It’s that time of year when the evening air is filled with the aroma of backyard barbecue. Laughter and lively conversations are shared among friends while enjoying perfect weather in our backyard sanctuaries. Maybe you’ve upgraded your back porch with an outdoor television or summer kitchen. You’d like to entertain some friends but when you look out into the yard it’s obvious you aren’t quite ready to host. Don’t fret, there are plenty of easy and affordable ways to take your outdoor entertainment to the next level. It doesn’t matter if you’re planning a small get-together for close friends or a full-on soirée, there are some simple steps you can take to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience for all.
Outdoor Entertainment First Steps
The first step is to prep and repair your venue. Take care of mowing, pruning and repair well in advance of your get together. Clear out any clutter, trash or children’s toys that could be distractions or obstacles. You can also use this time to fix any dead patches of lawn. Some fresh wood chips can provide an instant makeover to tired landscaping.
If you’re going to do a little work on the yard, putting paver stones down along pathways is a great way to add a finished look. Will you and your guests be dining outdoors? Designing an area outdoors just for dining will set your space apart from the rest. Setting alternating paver stones and grass in a checkerboard pattern creates a unique look and creates a natural area to congregate or dine.
Next, take stock in what you have then supplement where you’re lacking. If you already have some lawn or patio furniture, make sure it’s clean and in good working condition. Repair or replace anything that isn’t up to par. Next add additional seating to supplement your existing outdoor entertainment.
Get creative by building your own bench. Simply glue cinder blocks together to use as the legs for your bench. Paint them to add a bit of flare. Insert some 4×4 deck posts through the openings of the cinder block. Last add a cushion on top and you’ve got some easy do it yourself seating.
A flood light on your pack porch is useful for illuminating the entire yard but it doesn’t offer much in terms of ambiance. Delight your guests with simple solar powered pathway lights to guide them. Outdoor string lights overhead add a subtle lighting that’s easy on the eyes. Wrap your tree trunks with an entire string of lights to provide soft yet ample lighting.
An addition or another option, consider using candles in homemade lanterns. You can use mason jars and tea lights on the ground and on tables to provide a cozy feel to your event. Tin cans with designs that are hole punched in the sides are an interesting option for lamps and are bound to impress your guests.
If you are using candles or lanterns keep a fire extinguisher handy!
Aside from lighting, add some visual flair to excite the senses. Plants are an easy upgrade that offer instant and lasting returns. Setting up a tiered flower pot near your bench provides a great spot for a photo op. It’s simple to build too:
- Buy and paint 3 clay pots. Small, medium and large or the same size, it’s your choice.
- Drive a support pole into the ground. Make sure it’s small enough to fit through the drainage hole in the pots with some wiggle room still available.
- Slide the first pot over the pole and fill with potting soil. Repeat for the remaining pots. Stack them straight or allow them to lean to the side.
- Add your favorite flowers or herbs to each tier.
There are plenty of unique ways to display flowers and plants that are quick, easy and will leave a lasting impression for your guests. Instead of using a plain clay pot, you might consider using a metal watering can as a flower pot. Just be sure to make holes in the bottom for drainage. Building a multi shelved flower wall from an old pallet is another simple, low cost project that looks great.
Add some décor to the “walls” as the finishing touch. Hanging old window frames in front of mirrors is an easy way to make your yard look more open. Place one on your fence or any solid walls to break up a monotonous scene.
Giving your backyard a new look can be as simple or complex as you make it, but creating an inviting space for outdoor entertainment is well worth it. The memories you’ll make with your friends and neighbors over the years will be priceless.