If you want to elevate your porch or deck to an outdoor entertainment space, there are many factors to consider. You want to know that the area is practical and will get plenty of use to make it worth the investment. You want it to look like your dream while complementing your home’s aesthetic. These tips will help you create a stunning outdoor entertainment space.
The first step toward creating a stunning outdoor entertainment space is determining its usage. Do you want a cozy spot to get fresh air while you read a book or visit with friends? Do you want an outdoor dining room so you can host engaging dinner parties? Should the space be kid-friendly so little ones don’t hurt themselves, or is this an oasis for the adults?
Understanding your purpose will help shape the overall design of your outdoor space. It will make a difference between building a deck with casual chairs compared to installing hardscapes like kitchens or fire pits to prepare dinner and keep guests comfortable while spending a lot of time outside.
Add Ground Cover
The answer to the usage question will impact the ground cover you want for your space. If you sit with friends around a fire pit, you can use the grass and establish a flat location to safely support the fire pit. However, if you want a heavier dining table, you’ll most likely want a wooden or concrete foundation for the utmost support.
You can also use pavers, stone, or gravel to cover the ground, depending on the purpose of the space. You could even install turf to give the bright visual appeal of grass without worrying about maintenance. If you design your outdoor space on grass, you might have to move the furniture when it’s time to mow the lawn, so consider that when looking at ground covers.
Consider Electrical Needs
Outdoor lighting is worth the investment because you can use your outdoor space at night without flashlights, candles, or a fire. You can hang overhead lighting and ceiling fans or simply install outlets around the area so you can plug in lamps, fans, or space heaters as needed.
It’s possible to extend power outside without needing to rewire your house or add even more wiring outside. Unless you’re an experienced electrician, it’s best to hire a professional for this step. You don’t want to short out your home power or electrocute yourself.
Assess Privacy Needs
If you spend a lot of time outside, you might want to consider how much privacy will help you and your guests feel comfortable. People with wooden or privacy fences around their yards might feel like they’re blocked from the neighbors.
However, you could add decorative privacy screens around the sitting area for visual appeal. This type of portable privacy can also help you mix up the look of your outdoor space according to the event or your mood. You can even use it to block that area off from the rest of your yard to have separate events going on simultaneously.
Factor in the Weather
Unless you live in some secret utopia, you most likely experience days of harsh sunshine interspersed with days where a drizzle is enough to make your hair frizz. Planning for these options can help you create an outdoor entertainment space you can use in any weather.
Installing sun shades or a clouded roof can help keep the sun off you and your guests and provide shade without restricting the light. These structures can also ensure you spend time outside, even when sprinkling, so you don’t have to bring in the dinner party at the last minute.
Themes aren’t necessary for a stunning outdoor space, but they make it fun and appealing. Some people find it easier to decorate if they have a theme to focus on.
For example, you may want to make your outdoor area resemble a campsite with the rugged appeal of log furniture and bold colors. Or you can bring the sea to mind with shades of blue and water elements installed around the yard. You’ll already know what will look good in the space when you need new furniture, cushions, or accessories.
Your theme doesn’t have to be incredibly specific—you can choose a general color scheme to ensure everything goes together.
Add Seating Options
Seating is crucial since you want to entertain family and friends in your yard. You can provide a variety of seats so everyone will feel comfortable. There are outdoor couches, chaise lounges, chairs, recliners, and swings.
You can find furniture in various styles, like sleek metal, rustic wood, wicker, or plastic. Once you select the seating, leave it as-is or add cushions to make it more comfortable and inviting. Then move it to your outdoor space, either in a fixed layout or in a way that encourages guests to move the chairs around into conversation groups.
Consider Natural Elements
When you create an outdoor entertainment space, you might think there’s already nature involved by default. However, you can bring in more natural elements with your design choices. You can use clear glass tables over planters, allowing the flowers to naturally brighten the space. You can also use trellises as privacy screens and encourage vines or roses to grow.
A pool, waterfall, or birdbath could be the focal point of your outdoor space, combining the peaceful sound of moving water with the increased likelihood of cute critters venturing into your yard. You can also add stepping stones and planters to heighten the feeling of being in nature.
Complement Your House
This tip isn’t as important if your outdoor space is across the yard from your house. However, if your patio or deck connects to the house, you might want to try and complement the designs of both the indoor and outdoor spaces. Otherwise, looking from inside to your outdoor space might seem jarring and unappealing.
A simple way to connect the two is to use the same foundational design. Your outdoor area can have brighter colors and more plants, but maybe the furniture is the same wood as your interior furniture. Or conversely, maybe your outdoor space carries out the same colors as in your living room but with vividly-colored chairs and tables.
Boost Visual Appeal
These tips help you create an outdoor space that will demand attention, but there are always subtle ways to boost the visual appeal. If you have a basic outdoor dining area, consider adding a water wall for privacy and additional interest. If your furniture looks faded, use outdoor spray paint to make it look new again.
One simple hack to boost visual appeal is to add plants to the area. Visit your garden supply store and find some beautiful potted plants and trees that you can put in the corners of your outdoor space. Use bright, beautiful pots to increase the attractiveness of the new addition.
Final Thoughts on Creating an Outdoor Entertainment Space
Creating an outdoor entertainment space is a fun, involved task resulting in a wonderful gathering space. Consider the tips above as you craft the area your family and friends will love. Contact ALD for help making your dream a reality.