Follow six steps to create the ideal outdoor entertainment space to meet your lifestyle and budget

Image depicts friends and family having a meal outside

Your backyard is truly an extension of your home. It’s where you can enjoy the outdoors while you relax and entertain family and friends. However, if your backyard isn’t quite ready for entertaining (or even relaxing), it may be time to create an ideal outdoor entertainment space to meet your lifestyle and your budget.

Follow these simple steps to get started:

Step #1: Take advantage of what you already have

Take a look around your backyard and write down what you can and cannot use as part of your improvements. Perhaps you have a beautiful view, so you want to situate a comfortable seating area to better enjoy it. Are there unattractive trees or structures blocking your view or cutting off space for an inviting flagstone path? If your deck is large and well-built, you may only need to refinish it. Do you like the size and shape of your flower beds? Would lighting enhance your enjoyment of the space in the evening? Once you have your list in place, start getting estimates to help you determine what enhancements you may want to make.

Step #2: Choose a deck or patio (or both) that matches your space

Typically, your backyard is where you spend your time eating, relaxing, or enjoying the company of friends and family. Some homes are well suited for a wooden deck with fencing or a rail for safety, giving the appearance of more depth and space in the backyard. On the other hand, some homes may only have the space for a well designed and patterned patio to add a little pizzazz to the backyard. You may even want to add a retaining wall or a few steps to provide some elevation. Most of your budget will likely be put into this step, so choose the option that best fits your space and lifestyle, and may add value to your home.

Step #3: Incorporate beautiful landscaping

Design your outdoor entertaining space with softscape elements such as flowers, small trees, bushes, and shrubs. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to add color and beauty to your space. And if you want to add more natural elements, you should consider a waterfall, small pond, or some other type of water feature. Talk to an expert at a local nursery or home improvement store to find out what works best in your local area.

Step #4: Add comfortable seating

When you think about seating in a backyard, a picnic table or outdoor dining table with chairs may come to mind — and these are excellent options for gathering to eat. But consider other options for relaxation and conversation, such as an outdoor couch nook, hammock, love seat, or side chairs. The more inviting and comfortable your space is, the more time you’ll want to spend in it.

Step #5: Consider a grill or a kitchen

Most of us enjoy gathering together over a shared meal. You can improve your cookouts or BBQs with an upgraded grill or outdoor kitchen. There are many different options with a range of prices. Consider a free-standing or built-in grill. Or you may want to invest in a full-functioning outdoor kitchen, complete with all the amenities you need for prepping, cooking, and cleaning up.

Step #6: Add some fun

What is it you and your family enjoy doing most? Maybe it’s roasting marshmallows and singing songs around a fire pit, or playing in a pool. Or you may want to add croquet or a putting green in your outdoor space. Just be sure the “fun” you add is something you’ll use often and fits within your budget.

By following these six steps, you’ll be able to take your outdoor space to the next level — no matter the amount of space or budget you have. Whatever changes you make, be sure to celebrate the work you’ve done. Then, sit back, relax, and enjoy your creation with family and friends.