Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining Areas – Saturday Spotlight

Happy weekend and welcome to the Saturday Spotlight!  Now that the weather is nicer, you’re probably thinking about freshening up your outdoor entertaining spaces.  Whether you’re hosting a barbecue or just hanging out with friends on the patio, there’s still time to make your outdoor living spaces feel inviting this season.  To inspire you, today I’m sharing some ideas for outdoor entertaining areas! 

*For your convenience, please note that this post may contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking my links below, I will receive a small commission (at no additional cost to you).

Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining Areas – Patio Seating:

If you want your guests to stick around, you’re going to need some seating in your outdoor entertaining area. 

A few years ago, I was inspired by this lovely patio during a garden tour..  With plenty of seating and enough umbrellas to keep out the hot summer sun, it’s the perfect outdoor living space!

Patio with umbrellas and outdoor dining chairs - ideas for outdoor entertaining areas

Beautiful Garden Tour with Ideas for Every Budget

Speaking of seating, don’t you just love this idea of hanging swings on a porch?  A couple years ago, I spotted this cute idea on a neighborhood tour.  Not only were the outside areas amazing, but the interior of this house was gorgeous!  Thankfully, they allowed cameras so I took a ton of photos!

Hanging porch swings and outdoor fireplace - outdoor living space ideas

Beautiful Homes on a Neighborhood Tour

If you’d like to try this look in your home, here are the swings!

If you prefer to relax on rocking chairs instead of swings, here are some pretty examples of rocking chairs on porches to inspire you!

Row of turquoise rocking chairs on porch - outdoor entertaining area ideas

Wouldn’t you love to have a backyard party on that porch?  To see more of the porch (and the hotel) read – Favorite Hotels.

And here is another house with tons ideas for outdoor entertaining areas…the Hampton Designer Showhouse!

Covered patio decorated with sectional and bright colors - ideas for outdoor entertaining areas

Exterior tour of the Hampton Designer Showhouse

Yes, I’ll wait a minute while you catch your breath.  Isn’t this covered porch the ultimate outdoor entertaining area?  Seriously, there’s so much visual interest from the stunning statement lighting to the large mirror flanked with shutters.  What a gorgeous focal point, right? 

And look at that awesome coffee table!  The center is carved out and filled with ice to keep the champagne chilled.  If you want your guests to stay forever, this would be the place to hang out!

While we’re talking about show house tours, here is a beautiful pool house from the Mansion in May Designer Showhouse.  Just last week, I visited the showhouse so stay tuned…I’ll be sharing more photos from the tour in the next week or so…

Pool house interior seating - outdoor entertaining area ideas

Don’t you just love the color of those blue shutters?  What a great way to add decorative interest to each of the windows.  Although, outdoor curtains would look pretty too.  Just imagine them blowing in the warm breeze…

Even if you have a small backyard, you can usually find a little space for some outdoor furniture.  At our house, we surrounded our firepit with some inexpensive Adirondack chairs for extra seating.

stone firepit and white adirondack chairs - ideas for outdoor entertaining areas

Simple Ideas for Outdoor Spaces

Even though this outdoor space is pretty simple, no one seems to complain.  In fact, our fire pit has become the hangout spot for kids as well as adults.  It’s the perfect spot to roast marshmallows or sip a glass of wine.  At one point, we thought about installing an outdoor fireplace instead of the firepit but I think we made the right decision!  Even in the cooler months, we can enjoy the great outdoors!

Besides the fire pit area, we also added another simple seating area…

Patio sofa with striped pillows - outdoor entertaining area

On our patio, this little spot serves as an outdoor living room area.  Sometimes, we sit here and enjoy drinks or appetizers with our neighbors.  Plus, this seating area is right next to the dining table and gas grill.  On the occasions when we have larger crowds for dinner, the overflow of guests can sit here without being far away from the table.  Also, from this location, everyone can enjoy the nearby garden beds!

Overall, I try to buy inexpensive outdoor furniture when I can. Our conversation seating set was relatively inexpensive and it has held up really well!  In fact, I bought it years ago when we still had a deck.  Even though our cushions are technically “outdoor cushions”, we take them in when it rains to extend their life.  I think that has really helped.  If you’re looking for a sofa set for your outdoor living area, this conversation set looks similar to mine and the price is great!

Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining Areas – Lounging Spaces:

In our backyard, the lounge chair area is another great place to relax with friends…

Whether we’re soaking up the sun or just enjoying the fresh air with a good book, this back yard spot turns into an outside living room during the summer months.

Outdoor wicker chaise lounge chairs with cantilever umbrella - backyard staycation ideas

Backyard Staycation – How to Create the Ultimate Escape

Although, you can’t tell from the photo above, those lounge chairs face our pool so it’s an extra relaxing spot.  If you want a similar vibe without a pool, consider installing a fountain or some other type of water features. 

Ideas for Outdoor Entertaining Areas – A Place to Dine:

If you plan to entertain for Memorial Day or the 4th of July this year, you definitely need a dining area…  

For inspiration, here is a festive patriotic table setting I created one year.  Even if you don’t have a bunch of patriotic decor for your table, just stick a few flags in your centerpiece and be done.  Outdoor entertaining is all about being relaxed and casual anyway!

Red white and blue flag themed tablescape on the patio - outdoor entertaining ideas

And it’s all about being outside!  Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or just grilling with the family, alfresco dining is the way to go in the warmer months.  As we all know, summer seems to fly by…so enjoy the lovely weather while you can!

And while you’re entertaining outdoors this summer, don’t forget to offer your guests some refreshing beverages!  Here are some great drink ideas!

Hopefully, some of these backyard entertaining ideas have inspired you!  Now let’s do some shopping…

Shopping Finds for Summer Entertaining:

Rather than lug all your indoor dishes out to the patio, treat yourself to some lightweight melamine dishes.  Not only are they practical but these give off a coastal vibe…perfect for outdoor entertaining!


If a built in fire pit won’t work in your outdoor space, this firepit will give you a similar look.

Like I mentioned above, we use ours for s’mores all the time…and we love ours as much as our kids do!

Bring some indoor comfort to your outdoor areas with an indoor outdoor rug.

If you want to define a seating area, these rugs are great for that.  Plus, outdoor rugs are so easy to clean!  I’ve also used outdoor rugs inside my home.  If you want to read about them, see – How My Indoor Outdoor Rugs Have Held Up Over the Years.

If you need extra outdoor lighting add some of these string lights to your patio or even under your umbrella!

Even though we have some landscape lighting, I’ve been wanting to add some string lights to my patio to make it feel extra festive.

Speaking of outdoor lights, you can’t go wrong with some tiki torches!  For some ambiance, this set of 4 is perfect for outdoor entertaining and they will help keep the bugs away!

If you want your backyard to feel like a tropical getaway, you can’t go wrong with tiki torches!

If you have space on your lawn, challenge your friends to a game of classic croquet with this set!

Since they’re fun for any age, yard games are always a hit at backyard barbeques!

Now that I’ve put you in an outdoor entertaining mood, here are some more creative finds and outdoor decorating ideas that caught my eye:

Hopefully, I’ve inspired you with ideas for your outdoor entertaining area!

Will you be entertaining outdoors this spring and summer?

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  1. Your outdoor ertaining area tips look so inviting. Visiting you at June Edition of Hearth and Soul Party. My shares this time are 83, 84, 85, and 86. Enjoy. Nancy Andres @ Colors 4 Health

    1. Thanks so much, Rachel! Yes, I love when homes reflect the owners’ personalities too!

  2. What a great collection of ideas for outdoor entertaining, Shelley! I am excited to feature your post at this week’s Tuesday Turn About link party. Thank you so much for sharing!

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