How to Create an Outdoor Space for Summer Parties

In just a few days you can create an outdoor space worthy of hosting Summer parties or having a quiet weekend rendezvous with that special someone. Here's how to plan...

In just a few days you can create an outdoor space worthy of hosting Summer parties or having a quiet weekend rendezvous with that special someone. We've created a great plan... 

Step 1: Create a Foundation

If you already have a deck or cement slab, your backyard transformation will be easy. Simply build off the existing space. Before starting your project, use a power-washer to clean the area. Remove weeds from cracks and fill with sidewalk caulk.

If you need to remove a portion of your lawn to create a foundation, call a professional landscaper to do the job. Inquire about having a brick or stone patio created. Or, save a few dollars and opt for a pea gravel or wood mulch foundation. If you'd rather attempt this project yourself, call all utility companies first to mark buried cables and pipes.

Step 2: Include Seating

Once your foundation is in place, choose what types of seating and tables you want in your outdoor area. Do you want the space to be playful and quirky? Or elegant and sophsticated? It's up to you. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Padded wicker furniture
  • Rustic wrought iron chair and table set
  • An oversize hammock for two
  • Chaise lounge chairs
  • Adirondack chairs
  • Bistro table and chairs

You can also add color by using patterned cushions on outdoor chairs, adding an umbrella attachment to a patio table and placing outdoor rugs beneath tables. And don't forget to use festive linens when it's time to host that barbecue.

Step 3: Make It Lush

Color, color, color! Make your new outdoor space pop by adding vibrant pots of flowers, shepherd's hooks with hanging floral baskets and vases of fresh-cut flowers to the seating area. This is also your chance to flaunt your green thumb by adding a perimeter of rose bushes or creating a garden of succulents. 

Step 4: Add Lighting

Spice up your space with creative lighting. From tiki torches to strands of draped outdoor lights, lighting gives your new patio ambiance. If children will enjoy the new patio, opt for lanterns hung out of reach and sturdy post-style light fixtures hardwired to your home's electrical system. An electrician can get your patio lighting set up.

For a more romantic, adult-only atmosphere, create a cluster of candles on a table. Use citronella-scented candles to ward off those pesky summer evening bugs. Or, try lighting the space with a decorative outdoor chandelier. These are perfect if your space includes a gazebo or a large arbor that spans the patio. Find lighting ideas here... 

Step 5: Please the Cook

You can't create an outdoor space without pleasing the cook of the household. In addition to classic gas or charcoal grills, you can make your new patio a true culinary retreat. Consider adding the following:

  • A wood-fire oven for baking fresh breads
  • A sunken grill pit for making s'mores
  • A Dutch oven stand for crawfish boils
  • An enclosed smoker for making jerky
  • A portable cooking island complete with grill top, wine cooler and oven

Then, splurge on a set of patio-only serveware. Sweet tea tastes even better out of a fancy glass, and grilled kebabs look mouth-watering on a fun barbecue-themed platter. Although it looks less glamorous, opt for non-breakable goods to keep the outdoor entertaining area family-friendly.  

Step 6: The Focal Point

Finally, finish your project by creating a focal point. As if your space wasn't already gorgeous and inviting, you need something to start a conversation. Here are five fun options:

  • Install a small well
  • Add bird bath 
  • Create a Zen garden. Use a small raised garden planter. Fill the space with pure white sand, small pebbles and a miniature rake.
  • Have a small pond added to the space. Even a sunken pond the size of a bathtub can hold two to three koi fish, which add color, luck and a sense of calm to your outdoor space.
  • Position a piece of artwork in the space. Concrete, metal and polycarbonate statues can withstand Georgia weather 
  • Add a fire pit

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