Thank god it’s Friday #tgif! With the work week over, its time to settle into your relaxing weekend and what better way to do so with your friends over, champagne in hand and relaxing on a balmy summer night. Outdoor living spaces are fantastic for entertaining and induce a stress-free atmosphere that is often necessary to retreat to after a long week of work.
Both kids and adults alike can easily be catered for in an outdoor entertaining zone as long as a little bit of planning goes into the layout and design. The main necessities of an outdoor entertainment area are a place to sit and a place to eat. As long as you have some comfortable chairs and a large table, you are well on your way to creating your outdoor paradise. Depending on time and finances, possibilities are endless but lets start with the basics!
The main feature of your outdoor entertainment area is somewhere to sit down, put your feet up and relax. But there are many questions to be answered to ensure that you have the appropriate seating arrangement for your lifestyle needs. Do you want somewhere to lounge or somewhere to sit up for meals? Do you need to cater for kids? Do you want sunshine or shade? Will you have a table in the centre or sprawled seating around the edges?
Options for seating include:
-Outdoor dining set
-Built-in planter box seating
If you’re outdoor area is going to cater for dining, you will need access to kitchen appliances. Weather you opt for a full outdoor kitchen setup or perhaps just a BBQ, a kitchen sink is always a must! Make sure when purchasing your outdoor appliances and fixtures that you opt for stainless steel alternatives. Stainless steel is guaranteed to not rust which is especially important in an area near the beach where salt and water combine in high abundance! Stainless steel kitchen mixers and sinks can carry a hefty price tag however if you are smart and shop around, you will find identical products for a fraction. Why pay for brand prestige and aggressive marketing when you could spend your savings on some Moet and oysters to enjoy in your new outdoor zone!
Even if you can't afford the luxury of an outdoor kitchen, a bar fridge and ice machine will make all the difference for those endless nights spent outside, beer in hand. Bars are very simple DIY jobs that can be built out of pallets, barrels or just standard benches. Theming your outdoor bar can be fun too. A Balinese hut style bar is popular beside a pool. Ice buckets and beer taps can turn your family friendly entertaining zone to the newest pub in your suburb!
Maintaining privacy in your backyard can be difficult with the ever-evolving streetscape. If you’re neighbours have a clear view of your backyard, invest in some privacy screening or concoct something yourself! Privacy screens can be built from wood, stone or even plants! Pick a style that suits your outdoor area and start installing. You’re privacy screen might be to block the view from the street, your neighbours or even your ugly back fence. Make sure its aesthetically pleasing so not to ruin the atmosphere of your backyard. Choose to have it blend in or make a feature out of it with lighting and a mix of textiles!
Picking plants for your backyard can be the biggest challenge! If you’re not a horticulturist then it is best to source some advise from your local nursery so that you can ensure you are choosing the right plants for your climate. A selection of trees, plants and shrubs create an inviting atmosphere and can act as both privacy screens and aesthetic enhancers. Make sure you select plants that you will be able to look after and care for. Succulants are great ornamental plants that are both striking and easy to look after. With little care needed, succulents almost thrive on neglect!
Outdoor lighting can make or break your outdoor entertainment area. Too little can make the area uninviting, cold and non-functional. Too much can kill the mood and kill the twilight atmosphere. Outdoor lighting can be used throughout plants, under seating, within water and of course around your deck. Again, make sure you opt for stainless steel outdoor lighting fixtures as otherwise rust will form very quickly. Look into spike lighting throughout your garden, spotlight lighting on large plants, recessed lighting along the walls and in-deck lighting within the flooring! Get crafty with some DIY feature lights as well to impress your guests!