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Create An Inviting Outdoor Space For Entertaining Summer Guests

Repurposing porches and backyards into multi-functional outdoor spaces is a trend that Americans continue to embrace in larger numbers, even after the major thrust of the Covid-19 pandemic has passed.

As the calendar officially marks the summer months, is your outdoor area ready?

Wooden, yellow sofa couch with umbrella at the outdoor patio. With green tree and blue sky nature background.
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Many homeowners love to entertain and want their spaces to be warm and inviting for their families and any guests or out-of-town visitors that Summer brings. Updating and adding new elements to outdoor living spaces can make the time spent outdoors more enjoyable.

Turn any outdoor space into a relaxing hangout, whether a front porch stoop, a concrete patio, a multi-level wood deck, or a large backyard. Enhance the area with small accessories such as throw pillows and candles or go big with upholstered outdoor furniture, fancy grills, or even an outdoor kitchen.

The following items can help you create the perfect outdoor space to de-stress, unwind, entertain, or relax with a good book.

Outdoor Rug

A rug provides the defining element for your seating area. Outdoor rugs are available in many beautiful patterns and colors and weather well. Deciding on a color scheme for your space is essential, and the outdoor carpet can set the tone.

A color scheme that is natural and blends with the surroundings is relaxing and peaceful. Bring bold colors and floral or striped patterns to the entertaining area to create a vibrant space for active gatherings. Select multiple mats to delineate dining areas, cooking areas, and so on. 


The type of furniture you select will depend on the outside area and the space. Folding lawn chairs are always an option for a small space. Wrought iron tables and chairs for dining are excellent for open and covered areas. All-weather wicker furniture adds depth and character to any outdoor room, and be sure to select comfortable seat cushions to match the design of your outdoor space. 

Sofas and chairs covered in outdoor fabrics can turn your space into an outdoor living room. Add side tables, a coffee table, and small accessories to mimic an indoor family room.

If your outdoor area entertaining area is a covered porch or patio, a hanging bench swing can provide a calming place to sit and relax.


An outdoor space without a shade of some type is no fun. Colorful patio umbrellas are perfect for over the dining table. Canopies come in all shapes and sizes, and you can purchase or rent one for large parties.

Fire Pit

A fire pit added to your outdoor space provides a great place to mingle. Gather ingredients for s’mores and supervise the kids while making memories. Purchasing a fire pit is much easier than building one. They come in all shapes and sizes, and placement is a consideration. Having enough clear space around the fire pit is essential for safety.


Add string lights to any setting. Light up your patio with Edison bulb-type string lights, LED rope lights, or fun theme lights like pink flamingos. Solar lights are handy because you don’t have to worry about an electrical outlet and tripping over cords. Place solar stake lights around your entire outdoor space to make it memorable.


Ceiling fans are a must if you have a covered area with access to electricity. Covered areas can be stuffy, and ceiling fans circulate the air regardless of the season. Stand-alone fans are handy and can be moved around your outdoor space and placed where needed.


Remember items that make your space warm and inviting, such as; table lamps, decorative seasonal throw pillows, garden sculptures, small benches, vases, and candles. The accessories are an easy way to update your space quickly and should be changed with the seasons.


Real plants give any space a natural feel, but if you don’t have a green thumb, there are artificial plants that can fool anyone. Tropical plants are perfect for a neutral color scheme, and Summer flowers brighten any area. Set large potted plants around the perimeter of your space.


Go basic with your cooking and buy a charcoal grill, or if space and budget aren’t an issue, add a complete outdoor kitchen with a large electric or gas grill and a prep station. 


A small refrigerator or a wine cooler is convenient for keeping beverages cold and handy. A simple ice chest is a budget option and adds to the ambiance of a barbecue. 


If space and overhead cover permit, go all out with stereo systems and televisions. If that isn’t an option, you can always use your smartphone and a playlist of music that fits the party theme.


s your group of friends and family competitors? There is nothing like a rousing game of croquet or bocce ball. Shuffleboard is an option if your space has a concrete or paved area. For the more sedate group sitting around the table with a good board game such as Sequence or Do You Really Know Your Family can be addictive. Remember wagons, balls, and glow-in-the-dark jewelry for the kids.

Creating your perfect outdoor space doesn’t have to be complicated. Style your area with colors and items that show off your personality. You can create a warm and inviting entertaining space on any budget. Make it your own.

Author: Kathy Owen
Kathy Owen is the founder of the home decor blog Petticoat Junktion where she shares tutorials on painting furniture and upcycling thrifty finds into unique home décor. Her DIY projects have been featured on the Home Depot Blog, Plaid Crafts, Behr Designer Series, and in numerous magazines. Kathy’s newest website is HappyHomeDIY.com

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