Longer days, warmer weather, and of course, the holiday season, all go hand in hand with outdoor entertaining.
Who doesn’t love a backyard BBQ? Spending time with friends and family in the great outdoors is such a fun way to catch up and spend an afternoon or an evening.
One of the great things about entertaining outdoors is that you can make any sort of outdoor area into a practical, modern, and super stylish place to entertain guests. From balconies to courtyards, front porches to sprawling backyards – with the right know how, these spaces can be transformed into an area worthy of its own 5-star rating.
As much as you’re probably raring to get out there and start spending on your outdoor furniture, take a moment to read our tips to make the process easier here!
How to create an outdoor space worthy of entertaining!
When it comes to making your outdoor space into an entertainment haven, there are many different ways you can go about this and many different things to think about. We’ve tried to break the process down into 5 tips and tricks. Keep reading to learn more.
Tip 1: Make the Most of the Space You Have
While we all probably fantasise about gigantic backyards or rooftop areas where we can entertain our guests for hours, one of the most important things to think about when it comes to creating the ideal outdoor space for you, is to be realistic with the space you have.
You’d be surprised at how easily even the tiniest balconies can be transformed to make them usable for entertaining purposes, but it does take planning. Even for those small spaces, there are ways to maximise the outdoors by incorporating the indoors, but it’s important to know the amount of outdoor space you’re working with before you can do that.
Your first step before you do anything should be to measure. Measure once, measure twice, measure thrice. You need to know the width and depth of your outdoor space. And you need to take note of any height restrictions – particularly if your outdoor area has lots of trees or is a balcony.
If you happen to be blessed with a large backyard or outdoor space, you can use this to your advantage and even create different zones that each cater to different ways you might wish to entertain people.
But the message here is to understand the true space you have to work with.
Tip 2: Cover the basics
This is where you need to think a little bit about your style preferences, but more so about what you want to do with your outdoor space.
This way you can understand what the essentials are that you need to make that space workable for your plans.
For most people, the basics or essentials for their outdoor area usually includes the following:
Many of us use our outdoor spaces for relaxation and entertainment, and both can benefit from having seating options. This gives us not only a place to relax, but also a place for us to be able to sit and eat, drink and just generally catch up.
The last thing we want is for people to have to awkwardly lean or sit on the ground. Seating is really, a non-negotiable in your backyard.
On those warmer nights there’s nothing more pleasant than sitting outside and enjoying the warm air and sounds of the night. However, while longer days means it gets darker later, our outdoor spaces do benefit from having some lighting options.
There are plenty of choices out there when it comes to outdoor lighting, including string lights, solar lights, tea lights, permanent outdoor lighting fixtures, fire pits and lighting on the outside of your home. You can always use a combination of any of these.
3. Comfortable temperatures
In Australia, we’re pretty lucky in the summer months – the warm weather often leads into balmy evenings. However, we do also happen to have some pretty hot days as well. If you want to use your outdoor space for entertaining or relaxing, make sure you take temperatures into consideration.
Outdoor cooling and heating come in various forms and can make your outdoor space usable at all times of the year, not just in the summertime. Fire pits, fans and strategic shading can all help.
4. Shelter and shade
Though the sun’s rays are pretty glorious, it’s a good idea to think about shelter and shade options for your space, that way your guests can have a choice. Whether it is from the sun or even from the rain, there are many different ways you can provide shade and shelter from the weather elements in your outdoor space.
Some options include large umbrellas, shade cloth, trellis, and screen panels.
The privacy factor isn’t always something you need to think about and is largely dependent on where you live. However, it’s worth taking into consideration.
If you want to keep your outdoor space private there are lots of ways to do this, including the addition of plants and plant walls, fencing, and landscaping panels to name a few.
Tip 3: Stylish and Practical
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking to create an outdoor space that is perfect for entertaining guests – and of course, you want your space to look great for this purpose. But it’s also important to make your space functional and easy to use. And while you might think you need to compromise on one of these, fear not, because style and practicality can come together in harmony.
When we think back 10-20 years ago, our options when it came to outdoor furniture particularly, were pretty limited. We needed something durable and unfortunately, for far too long durable furniture also often meant ugly furniture.
However, over the last couple of decades, furniture designers have become a lot savvier and are working with materials that not only offer durability, but they offer style and versatility. These materials are transformed into stylish pieces that rival the beauty of plush indoor furniture.
In addition to looking good, many different kinds of furniture can serve multiple purposes, and some are built to specifically offer storage and be easily moved around. Storage is something every home could do with more of, but storage can come in all forms – from baskets and shelves to inside ottomans and under outdoor lounges.
If you are particularly limited on outdoor space, or there are many ways you envision using your outdoor area, it’s worth investing in furniture that can serve dual (or more) purposes.
Tip 4: Add your personal touches
This is where you can really have some fun, truly personalise a space and make it your own. Whether it’s in the form of soft furnishings like throws and outdoor cushions, or tealight and candleholders, or perhaps even feature plants, these little touches make any outdoor area even more homely.
The beauty of accessorising for your outdoor space is that there are now accessories specifically made to be used outside. You don’t need to worry about them being exposed to the elements and they can help transform your space into an even more inviting area.
Play with textures, colours and different accessories depending on the time of year to refresh your space!
Tip 5: Create a Budget and only invest in high quality pieces
We’ve probably saved the most important tip for last – and it’s a two part-er.
1. First, you need to set a budget and a realistic one.
2. Second, only invest in high quality pieces.
While these may seem like competing elements, it’s important to think of them together because knowing how much money you have to work with will make it easier for you to make decisions and know where to hold back and where to unleash in full force. And investing in high quality furniture and pieces for your outdoor area will save you money in the long run.
You want to create an outdoor space that you’re going to enjoy for a long time, not just for one season. So, it’s important that you don’t cut corners for the sake of saving a few bucks.
If you buy cheap furniture, it’s likely that you’re going to need to replace it, sooner rather than later – take it from someone who has been there and done that countless times.
Investing in pieces that have been made from high quality materials that are designed to withstand various weather conditions will mean you’re going to have that furniture for a very long time. Some key materials that are commonly used in high quality outdoor furniture include aluminium, high-pressure laminate, teak and sunbrella canvas.
The great thing about these materials is that they can be used to create outdoor pieces in all sorts of styles, sizes and shapes – you can check out how we’ve used them in our outdoor furniture range here.
Key pieces to add to your outdoor entertainment space
If you’re looking at creating an outdoor entertainment area in your home, you’ve probably got some decision to make about the kinds of furniture to incorporate. Well, to help you out, these are some of our outdoor furniture essentials.
We mentioned this before, but we really live by it, your outdoor space needs seating. And no matter the size of the area, there is a seating option for you. From occasional chairs to module lounges, bench seats to bar stools, there is something that will work best in your space.
If you’re using the outdoor space to relax then comfort and cushioning is a priority. If you want your outdoor space to be functional for eating, relaxing and maybe even working, then a bar stool and table might be the perfect option. And if you want to have seating that can serve multiple purposes, like people sitting, using it as a table or as storage, bench style seating can work really well.
Dining alfresco is something many people love doing. Warm evening air, a sunset to marvel at and delicious food, it really doesn’t get better than that. Luckily, there is a huge array of outdoor dining furniture available.
Of course, a dining table is essential, and they are available in all sorts of materials, sizes, and styles, and along with your table, you need seating. You can often mix and match your dining seating options as well, such as including a bench seat and dining chairs.
You can also opt for less conventional dining options, like bar tables, side tables and coffee tables. These are great options when you don’t quite have the space to dedicate to a full-on dining area, but you want to have the option to dine outside.
3. Fire Pits
Fire pits are such a versatile addition to your outdoor space. While they won’t be suitable for all spaces, they do have a playful way of adding ambiance to a space.
The warm dancing flames are entrancing and make quite a spectacle. They also can add warmth at night, and with the addition of grill plates, you can cook using them. A fire pit can even help to repel bugs and insects, like mosquitos!
While not every space will be able to accommodate a fire pit, if you have the space for it, why not? They can be used all year round and makes your outdoor area more inviting in the cooler months.
4. Inviting Touches
We touched on this in tip 4 but accessorising your outdoor space can really help you accentuate who you are, and make people feel more welcome in your home.
Cushions, tea lights, throws, and plants are all ways to add these inviting touches. They give you a chance to experiment, refresh and play around with colours, textures, and new trends.
Whether you’re looking to create a strong theme or relaxing vibe, the right accessories can certainly enhance this.
5. A little bit of luxury with outdoor lounge furniture
If you’ve got the space outside for it, then we highly recommend adding those luxurious and highly inviting pieces like sun loungers, sofas, configuration lounges or day beds.
If you entertain regularly, these pieces are sure to be crowd pleasers. While these are technically seating options, they are often suited to outdoor spaces that are on the larger side. However, if your priority is to create a relaxing environment it doesn’t get much more relaxing than this.
Discover the entire range of outdoor lounge seating available at SLH.
Use these tips to make creating an outdoor space ideal for entertaining even easier. And if you’re looking for high quality, stylish and durable outdoor furniture for your home, then work with us here at SLH. We offer a large range of designer furniture that has been made to not only withstand the outside world, but also make it significantly more beautiful.
You can shop our entire range from anywhere in Australia, and with highly personalised customer service, you’re going to find the perfect piece for your home with SLH.