Plan on Entertaining Outdoors This Summer? Here’s What You Need to Do It Right

Warmer weather draws people outside, and let’s face it, open spaces can provide more room to move around and reduce the potential for damage to the interior of your home.

However, to truly provide an exceptional outdoor entertainment experience, you will need to create a fun and welcoming environment. This is what you need to create the kind of outdoor space your neighbors won’t want to leave.

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More than a grill

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A grill is an obvious starting point. “You have to have a functional and attractive grill,” says Daniel Germani, founder and creative director of Designs by Daniel Germani. “My favorite is the one with a lid that folds all the way back and sits flush with the counter.”

However, Josu Gaubeka, president of Kitchen appliances, a kitchen appliance distributor, says he also sees a growing number of other appliances and accessories in summer kitchens. “They go beyond the barbecue and are building complete kitchens. In fact, many families are adding pizza ovens to keep kids and their friends close. “

Specialty kitchens

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In addition to grills and pizza ovens, owners are adding other types of cookers as well. “We’re looking at specialty kitchens, such as side burners for boiling seafood or wok cooking, and smokers,” according to Mitch Slater, CEO and founder, Jordan brown outdoor kitchens and Danver stainless steel outdoor kitchens.

However, if you want to put a special appliance, such as an Argentine grill, in the cabinets, Slater cautions that you will need to use non-combustible materials, such as stainless steel, to exposure to extreme heat, ”he says.

Another point to keep in mind is that the design of your outdoor kitchen is just as important as the design of your indoor kitchen.

Water and cooling

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“Luxury condo developers have asked me to add summer kitchens to each unit, including an electric grill, an ice machine and a sink,” says Gaubeka. That doesn’t surprise Germani. “A sink and refrigerator are must-have items, and I like to include 2 refrigerators in my outdoor kitchens, one for food and one for drinks,” he says.

In fact, if you want to maximize your time with guests by avoiding trips indoors, Slater recommends doubling your indoor kitchen. “In addition to a sink and refrigerator, it can also include trash cabinets and even dishwashers made for outdoor use.”

However, instead of an actual refrigerator, Gaubeka says that some owners are installing refrigerator drawers.


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When the sun is shining, you will need to protect your friends and family from those harmful rays. “Cantilever overhangs provide plenty of shade when cooking / lounging outdoors,” according to a Miami-based architect Choeff Levy Fischman. But that is not your only option. Slater recommends the use of light-colored fans, foggers, and furniture as additional sources of cooling.

Turning on

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“Having good lighting allows you to set the mood, grill and entertain yourself long after the sun goes down and the martinis start to flow,” says Germani. In addition to being an entertainment item, the lights also create a safe environment so you won’t be sued because someone tripped and fell in the dark. HGTV / DIY host Matt Blashaw’s outdoor lighting tips are a good guide for using light strips, spotlights, etc. Additionally, Duane Draughon, owner and lead designer of VizX Design Studios in Lisle, IL, recommends an overhead trellis pergola with lighting.


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“As we navigate from the inside to the outside kitchen, entertainment will also transform these spaces with additions like outside speakers and big-screen televisions,” says Wendy Hammerman, founder and principal designer of Interiors WLH, a full service interior design studio in New City, NY.

But despite the popularity of televisions, Patti Wynkoop, vice president of product development and purchasing for Miller and Smith, which builds new homes and develops real estate in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, believes music is even more popular as an outdoor entertainment feature. “Outdoor ceiling speakers make it easy to enjoy your favorite music while cooking or entertaining guests,” he says.

However, when incorporating technology, consider the needs of your guests. “Be sure to include several usable outlets for charging your cell phone,” advises Draughon.

Seats / Furniture

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Seating is an important option as it will determine your entertainment options. “While wicker outdoor furniture has been popular in the past, we see many more bench seats integrated with cushions and cushions to provide a casual, comfortable feel that can accommodate more people,” according to Hammerman.

You probably prefer to have guests sitting upright at tables to reduce spillage when they are eating. However, consider mixing these types of seating with more relaxing options. “The sunken seating areas provide additional depth and space for entertaining,” according to Fischman.

And there is something else that you should take into account when choosing furniture. “Composite furniture such as sofas, armchairs and end tables is maintenance-free, non-fading and easy on the eye,” says Wynkoop.

Floor and ceiling considerations

The floor should be durable, but elegant. “Beadboard is a solid choice in flooring materials for an entertaining space and is often used to seamlessly blend indoor and outdoor living areas,” says Wynkoop. For roofs, he recommends Duadek Outdoor Waterproof Flooring. “Buff is often the best neutral choice for entertainment spaces, as it provides flexibility with décor and rugs.”

Just as the connection on the floor is important for flow, Wynkoop says consistency in ceiling height and material will also blend indoor and outdoor entertainment spaces. “If you have a ceiling in your outdoor entertaining space, adding planks or tongue and groove panels gives the appearance of a plank installation, painted or stained, and feels like a more refined level of detail.”

Planning for colder weather

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Summer will be over before you know it, but if you plan wisely, you can continue to entertain yourself outdoors well into the fall season. “Like indoor furniture, you can add cushions, blankets and pillows to your outdoor furniture for year-round comfort and enjoyment,” says Wynkoop. Fireplaces and outdoor fireplaces can also keep you warm and toasty when the weather is colder.

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