what are three essentials for outdoor entertaining?

In the past, patios and backyards were often like barren wastelands—there might have been a chair and grill, but not much more. Today, outdoor areas are an extension of the home, and there is an array of products to create a cozy, comfortable space for enjoyment and entertaining. Work with what you have to create a personalized outdoor living area, and consult a design-build firm to make sure it fits your lifestyle and needs.

Lighting: From candles and tiki torches to fireplaces and integrated fixtures, the right lighting can take an outdoor space from invisible to inviting, especially when it accentuates key features of the home and yard.
Outdoor cooking: What better way to bring the family together and enjoy nature than preparing and sharing a meal outside on a lovely evening? Outdoor kitchens can be simple or elaborate, with features like a freestanding or built-in grill, pizza oven, refrigerator, sink and more.
Technology: Wi-Fi connectivity, background music and sporting events on TV are musts for a great outdoor space. Use technology to add ambiance and help your family decompress from a busy schedule.

Jeanne & Keith Liston
Liston Design Build

In my opinion, the first element should be an interesting focal point like a fireplace or water feature. The firepit in the picture at top right is concrete and powered by gas; just hit a button to turn it on. A feature like this is a great conversation piece, something people can gather around to talk, eat or enjoy drinks.

The second is bold color. This look combines hues and shapes that evoke midcentury modern design. You can choose upholstery and fabrics to match the surrounding landscape and views or your favorite color schemes. The couple who own this home chose the same teal and coral shades used in their wedding, and the colors look really striking against a maple tree that turns flame orange in the fall.

The third is comfortable outdoor furniture like lounge chairs and sectionals. This family is a busy one with teenagers, and they wanted extra room to relax, eat and watch TV together. Basically, the outdoor space should be an extension of your home’s interior. It’s like another living room or family room, so it should be just as inviting.

Meghan Heeter
Castle Design