Creating Space For Outdoor Entertaining

Written by Neighbor Editorial Team | @neighboroutdoor |

Tips for designing the perfect outdoor space for guests and get-togethers.

Creating Space For Outdoor Entertaining

We’re big believers in the power of nature. Spending time outdoors has been proven to improve our mood, reduce stress, and make us feel more grounded and connected to our surroundings. Maybe it’s the lack of screens, but outdoor living also has a way of making us feel closer to our friends and family. If you’re looking to design an outdoor space for entertaining (for the holidays, or anytime), here’s where to start. From maximizing your space with a custom sectional configuration to decorating with textured accessories, try these 5 easy tips for building a perfect outdoor living space.

Dining Table

1. Choose your function

More important than any design or decoration: Decide how you plan to use your outdoor space. Designing for function based on the needs of your home and family will result in a space that gets used more often and feels more like a natural extension of your home. Add an outdoor dining room if you like hosting alfresco dinners with friends, a reading nook if you need an outdoor escape, or a sofa and chairs surrounding a fire pit for casual family time. 

2. Plan a layout

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits all outdoor space. Measure your porch, terrace, garden, deck, or patio and map out which furniture could fit. Leave space for walking paths, accessories, and greenery. You can view Neighbor furniture in your space in real time with our augmented reality feature, or create a custom sectional or sofa shape using our modular system. Reach out to our customer experience team if you'd like us to connect you with an interior design or help you design a setup that fits your space.

Dining table and chairs

3. Shop with durability in mind

Aside from the normal wear and tear like spills and scratches, you want to make sure anything you buy for your outdoor living space can withstand the elements. For furniture, look for durable materials like our solid teak wood and POLYWOOD lumber. For fabrics, Sunbrella has been leading the outdoor industry for years. Our cushions are fade-proof, stain-resistant, and machine-washable. If you plan to leave your furniture out during colder months, invest in a protective cover to keep your furniture dry and clean.

4. Focus on comfy

When entertaining outdoors, keep the menu simple. Focus instead on making sure the environment you create will keep you and your guests comfortable as the night wears on. Make sure your guests have a place to put their drinks down and feet up, and that your outdoor ‘room’ has shade for daytime, and ambient lighting as the sun sets. When in doubt, stock up on citronella candles, cozy blankets, and extra napkins.

Gathering on sofa

5. Set your intentions

Staying home more in last two years has taught us the importance of gathering in a more meaningful way with friends and family. Before the start of your dinner party (after you’re done furnishing your outdoor space with durable, comfortable furniture and cozy decor) set a purpose for the day. For example, if your intention is for everyone to relax, structure the event so that they have reason to stay off their phone, and stay longer. Line up a lawn game or playlist that sets the mood or ask others to share the cooking duties. Great get-togethers happen more naturally in the right setting, with the right amount of boundaries.


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