With summer fast approaching, or already here if you live in the southernmost parts of the U.S. like we do, you’ll want your outdoor living areas looking fresh and ready to go for entertaining. Even if your time is spent just relaxing with a cold beverage and soaking up the warm, fresh summer air, it’s a good idea to review whether or not the area needs some work to get it ready for these next few months.

PAVERS

Let’s start at ground level, where the good people at Floridascapes insist that the easiest way to get your entertainment area going is by creating entertainment areas by installing pavers, thereby turning your backyard into an instant venue for fun. A hardscape, paver-laden patio is also extremely versatile for a variety of gatherings, are easily kept with fairly low maintenance and can hold up to our summer rains and intense heat. Also given southwest Florida’s general flat terrain, you might consider designing separate entertaining spaces in your backyard connected by paver walkways.

A paver fire pit will add warmth in the spring or fall. Be sure to include a ledge for seating or placing drinks and snack plates. If you’ve got a raised deck patio, make the most of it using vibrant décor colors and comfy furniture. As a final touch, you can use paving stones to create a nice privacy wall reminiscent of an Old English garden.

THEMES

Now its time to build up from that nice start. Take a good look around and try to visualize your dream outdoor entertainment area. Do you see the BBQ smokin’? Roaring firepit? Possibly a poolside paradise complete with lush greenery or a covered alcove complete with large screen TV for watching the game. It can all come to life! A skilled designer can help you plot out your vision. Check out some great ideas at Nimvo that dive into an array of possibilities, in locations ranging from rolling countryside to city rooftops.

UTILIZE YOUR SPACE

If you’ve got a deck that’s half the battle. Having one says that you enjoy spending time outdoors, so do it up with a table and chairs, adding an umbrella if shade is sparse. If your deck or patio is big enough, organize multiple seating areas for entertaining. Plants, columns and outdoor rugs also help to create those designated areas. And did we say tiki torches? These kerosene lamps will not only keep bugs away, but provide a festive lighting option. See some great ones on the home organization site Extraspace.com. If you’re hesitant on anything utilizing kerosene, try hanging some string lights for a party feel instead. If you’ve got a covered area, consider a fan to not only provide a cool breeze for your hang, but also to whisk smoke away. A fan will help with any bug situation as well.

Depending on your budget, an outdoor kitchen is an option to consider. You can prepare the food without having to leave the conversation. Picture it complete with an outdoor fridge, seating along the counter and a built-in grill, all beneath the comfort of a cover with maybe a fan built in, and hey since we’re building a dream here, let’s throw in a TV too. And your dream outdoor space is good to go! But wait, just a few more ideas…

GO A STEP BEYOND

Try adding something somewhat unusual to your backyard setup in order to make even the most wistful dream a reality. Things like a hanging chair, hammock or swing will invite an extra feel of cozy comfort while in it. Consider incorporating a water feature like a fountain or pond into your setup. There’s something about watching and listening to running water that instantly invites relaxation.

Don’t forget about the sound system. Depending on your setup, installing one that’s ready to go for background music and/or dancing is a necessary part of a successful outdoor entertainment area.

With over 20 years of construction and remodel experience, J. Sweet Construction can help make your backyard dream come true. Contact us for some great ideas!