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Creating an outdoor entertaining area

outdoor entertainmentAn outdoor entertaining area is effectively an extension of your house, so start off by identifying the style and features that already exist in your home. This will help you to choose the lighting, flooring, furniture, decorations and plants which will look best in the outdoor area.

Whatever you have in mind, you’ll need smooth flooring and some sort of shelter in case the weather turns inhospitable. Outdoor floors come in all kinds of finishes from stone paving to wooden decking, bricks to gravel, tiles to painted concrete – even grass, if you can spare the time to maintain it. Shelter must be sufficient that you can use your outdoor entertaining area in rain or hot sun. Flooring and shelter are probably the most important investments as they are structural, so get them right and the rest will fall much more easily into place.

Lighting and furniture are the next major elements in creating the right outdoor space. Permanent electric lighting should focus on the entertaining area itself and any pathways or access which will be used at night. Consider also adding up- or down-lights to show off any particularly striking features of your garden, while candles and torches create a pleasant ambiance. When it comes to furniture, choose a set that’s the right size for the purposes it’s most often going to serve, in a style and material that complements your indoor décor. Make sure that you know about any maintenance requirements before purchasing!

Aromatic or flowering pot-plants can add sensory pleasure to your outdoor entertaining experience and are easily rearranged. Climbing plants such as vines or creepers on a lattice can form attractive screens or ‘ceilings’. Large decorative pots, garden sculpture, wind-chimes and any number of other features can then be added to provide the finishing touches to your outdoor entertaining area.

Rattan Outdoor Furniture Tips has more great advice on what kind of furnishings you can use for your new outdoor area.