dinners under the stars, a well-designed outdoor space can enrich your life and make your home feel even more special. Happy designing!
Image at the top of the patio set outside the Wallingford Modern Farmhouse by Atelier Drome.
Note: We are not affiliated with any of the products we referenced in this article besides pieces we have sourced for clients.