4 Essentials for Backyard Entertaining

Temperatures may be chilly now, but before you know it, you will be inviting friends over for backyard barbecues. Entertaining in style requires more than just a grill and some lawn chairs. To really wow your friends, you need four essential items.

Comfortable Seating

The best outdoor seating arrangements look a lot like indoor seating arrangements, complete with cushioned sofas, ottomans and oversized chairs. Install a pergola or awning to provide shade, and run a fan or two to shoo away bugs. If you like to gather for big sit-down meals, get a large, sturdy table; if you prefer cocktail parties, opt for several small side tables to hold drinks and appetizers.

Good Lighting

Proper lighting helps your guests see each other, and artistic landscape lighting Orlando can do much more than that. A well-lit backyard is safe because walkways and stairs are brightly marked. A well-lit backyard is also beautiful. Ambient light can make the whole yard glow, while directional light can highlight water features, architectural structures, trees and other softscapes.

Outdoor Kitchen

The more you entertain outside, the more comprehensive your outdoor kitchen needs to be. At a minimum, you need a grill, two burners, a prep counter and a small refrigerator. Consider adding cabinets to store outdoor dishes and utensils. It is also nice to have a well-stocked bar and a small sink.

Fire Pit

Nothing is quite as cozy as a fire pit. It can be as simple as bricks arranged in a circle, or as sophisticated as a custom-fabricated fireball. For safety, be sure to clear the surrounding area of flammable material; cover the ground with brick pavers, rock or decomposed granite. Arrange seating at least three feet from the outer ring. If you burn wood rather than natural gas or propane, store wood at least eight feet from the fire in a storage rack that protects against rain and groundwater. Shrubs and trees can grow to encroach upon the space, so be sure to trim often.