Backyards are made for family fun and summer entertaining, but many people fail to use this luxurious offering because they don’t know how to make a great entertainment space out of a bare patch of earth. So, here are 15 decorating and design tips to get the most out of your backyard and create an entertainment worthy venue for memorable summer magic.
1. Light well
Hang strings of outdoor lights that can stay up through the summer, festive Chinese lanterns, or have your back lawn professionally lit. The point is to make sure that the party doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down and that your guests can remain safe throughout the evening.
2. Use indoor design ideas
Arrange furniture in conversation areas, create a path for the flow of traffic into and out of the house, or better yet, have a path of paving stones from the side gate to the patio. Use outdoor rugs to anchor furniture and add some pizzazz to a bland concrete patio.
If you have a covered patio, you can hang pictures and even use small end tables and ornamental pieces to create a beautiful outdoor living area.
4. Install sheers
Install long curtain rods at the end of your patio facing the yard and hang long swaths of sheers. They are easy to hang, will blow beautifully in a breeze, and you can easily take them down in inclement weather. You can even close them to create a bit of privacy or a more intimate space.
5. Provide moveable seating
You may use heavy pieces for your main furniture, but be sure and provide plenty of light, portable seating that can be moved anywhere.
6. Create a fire pit
There’s something about sitting outside around an open fire that creates some of the very best summer memories. One of the best parts of fire pits, is that they can be used to make s’mores or roast hot dogs.
7. Purchase appropriate furniture
If you have a pool, you may want to purchase chaise lounges, but you may also want to purchase chaise lounges if you install a backyard movie screen. If you’re more interested in conversation than movie watching, invest in comfortable seating that allows people to comfortably sit up and engage in long hours of conversation.
8. Don’t forget tables
Having one main table for eating is great, but don’t forget smaller tables for people to set drinks on or to set out drinks or condiments for a large party.
9. Create shade
People congregate where there is shade in the summer, so if you do daytime summer entertaining, make sure you have plenty of shade. Tables with umbrellas are great and pergolas can be built or placed anywhere. You may only have one patio but you don’t have to only have one entertainment area in your backyard.
10. Decorate tables with board games
Sometimes, even in perfect weather, people just want to sit and play games rather than talk. Decorate a table with a chess or checkerboard and hang a bag of chess and checkers pieces on the side. You can also do the same with backgammon, as well as keeping several decks of playing cards handy.
11. Install a kitchen
Having a grill is great, but you can easily create an outdoor kitchen complete with prep areas and even a stove and oven. The more complete your outdoor kitchen is, the more likely you are to use it all summer long.
12. Create multiple conversation areas
People tend to break into smaller groups at larger parties, so create plenty of areas for people to group. You can create several small groups of furniture around a fire pit so everyone can gather around a fire.
13. Create a garden dining area
Surround your outdoor dining area on 3 sides with beautifully trimmed hedges or flowers and run lights through them for a delightful, cozy outdoor dining area.
14. Use candles
Outdoors and fire go together like peanut butter and jelly. These days many people are using electric candles indoors due to safety concerns, but candles are far safer outdoors where they are less likely to encounter flammable materials.
15. Install a hammock in a shady area
Take a snooze on a hot summer day, provide a place for a couple to have a quiet conversation, or even let a tipsy party guest sleep it off a bit before heading home. Not only does a hammock add a pop of color to your backyard, it can be quite useful as well.
Creating a beautifully designed entertainment space doesn’t have to break the bank. The more well designed your outdoor entertainment area is, the more likely you are to use it. Be the life of the neighborhood this summer with a great backyard designed to entertain.