It’s Summertime when the smell of backyard barbecues lures us outside and life in the Washington DC area calls for fun outdoor gatherings with friends, family, and coworkers! Regardless of the size of your backyard, patio, or deck, you want it to feel like an extension of your home. It needs to be cheerful and inviting for all guests. Let’s talk about the ways we can make your backyard oasis the entertaining epicenter of the summer.
Let’s start with outdoor seating because that is where the majority of your guests will be spending their time. If you have the space for both a dining space and an outdoor living space, that’s great. If you don’t, there are ways of incorporating the dining space into the living space so don’t fret. By making sure that the living space is useful and well-appointed, your guests will feel at ease enjoying their summer meal and drinks amongst company.
The most important element of your outdoor seating area is the actual seating. Your outdoor furniture should be weather resistant; the best materials are powder-coated aluminum, stainless steel, acrylic and synthetic woven resin, and teak. You’ll want to layer it with soft furnishings that are UV and mildew resistant; I’m talking nice plump, washable cushions. Plus, outdoor throw pillows add comfort and style to your space. Since we are aiming to bring the indoors out, an outdoor rug adds an extra touch of design. Planters with beautiful greenery and blooming flowers can define the outdoor seating space, pop in color, and remind you that it’s summer. When you are wanting to entertain before the sun goes down, an umbrella, awning, or pergola can give you shade from the hot sun.
Outdoor kitchens get you outside and help you make the most of your outdoor entertaining space. However, the location of your outdoor kitchen is key; it should be close to your house to avoid the hassle of scurrying back and forth between indoors and out with miscellaneous cookware and side dishes. The best outdoor kitchens are outfitted with a sink, grill, storage, and some type of refrigeration. However, outdoor pizza ovens are all the craze right now so if your friends and family are up for the occasional Italian night, you might want to consider one. They do not have to be permanent; the mid-sized, countertop pizza ovens save space and money. Lastly, verify that all of your outdoor kitchen appliances are made of durable, waterproof, and rust-resistant materials.
An outdoor bar makes your backyard the ultimate spot for sundowners. It gives the potential to turn an average backyard into the perfect space for entertaining. Picture a refreshing cocktail with a drink umbrella as you laugh and talk with all those closest to you…. Ahhh sweet summertime! Not to mention, you won’t have to miss any of the fun by having to go inside to make drinks.
Outdoor lighting is the icing on the cake for outdoor entertainment. It sets the perfect ambiance once the stars come out. Festoon lights can stay outside all year long and are an easy, inexpensive way to add sparkle to outdoor living. Also, I am a big fan of uplighting trees throughout the backyard. Another simple addition is solar stake lights placed along paths or patios. My favorite feature for lighting is a water feature that can bubble 24/7 and give off subtle light in the dark. It adds a feeling of zen and relaxation.
Having the perfect outdoor living space means that you can entertain all summer long. You can effortlessly update your outdoor entertainment space by adding pops of color and lighting or you can go full out with a complete backyard makeover. Whichever path you choose, or somewhere in between, will make for more enjoyable outdoor get-togethers!