One of the best ways to make the most of summer is to prepare your outdoor area for hosting friends and family.
The backyard is the perfect place for celebrating the holidays together, so make sure it’s polished and prepared for the season’s festivities this year – even a small project can make an impact!
No matter the size of your outdoor space, there are many ways to make the most of it and take advantage of al fresco dining, evenings spent around a fire pit drinking a cabernet wine or simply unwinding in a comfortable lounge chair. Here are some tips to get you started.
Clean It Up
Clean up your outdoor area before planning and working on it. By doing so, you can evaluate the situation and determine what to do next.
Clean the patio, prune the trees, and take care of the landscaping. This simple step will make your outdoor area look much better and perhaps inspire you to make better use of the available space.
Choose Your Outdoor Furniture Wisely
Many design elements found inside your home (such as walls, flooring, traditional art, etc.) cannot be used to tie open-air entertainment spaces together.
This means the furniture you choose for your outdoor area will set the aesthetic tone.
So, pick pieces that reflect the mood you want to foster in this space.
If you’re aiming for an outdoor relaxing atmosphere, choose outdoor furniture with soft cushions.
If an outdoor party area is more your style, make sure there is plenty of seating options for socialising.
While the furniture in jewel-toned natural hues is more likely to complement and reflect the surroundings, bright, sunny furniture colours can create an energising and happy mood.
Furniture in a black and white colour palette will allow surround greenery to pop while giving you the option of adding seasonal throw pillows.
When shopping for outdoor furniture, look for pieces that will hold up well when exposed to the elements.
Consider outdoor-grade furniture that won’t easily topple over in high winds, rot when exposed to rain, or fade when left out in the sun.
You’ll also want furniture that is easy to care for to reduce the need for upkeep.
The majority of furniture made of metal, teak, cedar, and all-weather wicker is resistant to the elements.
With regular cleaning, these outdoor-friendly materials provide furniture that lasts for years.
Use outdoor pillows and cushions with removable coverings that can be easily thrown in the washing machine when they get dirty.
The saying “you get what you pay for” is usually accurate when it comes to patio furniture.
For instance, plastic resin side tables or chairs may look great on the shelf and maintain their appearance for one or two years in the sun, but with time they will degrade and lose their brilliant colour.
For some wicker and wood goods, the same is true.
Exercise caution and read customer reports and reviews before making a purchase.
If you have a tight budget, think about investing more money in furniture that will be used more frequently, such as cosy patio furniture or a reliable dining table.
Save your money for smaller furnishings like throw pillows and end tables.
Set Up a Cooking Corner
Creating a cooking corner in your outdoor entertainment area will allow you to interact with your guests while preparing bites and drinks.
Choose a standalone counter with an integrated grill, compete with your indoor kitchen with a fully equipped outdoor kitchen area, or keep it straightforward with a basic barbeque or smoker area.
Whatever you decide, keep safety in mind by placing it away from your seating area and away from anything flammable or potentially dangerous.
Any good outdoor entertainment space aims to strike a balance between ultramodern style and supreme functionality.
You shouldn’t have to make repeated trips inside and it should be comfortable.
Make sure you have everything you need to prepare, cook, and serve meals.
Add Some Greenery
In addition to calming the atmosphere, greenery will enable you to create an authentic outdoor experience.
If you don’t want to spend your entire weekend landscaping or aren’t the best plant parent, consider planting native plants in self-watering planters.
Self-watering planters will ensure your plants get watered regularly, and Australian native plants will flourish without special care.
Furthermore, a yard becomes more low-maintenance and adaptable when potted plants are part of the landscaping.
Potted plants can be moved around as needed and are great for adding colour.
Why not grow a few of your favourite herbs for a lush, fragrant, and colourful finish?
Light It Up
When night falls, lighting is the easiest way to create a warm atmosphere for your outdoor living area, so choose it wisely!
Safety also depends on good lighting, especially after a few margaritas. Put lights around working areas (like your kitchen island), stairways, walking paths, and any zone where there is a ledge or other trip-risk features.
Countless lighting options are available on the market, so feel free to use your imagination.
Some ideas include string lights, tiki torches, battery-operated candles in mason jars, floating pool or pond lights, and strategic uplighting to highlight local flora.
No matter your preferred style, choose an energy-efficient option to keep things environmentally and financially friendly.
Create a Covered Area
Sometimes it seems impossible to enjoy your outdoor space because of the weather.
A dinner gathering outside might have to be cancelled if there’s rain or blazing heat.
But you can take full advantage of your outside space if you build a covered area.
A retractable awning or canopy can be used to quickly create a safe, cool, dry, and cosy environment to relax in.
Modern retractable awnings use a choice of stylish, waterproof fabrics that improve the aesthetics and ambience of your outdoor space, making them considerably superior to the flimsy versions you recall from your youth.
You may also combine a retractable canopy with a first-rate pergola to give your outdoor area structure and a true “room” sensation.
Get a Patio Heater
If you want to make the most of your outdoor entertainment space during cooler days and nights, consider investing in a patio heater.
You can even get a pizza oven that will provide heat and delicious food at the same time.
If you’re worried about fire risks or if burning wood is strictly prohibited where you live, go for an electric heater.
Just be sure to keep it on level ground and away from busy areas.