5 Tips for Outdoor Entertaining Spaces

How to Make Your Backyard a Summer Getaway

We may be in August now, but summer isn’t over yet. Now’s the perfect time to soak up those last few weeks in the sun – and what better way to do that than by maximizing your outdoor entertaining?

Today, we’ve rounded up our top five tips for creating the perfect outdoor entertaining zone (complete with extra plush lounge seating and an outdoor bar, of course!).  Read on to find out how to make your backyard a total getaway. You’ll want the party to last well into the fall.

Tip #1 – Add Lighting

The sun may be hot and bright during the day, but the key to an outdoor space is adding lighting to keep the party going well into the night. Café lights are our go to – their simplicity adds instant charm, and they’re incredibly easy to string up. Your guests will feel like they’re at their favorite restaurant or a festive celebration. To complete the look, consider adding additional lighting for a soft glow, including path lights, tiki torches, and lanterns.

Lanterns and candle lights add a soft glow to this patio
Lanterns and candle lights add a soft glow to this patio / Source
Café lights brighten up this beautiful backyard in the early evening
Café lights brighten up this beautiful backyard in the early evening / Source

RELATED: Patio Decorating Ideas

Tiki torches are a great way to add a festive vibe to any outdoor party
Tiki torches are a great way to add a festive vibe to any outdoor party / Source

Tip #2 – Don’t Forget a Fire Pit

As the nights progressively get cooler, there’s nothing better than cozying up to a fire. Whether you’re a firepit fan, or want to opt for an outdoor fireplace, you just can’t go wrong. Summer fires are the perfect gathering spaces for guests, and the kids (and adults) will have a blast roasting s’mores on repeat.

A sleek fire pit is paired with a neutral patio space for a modern feel
A sleek fire pit is paired with a neutral patio space for a modern feel / Source
Built-in lounge seating and a fire pit make this the perfect entertaining space
Built-in lounge seating and a fire pit make this the perfect entertaining space / Source
3.An outdoor fireplace is incredibly inviting, and the covered space means fires can happen rain or shine
An outdoor fireplace is incredibly inviting, and the covered space means fires can happen rain or shine / Source

Tip #3 – Make Space for an Outdoor Bar

A summer night isn’t complete without an ice cold brew or a cool glass of wine in hand. So be sure to add an outdoor bar to your patio to make the evenings a total hit with your guests. From free standing and moveable bars, to bars that share a window with the kitchen, your home is sure to be the life of the party.

A chic black and white bar is a great backyard addition
A chic black and white bar is a great backyard addition

RELATED: Basement Bar Ideas for Endless Entertainment

This kitchen window easily swings up to make an instant bar
This kitchen window easily swings up to make an instant bar / Source
Classic and timeless, this outdoor bar is ideal for summer entertaining
Classic and timeless, this outdoor bar is ideal for summer entertaining /  Source

Tip #4 – Incorporate Lounge Seating

There’s nothing better than kicking back with friends and family at the end of the perfect sunny day, wouldn’t you say? To make your space an instant crowd pleaser, incorporate plush lounge seating – and plenty of it. Having enough seats for your guests is essential, but having comfortable seats beats those metal folding chairs any day of the week. Whether you’re a fan of built-in sofa sectionals or hammock chairs, outdoor seating is a must.

Bright white lounge seating pairs with wood elements for an inviting summer look
Bright white lounge seating pairs with wood elements for an inviting summer look / Source

RELATED: Neutral Paint Colors We LOVE

Blues in a variety of patterns make this lounge area a total winner
Blues in a variety of patterns make this lounge area a total winner /  Source
Comfortable plush rockers are stationed poolside for evening cocktail hour
Comfortable plush rockers are stationed poolside for evening cocktail hour / Source

Tip #5 – Complete the Look with Shade Spots

Summer entertaining isn’t just for evenings. In fact, plenty of fun happens during the day, which means the sun will definitely be beating down on everyone. Help your guests relax with planned shade spots in your yard. Umbrellas are perfect to prop up at a table or by the pool, and pergolas can work wonders for filtering the sunlight. Of course, it’s important to remember to apply sunscreen, too, but regardless, your guests will be grateful to get a bit of a cool relief once in awhile (especially if they’re over for an all-day affair).

East coast vibes take the spotlight with this poolside shade spot
East coast vibes take the spotlight with this poolside shade spot / Source
A pergola provides the perfect blend of sun and shade
A pergola provides the perfect blend of sun and shade / Source
Sleek black umbrellas offer shade for poolside guests
Sleek black umbrellas offer shade for poolside guests / Source

Ready to soak up the final month of summer (and those perfect early fall days)?! Us, too. If you’ve got outdoor entertaining on your mind, then be sure to follow these tips and we’ve got a feeling you’ll have the perfect backyard haven in no time. Happy entertaining!

By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design

One Response

  1. I really loved the part of your article that talked about fire fixtures and how they’re a great addition to a summer backyard. Even if it’s summer season, our area can still experience some chilly evenings making it quite difficult to lounge around. I’ll make sure I solve this by looking for any places that sell outdoor fireplaces and pick one out for our backyard.

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