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6 Design Elements for a Party-Perfect Outdoor Space

What are the components of a fantastic summer party—the kind that your guests will truly enjoy and remember for years to come? Delicious food, cold drinks at the ready, comfort, and great conversation.

At Glengate, we know the best way to achieve all of these: integrating individual landscape design elements into one inclusive outdoor plan. Think pool houses and pergolas, fireplaces, dining spaces and gourmet kitchens; our team can incorporate any of these (or all of them) into a custom scheme that transforms a blank-slate backyard into a private paradise.

Glengate designers will help you optimize your entertaining style—whether smaller, intimate gatherings are your thing, you throw big to-dos, or want to have capacity for both. Read on for our top six design elements for creating your ultimate outdoor entertaining space. 

  1. Comfortable, Cozy Seating

Nothing facilitates good conversation like thoughtfully placed, comfortable seating—sofas and sectionals, dining sets, chaise lounges—in various outside locations and configurations. We excel at creating multiple spaces that encourage different experiences as a party unfolds: for example, guests may gather around the outdoor kitchen counter while the host grills, before moving on to the dining table, then settling in for after-dinner drinks in front the fireplace. Each space is its own destination, as part of the overall event, and offering enough spots for everyone to sit means all friends and family can relax and enjoy your party. And don’t be shy about treating your furniture as functional art, especially now with so many fantastic outdoor fabrics to choose from, as well as colorful pillows; also, don’t forget blankets and throws for those cooler shoulder months.

  1. Adequate Shade

Just as you wouldn’t want a party guest to be left standing, you don’t want anyone left without cover from the blazing summer sun. And that means making sure there is enough shade in your entertaining space so that you can take advantage of the outdoors all day. There are multiple elegant ways to create shade in your entertaining space: pool houses offer effortless refuge, of course, as do pergolas, awnings, umbrellas, and trees. Our designers always have shade in mind when creating your dream outdoor entraining spaces, and will determine the most practical and aesthetically pleasing ways to keep you and your guests cool. 

  1. Night Lighting

The best way to keep the fun going into the evening? Night lighting. It’s not only necessary (you want to see where you’re walking!), but creates a glow that augments your party’s ambiance. Our design and lighting teams provide plans for strategically lighting your entertaining space’s landscaping—there’s nothing prettier than an uplit tree—pathways, stairs and structures. Soft, flattering hues in the dining area can be achieved with many different styles, for example, including sconces, chandeliers, and even gracefully strung café lights. And remember your pool, either planned or existing—there are many fun and colorful lighting options for setting a truly spectacular scene.

  1. A Fire Feature 

A fireplace or firepit allows you to further maximize your outside time each season. Imagine cool spring nights made cozy by the warmth of flames, summer s’mores after dinner, and crisp fall weekends enjoying the outdoors fireside before winter comes. We’ve created fire spaces in a multitude of ways: statement-making fireplaces inside pool houses or under pergolas; on patios adjacent to your home; open-air styles surrounded by low walls (bonus: extra seating). Wood-burning or gas, a fireplace or firepit adds another enchanting destination to your landscape. 

  1. A Gourmet Outdoor Kitchen 

We have far surpassed the concept of just adding a grill to the backyard and calling it a day. Nowadays, your outdoor cooking space can include almost everything your home’s kitchen has—if not more. Glengate is up to date and trained in installing the latest charcoal and gas grills, smokers, Green Egg cookers, refrigerators, pizza ovens, beverage centers and more. We design our clients’ outdoor kitchens for efficiency, but also ensure they align with the beauty of the rest of your entertaining space and fit seamlessly into its overall style. 

  1. A Bar with All the Bells and Whistles

We’ve designed many different outdoor bar set-ups for our clients. Some have asked for a place at the outdoor kitchen to sit and have pre-dinner drinks while the chef grills. While other Glengate clients have requested full-on bar set-ups in their pool houses, or integrated into their outdoor kitchens, complete with beer taps, wine refrigerators, televisions, and ample seating for gathering to watch the game. Whether you need space for a few, or enough room for a crowd, our team has the experience and knowledge to build your ultimate outdoor bar.