Get Your Backyard Ready for Outdoor Entertaining
Transforming your backyard into an entertaining space expands the possibilities for hosting family and friends. You'll be able to move effortlessly from the kitchen to the patio and back or have people hanging out in both spaces, presenting lots of fun party options for the entire summer. As you gear up for the warmer months ahead, prepare your backyard for outdoor entertaining.
Clean up the existing landscaping and patio space
Before you begin any major improvements to your backyard, assess the current condition of the space. Sweep off the patio or deck, mow the grass, and clear the flower beds of weeds and debris. As you work through the yard, take note of any major issues, such as large tree branches hanging…
Clean up the existing landscaping and patio space
Before you begin any major improvements to your backyard, assess the current condition of the space. Sweep off the patio or deck, mow the grass, and clear the flower beds of weeds and debris. As you work through the yard, take note of any major issues, such as large tree branches hanging over the house, that you'll need to address later.
Decide if you want to make any improvements to the landscaping and patio or porch
Once you've cleaned up the yard, determine if you want to make any upgrades to the space for the upcoming season. An upgrade can be as small as a few new plants for the garden to as large as building a new deck. The earlier you can start on backyard improvement projects, the better chances you'll have of securing the materials you need and hiring a contractor.
Take stock of your current patio furniture inventory
Pull your patio furniture out of storage and give it a thorough cleaning before your first backyard event of the season. As you work through cleaning pieces that are still in good condition, set aside pieces you no longer use for donation or sale. Pitch any furniture items that are worn out or broken. With the inventory in good condition cleaned up, determine if you need to buy any new items.
Invest in adequate, comfortable seating
As you make furniture purchasing decisions, consider the available seating in your yard. Think about how many people you typically host at your gatherings and whether the current seating is sufficient. You don't want to have guests forced to sit on the grass or awkwardly pile onto a couple of small benches. If you host large parties frequently, think about getting a set of folding chairs or stacking lawn chairs, which will store easily when they aren't in use.
Add a fire pit
A fire pit is an essential backyard element for evening and night time gatherings. Fire pits are available in a wide range of sizes at varying price points with something for every budget. A moveable fire pit offers flexibility for different gatherings while a permanent firepit creates a natural space for loved ones to gather together.
Put in landscape and patio lighting
Lighting greatly extends the use of your outdoor yard space, making it comfortable and inviting long into the night. While there are lots of cheap light strands on the market, it's worth investing in a few commercial-grade outdoor patio lights. Commercial-grade lights are durable and waterproof, which means they'll withstand the natural elements through multiple seasons.
Consider adding a shade structure
When you regularly entertain during the day, it's worth putting up a shade structure. A pergola is an attractive, relatively affordable way to create an outdoor room or covered patio. Pre-constructed pergolas are available for smaller patios. Typically, you'll need to build your own pergola or hire a contractor to construct a larger pergola. Patio curtains offer further sun protection as well as privacy for your outdoor entertaining space.
Minimize the risk of mosquitoes
Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in your backyard. Change the water in your birdbaths at least twice weekly, ensure the water in your water features recirculates, and overturn containers when they're not in use, including buckets and flower pots. Invest in a couple of outdoor fans, screen in a covered porch or pergola, and keep citronella candles and mosquito repellent on hand for when the guests arrive.
Service your grill, and set up a grilling center
Before your first event of the summer, uncover your grill and give it a thorough cleaning. Ensure it's in good working order and stock up on charcoal or propane. Set up a small grilling station right next to the grill, so your grilling supplies are readily available. When you're hosting a gathering, stock your grill station ahead of time. Once you're cooking, you won't have to run inside for spices or utensils.
Put together an outdoor drink station
An outdoor drink station keeps the party outside and minimizes the chances of bar items, such as bottle openers and cocktail shakers, getting lost. A sturdy bar cart adds a stylish element to your outdoor entertaining space while giving guests easy access to glasses, drinks, and napkins. Stock the cart with basic supplies, such as shelf-stable juices, sparkling water, and wine. Put out a jug with ice or leave room for a cooler nearby, especially if you'll be serving beer.
Pick up a handful of backyard games and other family-friendly entertainment
Backyard games are a fun ice breaker for guests to get to know each other without awkward small talk. They also provide an easy way to mix up the party when people are tired of sitting around and chatting. Oversized games, such as giant Jenga and checkers, are easy ways to include everyone. Traditional backyard games, such as crochet and corn bags, are always good options, too.
Bring in a few cozy, inviting touches to pull the space together
The small details of the backyard will tie everything together, creating an inviting entertaining aesthetic. Outfit your patio with an outdoor rug and a few throw pillows and blankets that guests can grab as the temperature drops in the evening. Set out coasters for drinks and fill out the patio with a handful of potted plants.
Your backyard entertaining space should serve as an extension of your house. Consider the style of your home and how you'll be able to reflect it in your yard. For example, if you have lots of brightly colored accessories, choose a vivid outdoor rug and cheerful lighting fixtures to match the aesthetic. Extending the style to the outdoors ties the entire property together seamlessly.