There are many benefits to being outside (increased vitamin D, mood boost, help with short-term memory, to name a few) and if you want to spend more time outside, you’ll want to make your space as inviting as you can. Adding a few outdoor entertaining elements can really elevate your outdoor space while making it a space that you’ll enjoy for years to come.
Take a look at these outdoor entertaining elements to see what you might want to add to your space.
We’ll start with the basics. Having comfortable furniture to relax in is a must. Do you want something with cushions, a full set, just a couple of chairs? Thinking about how you want to use your space will help answer part of the question but also thinking about upkeep will factor into your decision. If you want something low maintenance, you could consider something like Adirondack chairs or something that doesn’t have cushions so you can leave them outside without ruining anything. If you have a covered space or are willing to move cushions in and out, a full furniture set might be more up your alley. While it’s technically not “furniture”, built-in seating could also be another option. Block or stone seatwalls work great for all kinds of patios while built-in benches work well for decks. You can find great seating options at any budget and it’s a simple way to immediately transform your space.
Many outdoor spaces usually have a main gathering point and a lot of the time, that’s a fire element of some kind. Fire pits and fireplaces are great for summer evenings and cool fall days. You can read more about choosing the right firepit for your space in one of our previous blogs here.
If you like cooking or having guests over, an outdoor kitchen/grill could be a good addition for you. An outdoor kitchen can be as simple as having a standalone grill with a countertop next to it or you can get more elaborate with a full setup. These full built-in kitchens can include elements like a grill, fridge, sink, cabinets, and even a bar station. Most are built from various kinds of stone and can be integrated into your deck or patio space with a bit of planning.
As the days get warmer, we want to spend more time outdoors so why not move movie night outside? While a sheet pinned to a fence might work for a night or 2, having a built-in movie screen is a great option if you want to be able to watch a movie or just a quick tv show throughout the week. You can have them built into elements like arbors and other overhead structures. During the day you’ll have a bit of shade or focal point in your garden and at night you can pop some popcorn, make some hot cocoa, and extend the screen and get ready to settle in!
A veggie garden is a great way to get outside and can be a fun learning opportunity for kids of all ages. Depending on your style and how big of a space you have, there are plenty of options for you. Raised beds are perfect if you don’t want to be on your hands and knees bent over and it keeps everything neatly contained. You can build your own raised beds out of wood or stone. You can also purchase galvanized steel stock tanks from your local farm supply or home improvement store. If you decide to get stock tanks or any other enclosed planter, it’s important to drill holes in the bottom of the vessel to ensure proper drainage. If you want to grow things like beans or peas, you’ll want to make sure to have some of kind trellis for them to climb as well which can either be built or bought.
If you feel like your neighbors are right on top of you or you want to keep children and pets safe, adding some screening will help the space feel cozier, safer, and more defined. Screening can be accomplished with a mixture of shrubs and trees or you can add decorative screening with other materials like wood or metal.
Nothing says outdoor entertaining and fun than yard games! They get everyone involved, including the kids, and are a fun way to mix things up while hanging out with friends and family. There are ones like corn hole and giant Jenga that you can DIY and decorate yourself all the way up to more fixed games like bocce ball courts and horse shoes.
“If there’s magic on this planet, it is contained in water” ~Loren Eiseley
One of my favorite quotes that sums up how wonderful water can be in the landscape (and everywhere). Whether it be a large backyard pool, a hot tub, a stream, or a small bubbling urn, water adds a soothing element to your garden that can create a nice ambience for entertaining. While there will be maintenance required with any kind of water feature, they are such lovely additions and there’s something out there for any size outdoor space.
Not only can lighting set the perfect mood for hanging out in the backyard, but it also adds a layer of safety at nighttime and extends the hours in which you can enjoy the garden. One of the most popular kinds of lighting right now are the string lights which you can set up easily and are easy to take care of. Beyond that, there are lights for almost any situation. Adding permanent lighting to your garden will give much more dimension to the space. Paths, spot/uplights, water lights, step/wall lights, downlights, you name it, it’s probably out there. Lighting is like the decoration frosting on top of a perfectly frosted cake; it adds just that little extra wow factor to your outdoor space and not only does it look great, but it’s functional!
If you could add any entertaining element to your outdoor space, what would it be? I’d definitely choose the movie screen! Let us know in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!