Bringing your outdoor vision to life can be a fun and rewarding project, but it can also be overwhelming. However, with a bit of planning, preparation, and inspiration, you’ll be able to design an outdoor entertaining area that’s both practical and beautiful. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this 8-step guide to help you design your dream outdoor entertaining area.
1. Choose your area
The first step in creating an outdoor entertaining space is to identify any underutilised spaces in your outdoor area. This could be down the side of the house, an unused corner of your backyard, or a small balcony. Consider the size and shape of the space, as well as its exposure to sunlight and existing features such as trees and bushes.
2. Define how you will use the space
Now that you have identified the space and are starting to conceptualise what the space might look like, it’s time to determine the purpose of your outdoor entertaining area. Do you want to create a cosy seating area for intimate gatherings or a large open space for hosting parties and family BBQs? Consider the activities you and your guests will enjoy and the number of people you want to accommodate. By taking the time to think about how you want to use the space and what you’ll need to make that happen, you’ll be able to create an area that is not only practical but also a joy to be in for years to come.
3. Consider safety and practicality
When creating an outdoor entertaining space, it’s essential to consider the practicalities. Make sure that your outdoor space is accessible, safe, and well-lit. Consider the potential for wind and rain, and plan accordingly. You may need to add a covered area or awning to protect your guests from the elements. Additionally, ensure that you have adequate lighting in the area.
4. Plan the layout
Now that you have a vision for your outdoor entertaining area, it’s time to bring it to life. Utilise furniture and decor to carve out specific zones for dining, lounging, and entertaining. Keep in mind the flow of foot traffic and make sure there’s ample room for movement. Imagine the scene, picture the parties and gatherings, and consider what elements will elevate the experience. Will a dining table be necessary for hosting meals al fresco? Is a cosy fire pit a must-have for chilly evenings? As you design, don’t be afraid to get creative and think outside the box.
5. Select your furniture and accessories
When it comes to furnishing your outdoor entertaining space, comfort and durability should be top priorities. Materials such as aluminium, resin and fibreglass-reinforced polypropylene are great options for outdoor furniture because they are highly durable and weather-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions. They are also lightweight and easy to maintain, making them an attractive, low-maintenance option. As you choose your furniture and decor, let your creativity flow and have fun handpicking pieces that reflect your personal style and taste.
6. Create a focal point
A focal point, such as a mesmerising water feature, a crackling fire pit, or a striking piece of outdoor art, can add visual interest and create a sense of tranquillity in your outdoor space. It serves as a centrepiece that draws the eye and sets the tone for the area. Take a moment to consider what kind of focal point would be the perfect fit for your outdoor entertaining space, and choose something that complements the overall aesthetic of the area.
7. Add some greenery
Plants can add colour, texture, and a sense of nature to your outdoor space. Consider using potted plants, hanging baskets, or even small trees to create a lush and inviting environment. Not only do plants add visual interest, but they also provide shade and help to create a sense of privacy. When choosing plants for your outdoor space, consider the amount of sunlight and shade the area receives, as well as the soil conditions, so that you can plan and select the appropriate plants for your space. If you’re tight on space, vertical gardens are an excellent way to add a touch of green to your outdoor area. They can also be used to create a more private atmosphere and act as a transition or space divider in larger areas.
8. Set the mood with lighting
Lighting plays a crucial role in setting the mood of your outdoor entertainment space. It can highlight specific areas, create a cosy atmosphere, or set the stage for a festive occasion. For a relaxing ambience, low-level lighting such as table lamps or floor lamps can provide task lighting and a warm, inviting glow. String lights can add a touch of sparkle and intimacy.
For a festive occasion, overhead lighting like chandeliers or pendant lights can add drama and highlight focal points. LED lighting is a great option as it’s energy-efficient, long-lasting, and can be used to create different moods. They come in various colour temperatures, and you can choose warm tones for relaxation or cool tones for a lively party atmosphere.
The Fatboy Bolleke is a cordless, rechargeable and portable lamp that is perfect for setting the ambience. It comes with three brightness settings and a range of colours. It’s simple to use and very practical, a wonderful addition to any outdoor space.
We hope you found this guide helpful in creating your dream outdoor entertainment space. Now all that is left for you to do is to have fun and enjoy your outdoor space. Invite friends and family over to share in the enjoyment, and don’t be afraid to experiment and make changes as you go along. Whether you’re hosting a large gathering or an intimate dinner party, your outdoor entertaining space will be a place where you can relax, unwind, and enjoy the beautiful weather Aotearoa (New Zealand) has to offer.