See how I created 2 separate areas for outdoor living & entertaining using 5 specific tips that can help you too. Get cozy for summer entertaining!
This spring I worked on a big project for hayneedle.com creating a space for outdoor living & entertaining, and I’m excited for the big reveal today. I was tasked with creating two separate areas for outdoor entertaining including a living space and a dining space, and I’m just thrilled with all the items I got to choose from hayneedle.
Although we’re right in the middle of getting quotes to build our patio, I was still able to design 2 outdoor “rooms” to relax in with friends or family. You’ll see how I was able to set boundaries and define the space, as well as some styling tricks that make your outdoor living just as pretty as your indoor living. Let’s start with the sitting area, shall we!
Outdoor Living & Entertaining
I designed the sitting area with a couple of things in mind: it will probably be a gathering spot for guests both before and after dinner, and it needed to be a comfortable sitting arrangement for everyone. I chose the Belham Living Marcella set with fire pit which is a sectional and can be configured in any number of ways. The fire pit serves as the centerpiece to the arrangement and can act as a coffee table when not being used for a fire. I assembled the seating so that I had a love seat, 2 chairs, and an ottoman around the fire pit for easy reach by all.
- The conversation area is defined by the 8 x 10 nuLOOM Spectrum rug and a tall palm plant behind the love seat. The rug can be used for extra seating for the kids, and you can even scatter pillows to lean on if you like.
- Since the palm plant is tall it acts as a “wall” and encloses the space visually, while on the other end of the love seat sits a small table for drinks, which also creates a stopping point for the eye.
- Decorative accessories help bring this space alive! I added colorful pillows, and other home decor items from inside the house. The Salerno lantern with LED candles helps anchor one end of the love seat and adds a nighttime glow, while a basket full of throws helps save off the evening chill.
- Finally, one of two Le Cadeaux nesting trays holds the makings for toasted marshmallows and s’mores. These are perfect for dessert when the sun goes down.
Next, I set up a dining area that just begs for a leisurely meal with friends. This area is defined by the 8 x 8 Vinyl Pergola, the 5 x 7 nuLOOM Nautical Bold striped rug, and Weber Spirit gas grill. You can shop this look on my style board here.
- I chose the Belham Living Matica bar height table set because I love the versatility of it. You can dine at it OR turn it into a bar depending on your entertaining needs! I set the table for dining using items I already have, plus the Curly-Q green salad plates, and the second of the Le Cadeaux nesting trays which holds a vase of flowers and snacks.
- Each place setting is topped with a small basket filled with shredded filler, an orange, and a place card tag. The center of the table is lined with potted succulents.
- Bottles of wine for the grown ups, and root beer for the kids sit close at hand inside the Old Dutch Copper party tub. This ended up being much larger than I imagined so it’s perfect for parties!
- Finally, the perfect way to entertain under the night sky is with these string lights shining down on the space. These are one of my favorite things for outdoor decorating and having them strung across the pergola and above the table adds a magical glow.
Final tips for creating space for Outdoor Living & Entertaining:
- Create outdoor “rooms” with rugs, plants, and a structure such as a pergola. Go a step further and add all-weather fabric curtains to the corners of the pergola to soften the edges and provide shade from the sun.
- Purchase outdoor furniture that can serve multiple purposes. Here, the fire pit becomes a coffee table, the sectional seating can be attached in an “L” shape, or separated into multiple sofas or chairs, and the bar height table can be used for dinging or as a bar.
- Don’t worry about having separate items for indoor use and outdoor use. You can bring out pillows and decorative accents as needed when entertaining. They help dress up the area and make it feel cozy.
- Don’t forget about outdoor lighting. Just as lighting creates an atmosphere indoors, it helps create one outdoors too. String lights, candles, LED candles, and a fire in the fire pit make an outdoor area feel warm and inviting.
- Try to keep things close at hand so you’re not running back and forth from the party. A grill near by, a tub full of drinks, cozy throws, and simple snacks on a serving tray are all time savers and help keep the party moving and the hostess happy!
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I partnered with hayneedle.com to style these spaces. All opinions, photos, and text are mine. See how I work with brands here.