Mistakes to Avoid Making with Your Outdoor Entertaining Area

The ease in which you entertain guests at home depends on your entertaining area – its size, the way it’s laid out and how comfortable it is at that time of year.

Most homeowners have a deck or patio, many of which go underutilised throughout the year and consequently take more time than foreseen to clean and prepare in readiness to receive guests.

When outdoor areas are utilised frequently and kept clean and tidy, throwing impromptu summer parties is a cinch; however, keeping them clean, tidy and ready to receive guests at the drop of a hat is often easier said than done.

patio furniture set


Neglecting the Entertainment Area

Neglecting entertainment areas is a mistake for a number of reasons; not only because it makes preparing the area in readiness for entertaining hard work, but also because when one neglects their deck or patio, the likelihood of them overlooking something in need of repairs increases exponentially.

If you use your deck sporadically, say once or twice a month, chances are you aren’t really sure of the condition it’s in, which has several notable repercussions.

Firstly, you’re at risk of overlooking small problems which could grow into big problems that are expensive to resolve, secondly, you’re underutilising an asset that you’ve invested in; and thirdly, you’re putting that asset at risk by underutilising it, which consequently, puts your entire property’s fiscal health (value) at risk.

Hiding the Barbecue and Cooking Area

An outdoor entertaining area simply isn’t complete without a barbecue and cooking area; however, a mistake many homeowners make is hiding the barbecue and cooking area, or placing them too far away from the area in which guests sit.

It’s natural to want to have a bit of space between the barbecue and kitchen and the entertaining area, especially seeing that most entertaining areas connect to the house, though placing them too far away isolates the chef, often resulting in them feeling somewhat lonely, which also has the effect of reducing the appeal of hosting a barbecue; after all, who wants to put on a feast for friends if they’re going to feel left out?

Seeing that most homeowners now opt for gas barbecues over smoking charcoal or wood fired barbecues, it’s safe to bring them closer to the home because indoors won’t be plagued with smoke like in the old days. However, you must still take into account what lies directly overhead of the barbecue and allow for adequate ventilation as smoke has a tendency to stain ceilings.

If you don’t barbecue regularly it’s a mistake to create a permanent barbecue and cooking area, especially if you don’t have long-term plans to stay at your current address. Permanent barbecue and cooking areas are somewhat of a grey area where property prices are concerned, so only build one if you’ll make good use of it.

Not Having Ample Seating

Too much seating and you’ll feel lonely sitting out on the deck nursing your morning cuppa, too little and you’ll find your outdoor entertaining area underutilised and difficult to make comfortable when hosting a gathering.

There’s no set-in-stone rule to adhere to regarding outdoor sitting, though if you don’t entertain regularly it’s likely to prove advantageous to invest in an outdoor dining set that accommodates your family with a couple of places spare, and then pick up a few collapsible tables and chairs for when you decide to put on a party for family and friends.

Failing to Make the Area Comfortable

Boiling in summer, freezing in winter; is there any way to induce the perfect temperature for an outdoor entertaining area? Indeed there is, plus doing so is remarkably affordable depending on the size of the area you’re trying to cool or heat.

Investing in a ceiling/wall mounted fan or two for your entertaining area in summer and a portable, tabletop or ceiling/wall mounted heater for winter is highly advisable and could be just what you need to make your outdoor entertaining area a much more appealing place to host gatherings all year round.

Not Adding Plants

When people sit outdoors they generally want to feel like they’re sitting outdoors, and to create such an effect at home, you need plants. There’s no need to go overboard unless you’re trying to create your own personal jungle, which can prove appealing, though often entails more gardening work than one initially realises.

Well-placed pot plants lining the edges of your entertaining area can make the thought of spending time outside more alluring, and if you’re after extra privacy, foliage-dense plants could be just what you’re in need of to block the view of your entertaining area from afar.

Outdoor entertaining areas are to be celebrated with frequent usage, not something to neglect – take these tips into account to get more from your outdoor entertaining space.

Author BioAlice Harrison loves to keep updated with the latest trends in home and garden topics and these subjects are what she usually blogs about. She currently works on a freelance basis for Bromic Heating, a leading supplier of premium outdoor heating solutions to both commercial and residential markets.

Erin Emanuel