Articles - Landscaping & Gardening

Creating the Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Area

21st January 2019
outdoor-entertainment-area

Is there anything better than enjoying summer with friends & family outdoors?

If you're like most Australians, outdoor entertainment is ingrained in your DNA.

Today will discuss how you can create the perfect outdoor entertainment area for your home.

Before you start creating your outdoor area, spend a few minutes (5 mins) reading this article to understand what you need to consider.

Outdoor Considerations

The first step is to consider your ideas, goals, and budget.

Ask these questions to help you plan your perfect outdoor entertainment area:

  1. Who will be using it? Do you have plans for children or pets?
  2. What design/style are you looking for? Modern, Bali, Tropical, Eco, etc.
  3. What is the budget for your project?

Design Fundamentals

There are some key fundamentals when designing your outdoor area. Knowing these fundamentals will mean your outdoor entertainment area will provide the lifestyle you are looking for.

The fundamentals of an outdoor entertainment area involve:

  • Easy access 
  • Integration/flow with your home
  • Planning for the weather – plan for winter & summer

Use these design fundamentals to create a comfortable landscape that is both functional and beautiful.

Landscaping

As you plan your outdoor entertainment area don't forget the landscape design.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Use a lawn (even fake) to create a functional space that provides greenery.
  • Add plants around the border of the garden to make it look luscious all summer long.
  • Consider low maintenance native plants & trees that can handle the hot summer.
  • Add a rock garden with easy to care for succulents, combining the softness of foliage with the solidness of stone.

Outdoor kitchen

Just as the kitchen is the centre of the home, an outdoor kitchen will become the centre of outdoor entertainment space. This keeps the host there with guests rather than in the kitchen. If you have a great outdoor space, you'll want to entertain there; installing cooking facilities outdoors can make life easy.

A working kitchen is a valuable addition to any outdoor space; even an island bench will come in handy for food preparation and socialising.

Decking

Adding a deck to your home is one of the more common renovations because they look fantastic. With a new entertaining area comes a lot of foot traffic, so if you can't commit the time to the maintenance of a timber deck, do some research and choose an option that best suits your lifestyle. You have many options when it comes to materials for decking. When picking a decking, we suggest you consider composite decking due to its low maintenance.

Patio

Shade is crucial, especially in Australia, when it gets too sweltering temperatures in summer. Take a moment to think about how the sun will hit your outdoor area over summer. Getting some cover will reduce the glare and heat and make it much more comfortable to be outdoors. Installing café blinds can be a versatile shade option that can adjust to the change of the seasons. Homeowners who want their patio as an area for meals often fail to make sure there is room enough for a table and chairs to fit comfortably.

Seating

Outdoor furniture plays an essential role in your ability to entertain, so don't limit yourself with cheap portable furnishings. Consider building in benches to existing walls to create long-lasting versatility. Arrange your seating, so it is easy to see and hear everyone and don't forget to apply colourful cushions or rugs to inject a touch of colour. If you install a deck that sits raised above the rest of your garden, the edge may be a comfy height to sit on and rest your feet on the lawn.

Lighting

Lighting is a crucial thing to consider when entertaining. Not only does it give a festive ambience, but it also ensures that you can safely keep your gatherings going into the late hours. A ceiling light may not be enough if you plan on using your outdoor entertaining area at night. Consider adding lighting around the edge of the patio, to stairs or steps, and to illuminate unique features like water features or outdoor artwork. Also, think about adding extra outdoor electrical outlets which will make it easier for you to plug in extra lights during parties.

Firepit & Water Feature

What about adding a fire pit or water feature to add a focal point and sound to the garden?

They can be added to your entertainment area depending on the size of the area and the feature.

Water features can include:

  • Waterfalls and cascades
  • Wall Fountains
  • Stand-alone fountains
  • Ponds and water gardens

A water feature is excellent for white noise to drown out background noise and create a relaxing environment. The trickling sound of a waterfall or pond with aquatic life will transport you away from your daily routine.

A fire pit or open brick oven can be used to brighten up the night, cook food, and stay warm. This allows homeowners to entertain into the evening and extend the use of your outdoor entertainment area throughout the year.

Pool & Spa

Pools and spas are hugely popular in Australia, and for a good reason. Most Australian families love a BBQ by the poolside, and there's nothing like a refreshing dip on a hot and sunny day. Pools make a space look and feel more substantial and if you're tight on space get a spa or dipping pool. When designing your entertaining areas, add clear links to the pool to create one large space with varying uses. Make the pool or spa (in-ground) a focal point of your outdoor entertainment area, do not hide it around the corner unless it's your only choice.

Local Council and Construction Laws

Your local council may have laws prohibiting specific constructions or features. You may also need permits to build, as well as safety inspections once such structures are completed. Check with your local council before proceeding with new landscape design installations.

Ready to Create Your New Outdoor Room?

Think about how you plan to use your outdoor area and consider the key things you want in it to create your dream landscape for casual or formal entertaining. Remember to use the fundamentals of design to create comfortable landscapes that are both functional and beautiful. This will ensure that you will use and love your backyard more than ever before.