It’s clear that outdoor living within our own homes has evolved over the years. From small gatherings around the fire to full-on outdoor kitchen and seating arrangements, the backyard has advanced into an entertaining space where sports games are watched, and neighborhood get-togethers are held. But what are the components that differentiate an exceptional outdoor living space from an ordinary one? Here’s the scoop on six design tips that you need to incorporate in your outdoor space to stay within the times!

1. The Beloved Grill

Photo by Sewell Appliances

What’s an outdoor space without a grill?! Let’s be honest, grilling in itself is a reason for people to gather together. Having a Sunday barbeque wouldn’t be the same if you had to cook on the stove inside. The grill attracts a festive ambiance and creates a great environment for bonding within a fun atmosphere.

For the serious grillers, we recommend a built-in professional gas grill that provides a handful of innovative features. If you’re not the biggest chef, there are still great options for you! Electric grills are a great alternative to the big and bulky grills or more traditional charcoal grills, but can still be used outdoors! You can quickly prepare tasty burgers for your football-watching friends.

2. Sturdy Countertops

Photo by Brittany Jones

It may not be the first thing you consider, but durable countertops are essential for an outdoor bar or kitchen. You want to ensure that your outdoor countertops are able to not only withstand various climates and direct sunlight but can also handle rougher outdoor activities they could potentially be exposed to.

A popular and notable choice for outdoor countertops is granite. Granite is made up of strong, natural elements that are capable of standing up to many types of weather and won’t easily chip or scratch. Its earthy tones also provide a unique visual appearance which blend perfectly into an outdoor setting.

Another great stone option for outdoor countertops is porcelain. A newer, engineered stone material, porcelain countertops are specifically great for outside due to their UV-resistance, meaning they won’t fade in sunlight. Porcelain countertops are also an ideal option because they are highly resistant to stains and scratches, leaving them looking effortlessly beautiful, even over time! 

3. Fireplace Focal Point

Your outdoor area should be able to bare the different seasons so you can enjoy the space year-round. Wherever your home, a fireplace is always a functional and eye-catching feature to have. Grab a few chairs and circle around a nice, warm fire during wintertime or make s’mores with the kids. You can opt for a traditional wood fireplace or maybe choose a modern-styled gas fire pit that better suits the aesthetic of your home and its lovely décor.

4. Rocking Sound System

What’s a party without music? Outdoor audio brings the best of the indoors, outside. Adding a nice sound system to your outdoor living space can really take gatherings to the next level. Set the ambiance with a great playlist or turn on the surround sound for the game or a movie night. While portable speakers are always an option, built-in outdoor speakers are made for weather resistance, have better quality sound, and are better hidden for that upscale feel.

Photo by Chad Mellon

Get cozy with a few furniture pieces in your outdoor living space. Upgrade from the uncomfortable wrought-iron bench and consider a more inviting couch and chair layout. Place a few oversized pillows for extra comfort and glam! Table space is always useful too. Consider an outdoor coffee table for snacks and drinks or a large dining table for more formal parties. Guests will love coming to visit and spending time outdoors in this welcoming spot. 

5. Task and Ambiance Lighting

Photo credit by Hajar Project

Don’t let the darkness overshadow your enjoyable night outdoors! Lighten up the space with chic light fixtures – great for both function and styling purposes. Options are nearly endless with a variety of unique outdoor lighting including gas lanterns, chandeliers, flush and wall mounts, fans, and more.

It’s important to think about the different areas within your outdoor space and the lighting needs within those. Start with making a list of the activities that typically take place in your backyard so you can more easily determine the fixtures that might be most useful. Lighting to think about including: specific lighting for cooking in the outdoor kitchen, flood lights for security purposes, landscape lighting for pathways, and decorative or accent lighting for ambiance.

6. Add a TV

Photo by HomeBNC

It’s about time you make the upgrade and add a nice flat screen TV to your patio area. You can finally host that fun, game watching party to cheer on your alma mater or heckle your fantasy football friends. Outdoor TVs have come a long way, so you no longer have to worry about the potential destruction that the outdoors can cause – they can handle the normal day-to-day climate exposure! There are also plenty of storage options from slip-on covers to custom enclosures.

7. Install a Pergola

When it comes to entertaining, you want your guests to be comfortable. 12×12 pergolas are stylish, provide shade, and can be a striking centerpiece of any backyard. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials options, so there is absolutely something on the market that’s perfect for your needs. Pergola designs can provide privacy, cover outdoor kitchen areas, and look great next to a pool or above a backyard deck. If you’re wondering about the best way to learn how to build a freestanding pergola, you’ll find that it is surprisingly simple. You’ll love lounging around with friends and family under the comfort of a brand new outdoor pergola.

Create the Perfect Outdoor Entertainment Area

As summer starts to fade and autumn quickly approaches, it’s the perfect time to start your outdoor entertainment renovation! The kids are back to school and the UV rays aren’t quite as strong as they use to be (or at least we hope), so step outside and start brainstorming your dream space!

Editorial Contributors
Jordan Swift

Jordan Swift

Jordan Swift is a seasoned writer specializing in a wide range of home improvement topics, with a particular focus on renovations, home exteriors, and building materials. With a keen eye for design and a deep understanding of construction, Jordan's writing combines creativity and expertise to provide valuable insights and practical advice to readers. His articles offer comprehensive guidance on selecting the perfect countertops for various spaces, exploring innovative building materials for home exteriors, and maximizing the aesthetic appeal and functionality of residential projects. Jordan's extensive knowledge of countertop materials, such as granite, quartz, and marble, allows readers to make informed decisions based on their unique preferences and requirements. With a passion for sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices, Jordan also emphasizes the importance of selecting eco-conscious building materials. Whether you're a homeowner embarking on a kitchen renovation or a builder seeking inspiration for exterior finishes, Jordan's writing is sure to inspire and empower you with the knowledge needed to transform your living spaces into functional, beautiful, and sustainable environments.

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