Design Your Home for Outdoor Entertaining with Help from Haute Design Experts

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It's that time of year when friends and family gather around the grill or sit back poolside for some quality time outside. But what makes a home's design conducive to outdoor entertaining? Our Haute Design Experts give their input here.

Photo Credit: Ryan Hughes Design Build

Ryan Hughes Design Build

"For outdoor design, creating spaces conducive for entertaining is inherent when professionally designed and creatively built," relates Ryan Hughes, creative director/founder, Ryan Hughes Design Build. “Following along centerlines emanating from the home, outdoor 'rooms' extend not only the living space, but the entertainment factor as well.” Whether entertaining outdoors involves cooking or dining via exterior kitchens, or lounging and conversing, spaces can be created by sunken spas or fire lounges. Outdoor rooms today are defined not by walls, but via changes in materials, elevations, or landscaping. The overall open design is also conducive to keeping the party going with open communication and easy flow throughout.

Photo Credit: Perla Lichi Design

Perla Lichi Design 

The rolling hills and alpine patches of Tuscany are a region that is rich in culture and history. Bringing this flavor of Italy into an extraordinary home in Boca Raton, Florida was a creative stroke of brilliance from Perla Lichi and her design team. The homeowners enjoy regular outdoor entertainment and to facilitate activities, the house was built around the concept of an old-world piazza. This core pillar of the design became the thesis for the project, not because it was beautiful, but also reflected the Mediterranean cultural background of the homeowners.

Outdoor entertainment is so important to this homeowner the entire house was built around the courtyard. The lush colors of the mosaics, the smooth and cool marble floor, and the sound of the poolside rushing waterfall stimulate the senses.

The space is undeniably unique and even though there is no covering or roof above, the courtyard stays cool and pleasant thanks to the walls that provide shading. No matter how high the Florida heat intensifies, the surrounding walls keep visitors always cool and always in the shade regardless of the time of day.

Photo Credit: Christi Nielsen

The Nielsen Collection

Having an attractive and well -maintained outdoor living space can add value as well as provide a welcoming feeling to your home. We suggest layering elements that allow for hosting a large dinner party or as intimate as enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. This can be achieved by creating multiple areas, such as, a cozy fire-pit, a play area, a tv area for game watching and conversational seating throughout. Mix and match your elements, of which one of the most important is lighting. Display soft lighting around the patio and dramatic lighting to showcase a feature. We also suggest investing in good quality furniture as your outdoor space is an extension of your home.

Photo Credit: Matt Delphenich

Leslie Saul & Associates 

The project shown above follows our core tenants for outdoor spaces to be conducive to entertaining:

  • Easy indoor access for circulation to/from the kitchen and indoor entertaining spaces.
  • Aesthetically pleasing aspects such as a modern layout of stone, grass and plants.
  • Ground firm enough to support seating and tables without sinking.
  • A fire-pit or fireplace to keep guests warm during the cooler months.
  • Architecture which helps the space feel safe, comfortable and private.

Outdoor spaces should work as well for a few people as they do for a crowd.  If a space meets the above criteria, it will.

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