5 ways to make your backyard perfect for entertaining

The Australian dream is to own a home with a large backyard that can be used by the entire family. Our culture encourages backyard cricket, BBQs and the enjoyment of the sun and fresh air. Quite often though, a simple backyard requires a lot of work to make it perfect for socialisation and entertaining. Your backyard actually needs as much attention as the inside of your house, to ensure it is comfortable and functional for everyone who uses it.

You might like to think of your backyard as an outdoor room, that requires furniture, decoration and practical features like cooking equipment and plumbing. While you certainly do not need to spend as much on setting up your backyard, as you would if you built another room on your home as an extension, you will appreciate the space more if you provide it with love and care. We have listed five tips and tricks to make your backyard perfect for entertaining, without breaking your family budget.

1: Invest in quality outdoor furniture

Families love to spend money on a new lounge suite because they know it will be used for many years to come, however they may not give the same attention to their outdoor furniture. Old-school plastic chairs and cheap, fold-away stools might be great for camping, but not for stylish backyard entertainment. There are many options for affordable, yet beautiful chairs, daybeds, tables and lounges that are both comfortable and attractive for outdoor use. Durable and weather resistant products do not need to be ugly, so shop around for outdoor furniture that will make your backyard a wonderful place to be.

2: Define spaces for different activities

Just like you define spaces inside your home for different activities, you can take the same approach with your backyard. Think of open-plan living inside a home, and how furniture and dividers can be arranged to create smaller spaces that are connected to each other. One area of your backyard might be designated to cooking, and another might be for dining. Larger spaces are great for big groups of people, but remember to establish a quiet area for one or two people to relax when they want some space to themselves.

3: Aim for low maintenance

When you are gathering a lot of people in one space for a party or social event, you will most certainly want to reduce the efforts required for cleaning up afterwards. When dining outside, your family and its visitors will actually be less careful and may spill drinks and food. Renovate your backyard with consideration for how much cleaning and maintenance will be required in the future. If a quick sweep or wash down with a hose is all that is required to keep your backyard fresh and clean, you will be more enthusiastic to spend more time in it.

4: Decorate with plants and flowers

The outdoors is all about fresh air and natural aromas, so indulge the senses by decorating with plants and flowers. These might be placed in pots, planted straight into the ground, hung from the roof, or grown up a wall. A vegetable garden or fruit trees will be perfect if you love food and cooking, but even a few simple tubs of herbs will stir up your culinary senses.

5: Establish access from the front yard

When people come to visit – and they will if they know you have a backyard for parties and food – you may prefer them to stay outside, rather than walking through the house. Consider making a clear entrance to your backyard from the front, so your visitors avoid knocking on the door and trampling through the house. Such a simple trick will make your backyard perfect for entertaining.

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