Small gatherings of close family, or big parties with friends; everybody loves being outside after cold winter weather has kept them indoors. Creating the perfect space for outdoor entertaining requires proper planning, however.
Whether you’re looking to update your existing setup, or thinking about a complete redesign, now is the time to start planning your outdoor summer entertainment area.
Here are some ideas to help inspire you and get you started.
Before you can decide what features are best for your outdoor entertaining area, you have to know how you’re planning to use it. Do you want an area to throw large parties, or just somewhere to enjoy a meal and sit and relax after a busy day? Knowing how you plan to use the space means you can make the most of the area.
Designing the proper layout for your perfect entertaining space will make any event go much smoother. While it may seem obvious, having to walk around the pool to get from the barbecue to the seating area isn’t ideal and will likely result in those tasty burgers taking a swim.
Once you have decided what you plan to use the space for, try splitting it into distinct areas. Different areas can even have different themes for different purposes; solid upright seating and good lighting near the barbecue for eating, with comfy seating and lower mood-lighting nearer the pool for relaxing and having drinks.
Even with the days growing longer, you’ll still likely find yourself outside after the sun has set. Getting the lighting of your outdoor entertaining area right will help to set the mood, but there are also safety concerns.
Low-level lighting around the seating areas creates a relaxed atmosphere, however around barbecue and pool areas you may want to have brighter lighting to prevent accidents.
Adjustable LED lighting can be a perfect compromise. Most good quality kits will allow you to adjust the lighting levels on the fly, and some will even allow you to pick and choose the colours; white around the barbecue, blue around the pool, and a relaxing purple in the seating area, for instance.
Good quality, all-weather seating is a must-have for any outdoor area. Whether you want comfy sofas around a barbecue or fire pit, loungers for sunbathing, or a mixture of the two, getting the right seating will help to make your next outdoor event a success.
Pay careful attention to the materials and coverings of the seating as well; you don’t want the sofas ending up soaking wet from people in the pool.
When you’re hosting an outdoor gathering, you don’t want to be spending the entire time indoors fetching food and drinks for your guests — you want to enjoy the warm weather too!
Outdoor setups can range from fully kitted kitchens to a simple barbecue. Whichever setup your space and budget allow, having some form of outdoor cooking equipment is a must. It’s also worth considering a drinks cart or small bar to save yourself running back indoors every time somebody needs a top-up.