Designing your yard for entertaining guests and for parties means figuring out a plan. What kind of parties do you want to have throughout the spring and summer? Is your circle of friends composed of a few folks or everyone from your office and then some? What are your interests, and which ones do you share with your friends?
Depending on your budget and the size of your outdoor area, you could transform the area into a breathtaking space that everyone will want to spend time at on the weekends. To give you ideas for designing your party space, here are some photos to inspire you.
As pictured here, a balcony space can be perfect for entertaining guests, with wicker chairs spread out for different views of the scenery, along with a fireplace to sit near at night and easy access to the inside for dinners and drinks.
Enjoying the view
The basics of an outdoor entertaining area often include a porch with tables and chairs. This photo, credited to a Lumberton, New Jersey, professional, is simple but has a breathtaking view of the scenery. It’s intimate for parties of four to six and leads indoors for windy or chilly temperatures.
The small table and high chairs allow for relaxation and conversation under a fabric awning that protects against the sun’s rays. Stone steps lead from the porch to the pond that feeds into the water below for a scenic view. It’s comfortable, quiet and easy for homeowners who want to invite a few friends over on the weekend.
Need more fire?
Having an outdoor grill is important for parties because then you can grill hot dogs, hamburgers, steaks and more without having to transport those items from the kitchen to the yard and back again. Having an outdoor fireplace allows people to stay warm during cool nights, see one another under the warm lighting and cook s’mores.
So why not put both of those in close proximity to each other for increased warmth and lighting? This outdoor grill and fireplace in West Dundee, Illinois, are next to each other and inlaid with stone to blend together on this stone tile patio. The cushioned seating is designed to be close to the fire while allowing a cook to get to and from the grill easily for serving and grilling. It’s fast, efficient and guarantees plenty of warmth on cold nights.
Comfy and intimate dining
For couples and families, a Glassboro, New Jersey, landscaper made an outdoor dining area perfect for a romantic evening or gathering. Four chairs are situated around a metal wicker table that is set and ready for dinner with a burning fire in the fireplace behind it. The view of the pond offsets the sunset, and the landscape evokes a feeling of calm and peace.
It’s serene, comfortable and perfect for those who need an escape from the busy weekdays to connect with one another again. For those who want to recreate a scene like this in their yard, the two pieces that you must have are the outdoor fireplace and the stone deck.
The cost to install a fireplace averages between $2,000 and $2,700, though it could vary depending on the outdoor conditions and materials required. A stone deck’s price will also vary because of the type of stone and landscaping conditions.
Designing outdoor party spaces on balconies or terraces means it will be more modern and cozy than a backyard with tables and chairs. This terrace space by a contractor from Dayton, Ohio, has an assembly of cushioned chairs and couches around an electronic firepit. It easily transitions into the house for those cold nights when a fire pit might not be enough warmth.
There’s a dining area for occasions when a host or hostess might want to set the table and say grace. In short, a terrace or rooftop party space just means you’ll be more comfortable and often have quicker access to amenities than what you’d have out in the backyard.
Fun games for every age
Do you enjoy strategy games or a workout? Why not install a life-size chess board in your backyard? How about a life-size Scrabble board or bowling alley?
In addition to having an outdoor grill and some seating, large game boards are eclectic and fun accessories that people will remember when visiting your backyard. It’s a recent trend, having appeared in cities such as Toronto, Tokyo and New York, including a life-size version of the board game “Mouse Trap” in Queens.
Getting in some time on the green
If you know friends and coworkers who love to golf, then installing a putting green in your backyard is perfect for parties on the weekends. This green in Palm Desert, California, has different distances between each hole so everyone can practice their putt from short or long distances. It’s good for those who are experts at the game, or even those who want to try their hand at golf for the first time.
Nearby is an outdoor grill for putting on a few patties while you practice, and a few lamps in the ground around the flora means you can practice at night as well. Having a green like this means turf, not real grass, though, or else you run the risk of a lot of patch. While the cost reported by homeowners to install turf averages between $3,900 and $5,500, it varies depending on square feet.
Taking a few laps around the pool
If you live a particularly hot climate, one of the best installations for outdoor parties is a swimming pool. This pool in New Rochelle, New York is comfortable, kid-friendly and can hold a lot of people. There’s a dining area and fire pit for warmth and relaxation in between laps.
While the cost to build a swimming pool might be expensive, between $7,800 and $11,100, it varies by materials and square footage. Also consider accessories such as the waterfall featured here and landscaping around the pool to help it flow with the backyard.
Extracurricular activities for all
This backyard in Newtown, Connecticut, has plenty of room and activities for guests with different interests. On one side is a swimming pool for kids, people who want to relax and the aquatically inclined. On the far right side is a tennis court for those who might be competitive or want to get a good workout in. There are chairs and tables for eating and chatting while others enjoy the activities provided by the pool and tennis court.
Remember that tennis courts require a playing surface, a net and lines for determining boundaires, so be sure to hire a tennis court contractor to construct it.
Entertainment for everyone
If you have children and want them to have a place to play with their friends during parties, you should have an outdoor playground or play equipment installed. Kids love to go to playgrounds and swing, go down slides, climb on the monkey bars and more. Having that in the backyard is even better because you will be able to watch them without worrying about kids wandering off, and you can enjoy other comforts of home.
This backyard in Westfield, Indiana, has a play structure near to a covered patio with a fireplace, outdoor grill and cabinet for a complete kitchen setup. It creates a comfortable atmosphere for adults and children to ensure a fun weekend for everyone. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of installing a playground in your yard, you can have an outdoor-playground contractor build it for you.
An outdoor living room
To enjoy the outdoors with the comforts of your living room, homeowners can create a luxury living space on their back porch. This covered porch in Dallas has almost everything you’d find in a living room. Couches and comfortable chairs sit near a burning fireplace with a flat screen TV and coffee table. Temperature is controlled by the outside, and it’s easy to transition from comfort to the outdoors. The separation provided by windows and doors is gone, so homeowners who enjoy nature and indoor relaxation get both with this design.
Ample space for guests and grilling
If you really need space for entertaining during any time of year or climate condition, then make sure you have a covered patio that can hold a lot of seating. It’s an additional bonus if you put an outdoor grill nearby for feeding everyone rather than going in and out of your kitchen. This outdoor patio in Lake Forest, California, has a wooden awning, lots of cushioned seating and a fireplace with a flat-screen TV overhead. The stone tile flooring can endure a lot of foot traffic, and awning overhead protects against rain and some wind. The landscaping helps it to blend in with the backyard and provides some protection against the elements.
A backyard big enough for any occasion
If you have many people you plan to entertain, you will need enough space in your backyard. This backyard from a Hialeah Gardens, Florida, landscape designer has the room and necessities for entertaining large parties with plenty of seating and tables, allotting room for more seats to be brought out and situated on the green or stone tiles. There’s an outdoor grill for cooking and a hot tub covered by a patio awning for people to relax in with the landscaping completing the look. If you want a backyard like this, a landscape designer will be crucial to its creation.