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Five Outdoor Entertaining Trends Defining How We’ll Gather Outside


Whether your preference lies in creating an intimate gathering or orchestrating an event for a large crowd, these current outdoor entertaining tendencies will assist you in curating an impeccable outdoor environment.

The increasing significance of our outdoor areas has become widely acknowledged in recent times. At Better Homes & Gardens, we have always celebrated outdoor spaces, but we now possess a renewed appreciation for our front yards, backyards, terraces, and other open-air areas. These spaces have transformed into offices, makeshift classrooms, dining rooms, family rooms, and versatile gathering spots throughout the year, regardless of the weather.

We are not alone in recognizing this shift. Everyone is eager to acquire outdoor space and gradually enhance it to maximize comfort and functionality. The elevated importance of these areas has elevated them from being mere luxury to an almost essential aspect of our lives. After all, backyards have become the must-have feature of the year. The number of emerging outdoor trends is rapidly increasing, rivaling those in indoor design, with many of them revolving around the concept of entertainment.

More than ever, people are enthusiastic about moving their gatherings from indoors to (hopefully) lush outdoor spaces that provide the same level of comfort as the indoors while benefiting from the limitless fresh air. What initially began as a means to safely gather has now evolved into a desire to spend more time outside, ideally in the company of friends and extended family.

With this in mind, we have compiled some of the top outdoor entertaining trends we have observed this year. Whether you aspire to transform your outdoor space into a sought-after neighborhood hangout or simply wish to ensure that you and your guests can enjoy the space comfortably, continue reading for a plethora of fresh entertaining ideas that you can incorporate into your own outdoor areas.

Taking Outdoor Entertaining to the Next Level: All Preparations Out!

All Preparations Out

The concept of outdoor kitchens has become a well-established trend, akin to having a theater room or a craft room inside one’s home. However, the possibilities for these additional cooking spaces continue to evolve and adapt. According to Sarah Fishburne, the director of trend and design at The Home Depot, grilling enthusiasts are now seeking to expand their outdoor culinary options beyond traditional grills. They are embracing a diverse range of backyard cookers such as griddles, pizza ovens, and even outdoor air fryers. Homeowners are increasingly inclined to create unique dining experiences when hosting gatherings, incorporating themes like By the Sea grill parties, Hawaiian BBQs, and Around the World grilling.

By incorporating more cooking appliances and features typically found indoors into outdoor kitchens, all the necessary preparations for entertaining can now take place outdoors. This eliminates the need to constantly shuttle drinks, ice, food, and dishes between the kitchen and the backyard. With everything being prepared outside, hosts can fully enjoy the great outdoors alongside their guests, without the hassle of moving everything back and forth.

In conjunction with the expansion of outdoor cooking facilities, there is a growing trend toward cultivating edible gardens and landscaping. Homeowners are now inclined to grow their own fruits and vegetables, and perhaps even serve fresh-from-the-garden produce to their guests. The idea of farm-to-table meals at home has never felt more attainable.

Going All-in Outside

Going All-in Outside

If you’re truly committed to embracing outdoor entertaining, a mere patio set won’t suffice any longer. Consider the ample space you have indoors, where guests can congregate. To genuinely elevate the outdoor party experience, you must think on a larger scale, ensuring that everyone has a seat and ample room to socialize. Yardzen, an outdoor design service, has observed a significant surge in requests for expansive outdoor dining tables that can accommodate eight or more individuals, indicating a growing trend towards larger gathering spaces among customers.

The emergence of modular outdoor sets, such as those offered by Burrow, and the increasing popularity of oversized seating exemplifies the widespread interest in spacious seating arrangements, especially in outdoor settings. There is a clear demand for more of this type of seating. Furthermore, hosts aspire to create an outdoor environment as comfortable as the indoors, irrespective of external conditions (within reasonable limits). Yardzen reports a rising interest in features such as arbors and gazebos that provide relief from the sun and even shelter from rain. In fact, 40% of Yardzen’s clients specifically request pergolas in their designs.

Yardzen’s data also indicates an amplified desire for features that enhance outdoor enjoyment during both day and night, without compromising comfort. This includes the installation of outdoor lighting, fire pits, outdoor heaters, and other additions. All these findings suggest that people are determined to maximize their time in the fresh air and optimize their outdoor spaces, even in less-than-ideal conditions, ensuring that all their guests are content staying outside.

Offering Cozy Corners

Offering Cozy Corners

As people strive to create ample room for outdoor activities and embrace larger outdoor entertaining areas, it remains essential to cater to the need for peaceful retreats. Recently, both the conversation cove and the sitosterol have gained prominence as they provide intimate spaces for engaging in conversations and reconnecting with a select few, even amidst the bustling festivities nearby.

When redesigning outdoor spaces, it is crucial to consider the inclusion of quieter pockets where smaller groups within a larger gathering can find solace, whether for a serene discussion or a momentary respite from the clamor and banter. Additionally, offering a secluded nook where you can have a brief exchange with long-unseen guests will leave everyone contented and fulfilled by the gathering.

Creating Outdoor Entertaining for All Guests

Creating Outdoor Entertaining for All Guests

Recent trends in upscale outdoor areas have shifted towards sleek designs, durable surfaces, and amenities that cater to adults’ preferences, such as expansive outdoor kitchens and oversized dining tables. However, this exclusive focus has evolved with the changing times. As more people choose to spend their time outside, it has become essential to incorporate various activities to entertain both children and adults alike, fostering a sense of inclusivity.

This emerging outdoor entertaining movement encourages everyone to participate in the joyous atmosphere. Fishburne highlights the growing popularity of revitalized outdoor games like tumble towers and croquet, which have gained momentum this year. Additionally, the demand for home bocce ball courts continues to thrive.

While these games bring enjoyment to individuals of all ages, there is also a noticeable trend towards creating structures and features that captivate children, just as an exquisitely equipped grilling setup enthralls their parents. Yardzen has observed a rise in customer interest regarding treehouses, slides, and play structures. Parents are actively striving to fashion outdoor spaces that provide both amusement and enrichment for adults and children alike. With such dedicated efforts, it is certain that guests of all ages will relish any outdoor entertaining event they attend.

Balancing Entertainment Potential With Practicality
Balancing Entertainment Potential With Practicality

Selecting outdoor entertainment trends that align with your personal taste and lifestyle is crucial, as with any trend. However, there is one trend that universally applies: prioritizing practicality alongside aesthetic appeal. While a captivating outdoor entertaining area is a valuable addition to any home, it shouldn’t come at the expense of your cherished garden or overall green space. By planning thoughtfully, you can seamlessly integrate practical elements outdoors to enhance the visual allure of your entire entertainment space.

Fishburne emphasizes the significance of not neglecting your lawn and garden. Consider using fresh mulch to achieve a tidy and polished appearance. Remember, mulch serves a purpose beyond mere decoration. It aids in moisture retention, prevents weed growth, and gradually contributes to the quality of your soil as it naturally decomposes over time.

Feel free to install pergolas and outdoor kitchen spaces to your heart’s content, but ensure that you also allocate space for landscaping.

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