Entertaining doesn’t have to be reserved for the living room. The next time you have people over, encourage them to sit outside and enjoy the yard. How do you get our guests to want to hang out in the backyard? It’s not as hard as you may think. Here are 12 ways to make your yard more inviting for guests:
- Keep Bugs Away
- Furnish with Relaxation in Mind
- Light the Way
- Avoid Clutter
- Add Water
- Let Your Yard Bloom
- Keep the Grass Trimmed
- Throw Some Shade
- Fire It Up
- Deck the Yard
- Project the Entertainment
- Keep It Cooking
Because we spend most of our daily hours at work, we usually only utilize our yards in the evening and that’s when the bugs come out in full force. To keep bugs away try citronella candles and have plants around that repel insects like basil, mint and chrysanthemums. There are also light fixtures that you can buy that zap bugs on contact. However, they can be noisy and distracting when you’re trying to entertain.
A great way to get people to want to enjoy your yard is to cultivate an atmosphere that looks relaxing. Comfortable seating like padded garden furniture and patio sets that look inviting create the perfect match of style and comfort. Do not put indoor furniture outside. It will get ruined. Make sure you get furniture that is specifically made for the outdoors.
During the day you’ll have the sun to provide natural illumination but at night you’ll need candles, torches and outdoor lights. You don’t have to light up your yard like it’s a Major League Baseball diamond but you should provide enough lighting so that people can see each other while they hang out. LED and solar powered lights are a nice green option if you’re looking to conserve energy in your yard.
A yard with too much stuff in it, will not be inviting to guests. Avoid cluttering your yard with too much furniture and fixtures. An easy way to stay away from clutter is to pick a theme for your yard and stick to it. You won’t want to add items and furniture that don’t fit with your theme.
If you have a pool then you’re already one step ahead of the game. If you don’t have a pool and there’s no option to get one, try a small water feature like a fountain. Not only do water features add a touch of style to your yard, the bubbling sounds can be very calming and contribute to the relaxing atmosphere you’re trying to cultivate.
Flowers and greenery make any yard more inviting for guests because they look beautiful and stimulate the senses. Keeping your yard in full bloom (which may not be possible in the winter, making it all the more desirable when it’s warm out) creates swaths of colour and adds a nice fragrant touch.
Unkempt grass will make everyone stay away from your yard. Besides keeping your grass trimmed and cared for, ensure that there’s enough green space available for kids (and adults) to run around on. With a grassy area in your yard, you can have games for everyone to enjoy like lawn bowling and beanbag toss.
Your yard will get very warm, perhaps unpleasantly so on a hot day. Keep an area of your backyard shaded to give your guests somewhere to escape the sun. You can have a canopy or tent put up in your yard, or if you have large trees, use them as a refuge by hanging a hammock where people can get out of the sun.
If you’re looking to extend the outdoor season well into the winter, invite your guests over to sit by your outdoor fireplace or firepit. The warm glow of the fire, coupled with the hot cocoa you’ll make in your outdoor kitchen (see #12) will make your guests feel cozy.
Deck the yard with…a deck. If you don’t have one already, having a deck put in gives you an extra incentive to have people over. Decks are easy to clean and maintain and you don’t have to stick to the traditional wood option. Stone patios are equally as inviting as wooden decks. If you have a fireplace or firepit installed, you might as well house it on a gorgeous deck or patio.
Movie projectors are easy to make these days. All you need is an app for your smartphone, a light coloured sheet and a wall. Invite your guests over for outdoor movie nights and serve popcorn that you’ve popped directly on your fireplace or firepit.
Another option to make your yard the place to be, is to add an outdoor kitchen. Many people already have barbeques and other cooking appliances outside, why not have an entire kitchen so you don’t have to run back into the house every time you need to make dinner for your guests?
These 12 ways to make your backyard more inviting for guests are so appealing that you may have trouble getting your guests to ever leave!