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Trends and Ideas for Entertaining in Your Outdoor Space

Posted on Jul 1, 2024 in Blog

Imagine stepping into your backyard and finding a space as inviting and functional as your living room. Outdoor entertaining spaces are becoming increasingly popular as more people seek to extend their living areas into the great outdoors. From hosting barbecues and family gatherings to enjoying a quiet evening under the stars, these outdoor spaces offer endless possibilities for relaxation and entertainment.

In this blog, we’ll explore the latest trends in outdoor entertaining spaces. Whether planning to redesign your backyard or looking for inspiration, you’ll discover how modern furniture designs, innovative lighting solutions, cozy fire pits, and eco-friendly materials can transform your outdoor area into a stylish and functional retreat.

trends and ideas for entertaining in your outdoor space furniture image

Modern Furniture Designs

The trend in outdoor furniture design has shifted towards sleek, minimalist styles that seamlessly blend comfort with aesthetics. This modern approach emphasizes clean lines, neutral colour palettes, and functional forms that look good and serve multiple purposes.

The Shift Towards Sleek, Minimalist Designs

Modern outdoor furniture features a streamlined look that fits well with contemporary and traditional outdoor settings. The minimalist design trend is characterized by simplicity and elegance, avoiding excessive ornamentation and focusing on the beauty of the form and function of each piece. This shift towards minimalism helps create a serene and uncluttered outdoor environment, perfect for relaxation and entertaining.

Durable Materials for Longevity

When it comes to outdoor furniture, durability is key. The materials must withstand various weather conditions, from scorching sun to heavy rain. Here are some of the most popular materials used in modern outdoor furniture:

  • Teak: Known for its natural resistance to water and decay, it is a popular outdoor furniture choice. It ages beautifully, taking on a silvery patina over time, and requires minimal maintenance.
  • Aluminum: Lightweight yet strong, aluminum is perfect for outdoor use. It doesn’t rust, making it an excellent option for areas with high humidity or frequent rain. Aluminum furniture often comes with powder-coated finishes in various colours, adding to its versatility.
  • Weather-Resistant Fabrics: Cushions and upholstery for outdoor furniture are now made with advanced fabrics that resist fading, mildew, and stains. Sunbrella, for instance, is a popular brand known for its high-performance outdoor fabrics. These materials are durable but soft and comfortable, ensuring outdoor seating is as inviting as indoor furniture.

Combining Comfort with Aesthetics

The best modern outdoor furniture blends the comfort of indoor seating with the durability needed for outdoor use. Look for pieces with ergonomic designs that support your body well and thick and plush cushions. The aesthetics are equally important; choose furniture that compliments your outdoor decor, whether a vibrant, colourful patio or a serene, neutral-toned garden.

Modern outdoor furniture provides the perfect blend of form and function by focusing on sleek, minimalist designs and using durable, weather-resistant materials. This makes it easier than ever to create an outdoor living space that is both beautiful and comfortable, allowing you to enjoy your backyard oasis for years to come.

Lighting Solutions

Outdoor lighting plays a crucial role in enhancing the ambiance and functionality of your outdoor spaces, especially for evening gatherings. Proper lighting can transform a backyard into a warm, inviting environment, making it possible to entertain guests or relax with family long after the sun has set. It provides visibility and safety and highlights your space’s architectural and landscape features, creating a magical atmosphere that elevates the overall experience.

String Lights and Fairy Lights

String and fairy lights are popular for outdoor lighting because they create a warm, inviting atmosphere. These lights can be draped across patios, wrapped around trees, or hung along fences to enchant any setting. They are versatile, easy to install, and available in various styles, from vintage Edison bulbs to twinkling fairy lights, making them suitable for different aesthetic preferences.

Solar-Powered Lights

Solar-powered lights offer an energy-efficient and eco-friendly lighting solution for outdoor spaces. These lights are equipped with solar panels that absorb sunlight during the day and convert it into energy, which powers the lights at night. They are easy to install, as they do not require wiring or electrical outlets, and they help reduce energy costs. Solar-powered lights come in various forms, including pathway lights, wall-mounted fixtures, and decorative lanterns, providing a wide range of options to illuminate your outdoor area.

Smart Lighting Systems

Smart lighting systems have revolutionized outdoor lighting by allowing remote control and customization of lighting scenes. With smart lighting, you can adjust your outdoor lights’ brightness, colour, and timing using a smartphone app or voice commands. These systems often integrate with other smart home devices, offering the convenience of automating outdoor lighting to match your lifestyle. For instance, you can set your lights to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise or create specific lighting scenes for different occasions, such as a cozy dinner party or a lively celebration.

Design Tips

Integrating Various Lighting Types

  1. Pathways: Use low-level pathway lights to illuminate walkways and guide guests safely through your garden or yard. Solar-powered stake lights or LED bollard lights are excellent choices for this purpose.
  2. Seating Areas: Install string lights or hanging lanterns above seating areas to create a cozy, intimate atmosphere. Consider adding floor lamps or table lamps with weather-resistant designs for additional lighting.
  3. Dining Spaces: Pendant lights or chandeliers designed for outdoor use highlight dining areas. These can be hung above the dining table to provide ample lighting for meals and gatherings.

Creating Layers of Lighting

  1. Ambient Lighting: This overall lighting provides general illumination to the outdoor space. String lights, wall-mounted fixtures, and lanterns can serve as ambient lighting, ensuring the area is well-lit and inviting.
  2. Task Lighting: Focused lighting is needed for specific tasks, such as cooking or reading. Install brighter lights in areas like outdoor kitchens, grilling stations, or reading nooks to provide sufficient visibility.
  3. Accent Lighting: Accent lighting highlights specific features of your outdoor space, such as architectural elements, plants, or water features. Use spotlights, uplights, or well lights to draw attention to these areas and add depth to your lighting design.

Integrating various types of lighting and creating layers of illumination can add depth and interest to your outdoor space. Thoughtful lighting design enhances the aesthetic appeal and improves the functionality of your outdoor area, making it a welcoming environment for any occasion.

Cozy Seating Areas

trends and ideas for entertaining in your outdoor space

Creating comfortable seating areas is essential for any outdoor entertaining space. These areas provide guests with a place to relax, unwind, and enjoy the surroundings. Comfortable seating enhances your outdoor space’s functionality and elevates its aesthetic appeal, making it inviting and cozy.

Deep Seating

Deep seating options are becoming increasingly popular for outdoor spaces due to their plush cushions and enhanced comfort. These seats typically feature deeper cushions and wider frames, providing ample space to sit back and relax. Deep seating furniture often includes sofas, lounge chairs, and loveseats, all designed to offer a luxurious, indoor-like comfort outdoors.

Outdoor Sectionals

Outdoor sectional sofas are versatile pieces that can be arranged in various configurations to fit different spaces and needs. They are perfect for larger gatherings, providing ample seating and encouraging social interaction. Sectionals can be customized with different modules, allowing you to create a seating arrangement that suits your outdoor area and entertaining style.

Portable Seating

Portable seating, such as lightweight chairs and poufs, is another trend gaining popularity. These pieces are easy to move around, allowing you to rearrange your seating area. Portable seating options are perfect for small spaces or those who frequently change their outdoor setup. They also offer flexibility for hosting gatherings, from intimate get-togethers to larger parties.

Design Tips

Selecting Durable, Weather-Resistant Materials

  1. Materials: Choose furniture that can withstand teak, aluminum, and synthetic wicker elements. These materials resist moisture, UV rays, and temperature changes, ensuring longevity and durability.
  2. Fabrics: Opt for cushions and upholstery made from weather-resistant fabrics like Sunbrella. These fabrics are designed to resist fading, mildew, and stains, making them ideal for outdoor use.

Arranging Seating for Conversation and Comfort

  1. Conversation Areas: Arrange seating to facilitate conversation by creating circular or semi-circular setups. This encourages face-to-face interaction and ensures everyone feels included in the conversation.
  2. Zoning: Create different zones within your outdoor space, such as a lounging area, a dining area, and a separate activity spot. This organization helps manage space efficiently and enhances the functionality of each area.
  3. Comfort Accessories: Add throw pillows, blankets, and outdoor rugs to enhance comfort and coziness. These accessories can also introduce colour and texture to your seating area, making it more inviting.
  4. Shade and Shelter: Ensure that some seating areas are shaded using umbrellas, pergolas, or retractable awnings. This provides relief from the sun and makes the space more comfortable during hot weather.

By incorporating these seating trends and design tips, you can create a cozy and inviting outdoor space perfect for entertaining guests and enjoying the outdoors. Comfortable seating is a cornerstone of any successful outdoor area, ensuring that your space is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Fire Pits and Fireplaces

trends and ideas for entertaining in your outdoor space

Fire pits and fireplaces have become essential elements in outdoor entertaining spaces, providing a cozy and inviting atmosphere for gatherings. These fire features extend the usability of outdoor areas into cooler evenings and seasons, offering warmth and a natural gathering point. The flickering flames create a relaxing ambiance, making outdoor spaces feel more welcoming and intimate.

Wood-Burning Fire Pits

Wood-burning fire pits are cherished for their traditional appeal and the authentic experience they offer. The crackling sound of wood and the smell of burning logs evoke a sense of nostalgia and comfort. These fire pits are perfect for roasting marshmallows, telling stories, and enjoying the primal beauty of a natural flame.

  • Benefits: Provides a genuine fire experience, can be used for cooking, and creates a campfire-like atmosphere.
  • Considerations: Requires regular cleaning of ash, needs a steady supply of firewood, and may not be suitable for areas with strict fire regulations.

Gas Fire Pits

Gas fire pits offer a convenient and modern alternative to wood-burning models. They can be powered by natural gas or propane, providing instant flames with the push of a button. These fire pits are clean-burning, producing no smoke or ash, which makes them low-maintenance and easy to use.

  • Benefits: Easy to start and control, no need for firewood, and less maintenance required.
  • Considerations: Requires a gas line or propane tank, can be more expensive to install, and may not provide the same ambiance as a wood-burning fire.

Outdoor Fireplaces

Outdoor fireplaces are more permanent and visually striking features that can serve as the focal point of an outdoor space. They offer a more contained and controlled fire experience, often incorporating chimneys to direct smoke away from seating areas. Outdoor fireplaces can be wood-burning or gas-powered, providing versatility in design and functionality.

  • Benefits: Provides a dramatic visual element, can serve as a windbreak, and offers a more controlled fire environment.
  • Considerations: Requires more space and a higher initial investment; installation can be complex.

Eco-Friendly Materials

As environmental concerns continue to grow, there is an increasing demand for eco-friendly outdoor products. Homeowners are becoming more conscious of their ecological footprint and seeking sustainable outdoor space options. This shift helps the environment and creates healthier and more aesthetically pleasing living areas.

Recycled Materials

One of the most significant trends in sustainable outdoor design is using recycled materials. Furniture and decor from recycled plastic, metal, and wood help reduce waste and promote a circular economy. These materials are often just as durable and stylish as their non-recycled counterparts, offering an eco-friendly alternative without sacrificing quality.

Entertainment Features

Entertainment options are crucial for creating an engaging and enjoyable outdoor space. They keep guests entertained and make your gatherings more memorable. Incorporating various entertainment features ensures something for everyone, enhancing the overall experience of your outdoor area.

Outdoor Bars

Outdoor bars have become a popular trend, providing a convenient and stylish way to serve beverages. Whether it’s a fully stocked bar or a simple setup with essential drinks, having an outdoor bar enhances the social aspect of your gatherings and keeps the fun flowing.

Game Areas

Adding game areas to your outdoor space can significantly increase its appeal. Games like cornhole, bocce ball, or an outdoor pool table offer interactive and fun activities for guests of all ages. These areas encourage friendly competition and create a lively atmosphere.

Outdoor Theatres

Outdoor theatres are another exciting trend, allowing you to enjoy movie nights under the stars. Setting up a movie screen and sound system in your backyard can transform your outdoor space into a private cinema, perfect for family nights, date nights, or entertaining friends.


Creating an inviting and functional outdoor entertaining space can transform your backyard into an extension of your living area. By incorporating modern furniture designs that blend comfort with sleek, minimalist aesthetics, you can create a stylish environment perfect for relaxation and gatherings. Innovative lighting solutions, such as string lights, solar-powered lights, and smart lighting systems, enhance the ambiance and usability of your space, making it a magical setting for evening events. Cozy seating areas with deep seating, outdoor sectionals, and portable options ensure comfort and flexibility. At the same time, fire pits and fireplaces add warmth and a focal point, extending the enjoyment of your outdoor area into cooler seasons. Additionally, using eco-friendly materials like recycled plastic, natural stone, and bamboo supports sustainability and adds natural beauty to your space.

Incorporating entertainment features like outdoor bars, game areas, and outdoor theatres can elevate your outdoor gatherings, keeping guests engaged and entertained. These elements, combined with thoughtful design tips for integrating various features and selecting durable, weather-resistant materials, can help you create a backyard oasis that is both beautiful and practical. Whether you’re redesigning your outdoor area or looking for inspiration, these trends and ideas will help you make the most of your space, ensuring it is ready for any occasion.

San Rufo Homes offers beautifully designed new development homes in the Edmonton area. Don’t wait any longer to find your ideal home. Visit our contact page to get in touch with us today and start your journey towards owning a beautiful new development home with the perfect outdoor entertaining space. Your dream home awaits!

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