Your back yard can be a wonderful place for getting some fresh air, escaping hectic daily life, and de- stressing. And, with the right features, amenities, and attention to detail, it can also be a great place for entertaining friends, family, and colleagues. While every yard—and everyone’s taste—is different, there are some tried-and-true best practices for designing an outdoor entertaining space that’s as functional and comfortable as possible.
Here are some of the hallmarks of designing an outdoor entertaining space in your back yard that works well.
Creating a Great Outdoor Entertaining Area
- Consider what sort of protection you want from the sun and other elements, whether it’s simply a table with a large umbrella, a pergola, a covered patio, or something else.
- Place outdoor furniture in close enough proximity and in sensible directions to facilitate conversation.
- In larger spaces, delineate different entertaining areas with furniture placement and outdoor area rugs to create an organized feel.
- Put some distance between the grilling area or outdoor kitchen and the place where guests congregate and sit.
- Locate conversation areas away from sources of noise, too, such as the pool or large water features.
- Invest in comfortable outdoor furniture, rather than lower-cost, uncomfortable plastic seats.
- Leave enough space around all seats for people to easily get in and out of them effortlessly.
- Provide people in each seat with a convenient place to put down drinks or plates—besides the ground.
- Pay attention to furniture placement and natural features to ensure easy, logical, safe navigation all around the outdoor entertaining space.
- Add outdoor lighting that’s attractive and provides adequate illumination for nighttime entertaining.
- Create a focal point for the main entertaining space, just as you would in interior rooms; this could be a fire pit, a water feature, a TV if you have one in a covered area for watching games, or something else.
- Add visual appeal with potted plants, sculptures, or other decorative elements placed out of the way around your outdoor entertaining space.