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Just in time for summer entertaining: 6 elements every backyard needs

One of the best perks of living in a house and not in a condo or an apartment is having outdoor space. 

The backyard is one of the most versatile spaces on your property. It can serve as a place to gather family or friends, a place for your kids to play and an entertaining space that can be enjoyed and admired by your friends and family. With proper care and design, they become the place of beauty and function.

Even if your house is small, a cozy and inviting backyard is a perfect extension of your house when it comes to entertaining. 

What can be better than relaxing next to a bright, cheery fire pit with a glass of wine? Or grilling outside in the summer and enjoying the sunshine with your family and friends.

Every backyard, whether big or small, can be transformed into an inviting space that will help you create memories for years to come.

So how do you make it cozy? Below are a few ideas to up your entertaining game this summer.

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Good Shade

While a bright hot sun is something we can not imagine our summers without, shade is always a welcome addition to any outdoor space. 

There are many options on the market to create the look you are going for. 

Some of the ideas for your next shade are a wooden or metal hardtop gazebo, sail shades, awning that attaches to the house, tents, pop-up canopies, a pergola with a shade installed on it, and more. 

Your guests will surely thank you for this escape from the hot summer sun!

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Comfy Furniture

Set up a conversation area in a part of your backyard, complete with comfy couch and chairs. Consider adding a chase or a lounge chair if space allows as well as a few side tables to complete the look. 

If your backyard is small, look for furniture in lighter colors as well as separate pieces as opposed to a one large sectional to create an illusion of bigger space.

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Just like you use accessories in your home, it’s important to use accessories in your outdoor seating space to define the area and make it inviting. 

A few pillows in cheery, bright colors, as well as a throw blanket or two casually draped over the back of a chair, will create a casual atmosphere where all you want to do is sit down and relax. A tray on a side table with some flowers and a pitcher of lemonade or ice tea will take that area to the next level. 

If you have a pool, don’t forget to consider a pretty yet functional storage space for towels, sunscreen, flip flops and such as well as a towel rack to dry those swimsuits and towels. 

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Outdoor Kitchen

For any summer bbq enthusiast, an outdoor kitchen is a must-have.

The convenience and storage that it provides just cannot be beaten. If you do not have a big enough space for an outdoor kitchen, consider adding a small prep table next to your outdoor grill. With a relatively small footprint, you will gain an additional space to prep the food.

This will also be a good place to set up a wash station corner so that your guests won’t need to go back to the house every time they need wash their hands.

Need more inspiration? Check out our post with backyard pavilion ideas that include some outdoor kitchen images.

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A warm, container fire in the chilly evening instantly creates a romantic, relaxing atmosphere. 

A fire pit area with a set of lounge chairs around it is ideal. 

However, if space doesn’t allow an extra entertaining area, you can find outside dining tables with built-in fire pit. When not in use, place a provided cover on top and use as a regular table.

You can also place a firepit under your gazebo. But before doing that, check out our post about how to do it safely.

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Mood Lighting

Nothing creates a more inviting area, then strategically placed lights. 

Fairy lights or outdoor overhead lights work well for hanging around the gazebo or even around the fence if your backyard is small enough. You can also string the lights over the seating area to create a fun and unique look.

 Also, consider edging the borders of any paths you have in your backyard with lighting such as solar posts to create an even more enchanting look.

if your outdoor space receives enough light, consider installing solar lights for saving money on electricity and for convenience. Here’s how to choose them.

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What’s the best part of an outdoor space? 

A garden, of course! 

Fruit trees and flowers in beds or pots create the most beautiful and organic look and let you enjoy the peacefulness and beauty that they bring. Flowers will also provide those bright pops of color that make your space bright and fun.

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Thinking Of Hiring A Professional?

While you can implement many of these ideas on your own, a landscape designer can be invaluable in designing and defining different areas of your backyard. 

They will be able to help you create an easy flow between the areas and tailor it to what it is you are looking for in your ideal backyard. 

Will it be a family oasis or a romantic escape from busy life? A party central or a place to unwind and relax?

When hiring a landscape architect, it’s essential to double-check not only his qualifications but that they have an Architects Professional Liability insurance policy. 

This policy protects both of you in the event they make an error and cause damages as part of their work. You can be sure that a policy is in place to cover your damages. It also protects the architect from covering the damages on their own, which he simply might not be able to do.

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About The Author

Nadya Jones

Nadya is a writer, entrepreneur, and designer based in Raleigh. She writes in her blog, the one you are visiting right now, where she shares her love for landscaping, gardening, and outdoor design. Her husband Brett provides her with a lot of inspiration and behind-the-scenes content. Together, they work on creating beautiful outdoor spaces that serve as an extension of their home and inspire others to do the same. If you are interested in landscaping, gardening, or outdoor design, be sure to check out the blog! Also, follow Nadya on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr!

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