With the days getting warmer and the evenings growing longer, we wanted to address the backyard entertaining space trend and get tips from our experts on how to create our own. These days, more and more families are creating a seamless transition from their indoor living space to their outdoor space. Area rugs, couches, side tables, throw pillows, and blankets make the great outdoors even greater. But, fabrics and creature comfort aside, you’ll also find options for dramatic and accent lighting, backyard Wi-Fi, and even TV installations.
We spoke to our friends at Frontgate and our own contributor and design expert, Max Jones, to talk about trends and best practices. After all, if you are going to create a backyard entertaining space, you want it to last!
Max Jones advises, “From a design perspective, the outdoor space should truly feel like an extension of your interior spaces. My rule of thumb is to use the interior space that most closely connects to your outdoor area for your inspiration jumping-off point. If your outdoor living is visible from the adjacent interior room, the spaces should have cohesion and flow from inside to outside. For instance, at least one color from the interior design should also make its way to your outdoor room. Materials and textiles should feel connected.”
Since you’ll be clocking lots of hours in your backyard entertaining space, it’s only right you make it just as comfortable as your indoor living room. The Frontgate team says, “Whether you’re working with a wide-open space or a small, contained yard, it’s important to replicate the feeling of an indoor space by clearly outlining your ‘room.’ This will make it easier to arrange your furniture and keep an intimate feel for gatherings. If you ask us, an outdoor rug is the quickest way to define your space. Then choose your outdoor furniture. Make a list of features you’re looking for, and then check out outdoor furniture collections to see which one is right for you.”
Once your furniture is selected, make it your own by mimicking the coziness of the indoors with outdoor pillows and blankets. You might also use a layer of texture to add pops of color. The variety of outdoor textiles available today is amazing. We’ve come a long way from the traditional patio furniture of the past.
Now you’re ready for the finishing touches, like outdoor lighting, tables, and decorative accessories. For a low-key and intimate vibe, add string lights and torches. If you entertain often, take it up a notch with lanterns and a fire table.
Max Jones of Jones Walker Home also recommends outdoor drapes. “Outdoor drapes are also a great way to delineate your outdoor living space. Modern advances in outdoor textiles now allow you to add fabrics that really look more like interior fabric. Drape panels offer a bit of privacy and can block the wind. The flexibility of opening and closing the curtain panels will allow you to control your level of exposure, such as blocking some of the cooler winds and incorporating a fire pit for warmth. They will truly extend your outdoor season into the spring and fall months!”
A covered space will certainly help protect your furniture and textiles from the unwavering elements, but it’s not necessarily needed. That’s where umbrellas become the perfect solution! Whether you need one to shade a dining table or tuck between two pool chairs, an umbrella provides the perfect respite from the heat and UV rays.
If your space is indeed entirely outdoors, though, Frontgate recommends using high-quality outdoor furniture covers when furniture is not in use – to help protect against exposure to the elements. And in the “off-season,” make sure to store your furniture.
As stated above, you’ll want to look into outdoor covers to protect your investment. Not only are they effective in “winterizing” your patio, but covers are convenient to use throughout the year during storms or while on vacation. They protect from the elements and keep off dust, dirt, leaves, animals, and other debris.
If you’re looking for longevity, you’ll want to choose fabrics that are fade- and weather-resistant, so they’ll hold up over time. Frontgate’s Sunbrella Rain cushions are 100% waterproof. Not only does this new fabric resist fading, mold, and mildew, but the rain simply beads up and rolls right off.
If you are fortunate enough to live in a climate where you can spend a good deal of time outdoors, an outdoor living space can add immeasurably to the pleasure you find in your home. As Max Jones says, “Make your outdoor living area as cozy and comfy as the inside, and you will truly feel like you have increased the size of your home!” Here are our top picks to make your outdoor space the perfect go-to for those perfect afternoons outside with the girls!
Lyra Copper Watering Can, $29.95
Keep your houseplants happy and hydrated with this display-worthy watering can. Constructed from stainless steel with a warm copper finish, the tall, stately vessel holds a half-gallon of water, eliminating the need for frequent refilling. The slender handle and spout curve gracefully, allowing for precision pouring without a mess.
Bradenton Outdoor Wicker Storage, $189 – $489
Made of UV-resistant resin wicker, this storage bin is perfect for storing pillows whenever they aren’t being used.
This fire pit has a simple finish that is attractive to match any outdoor living space decor. Relax by the warmth of an inviting fire on a cool summer night or crisp fall evening. Enjoy the warm glow on your patio and set the ambiance for a relaxing outdoor experience. This fire pit is an ideal blend of contemporary modern design and natural elements with beautiful, whimsical celestial star and moon accents. Made from powder-coated steel to resist rust, this fire pit is lightweight and weatherproof for longer-lasting outdoor use.
Hello Spring Doormat, $42
Crafted from natural coconut fiber, this doormat provides a durable spot to wipe off debris and moisture from outside, as well as a finishing touch for your entryway.
Protect your outdoor loveseat in style when choosing this durable, water-resistant cover from Duck Covers. Multi-layer, breathable fabric with ultrasonically welded seams wards off condensation to prevent furniture damage while resisting the harmful effects of sun, snow, rain, dust, and dirt. Reinforced tie-down straps keep the cover firmly place on blustery days.
The delicate filigree pattern of the Boho Globe Solar Lantern creates a charming play of light and shadow when lit from within. Ideal for summertime festivities, this lantern adds a fun, casual touch to your space.
Dundee Citronella Candle, $29.95
Bring light to your outdoor living with this sophisticated citronella candle. Scaled small to sit on a table or console, the iron candle holder rises on a minimalist stand with slender legs and tripod crossbar supports.
Simple Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Pillow, $45 – $89
Clean, structured lines add a touch of simplicity, and the bright colors will liven up any outdoor area.
Rhinecliff 9′ Market Umbrella, $82.99
Enjoy the sunshine and scenery while keeping cool with this Rhinecliff 9′ Market Umbrella. Designed with style and durability in mind, the polyester fabric blocks up to 95% of UV rays to keep you protected on hot summer days. It’s also fade-resistant and waterproof!
Deliver elegant style to your patio or deck with this set of three Christopher Knight Home nested outdoor tables. Weather- and UV-resistant polyethylene wicker construction offers enduring good looks, while the nesting design lets you use these tables together or separately.
Gladia Planter, $24
Offering a whimsical floral motif and a tray that fits underneath, this sturdy piece ensures your plantings will experience the proper drainage that’s necessary for healthy growth.
Create a candlelight display with our handsome steel Malta Lantern year-round. Each lantern can rest on a flat surface or hang.
These curtains are crafted from durable fabric that’s water-repellent and resistant to fading, mildew, and chlorine. This style’s stainless steel grommets add a modern touch whether you use them inside or outdoors.
Tumbling Tower Game, $149.95
To play this fun game of suspense, stack the wooden blocks into a tower and then take turns pulling out blocks without tumbling the tower. The oversized blocks come in a zippered canvas carrying bag so that you can take this fun-filled game to outdoor parties and picnics.
Add an extra layer of dimension, style, and personality to your home with the addition of an area rug. This beautiful rug offers a vibrant floral motif with a blue, green, red, and orange color palette and is water- and fade-resistant.
Ara Pendant, $268
Taking cues from a classic lantern, this faceted pendant makes a statement in a hallway, kitchen, or living room.
Pre-Lit Frosted Stones, $39.50–$69
Twinkle, twinkle little stones. These outdoor-friendly pre-lit frosted stones can be placed anywhere you need a little wink of whimsy.
Indoor/Outdoor Woven Baskets – White, $59 – $149
Store towels, tools, toys, and everything in between in these weather-resistant baskets. They won’t stain, fade, or grow mildew and are incredibly easy to clean.
Extend your living area to the outdoors by creating a beautiful backyard entertaining space. The options we’ve included are just a jumping-off point to creating an area where you’ll love to entertain, read a good book, or even get a little work done.
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