Outdoor entertaining spaces aren't always equal when it comes to home value (think about that house with the falling-down above-ground pool with no curb appeal at all). Homes that get them right, though, have patios and backyards that blur inside and outside spaces.

And the best thing: these outdoor entertaining space ideas have been working for decades — and adapt to most any house today. Here are five reasons why they work (and why you may want to add to your home):

#1 They Function Like Indoor Spaces

The more outdoor entertaining spaces mimic their indoor equivalents, the more functional they are. And you'll get more than sunshine and memories: According to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS®, you'll recoup 70% of your costs on resale after building a new patio. An outdoor kitchen gets 71%.

A couple of small ways to get more functionality in your outdoor space:

  • Add built-in benches for seating.
  • Hang a chandelier or pendant lights for functional lighting over a dining space.

#2 They Create Privacy Without Blocking Light

Precast-concrete geometric blocks protect privacy without blocking light or air in outdoor entertaining spaces. Plus, they're super affordable and durable.

Use them to screen a patio or carport, fence in your patio, or as a vertical element to make small yards feel larger. It's a small project with big impact.

#3 They Find Clever Ways to Provide Shade

Low, sloping roofs help transition from indoors to outdoors by casting shade and protection from the elements.

If extending the roof isn't an option for your home or budget (fair), you can still make some shade. For example:

  • Try a pergola planted with vines.
  • Or a retractable awning, which keeps the sun off when you want it to, and rolls back into place when you don't.
  • Tons of affordable, ready-to-hang shades and sails are available, too.

#4 They Use Lots of Windows — and Big Ones

Large windows help merge inside and outside living. Even if you don't have the ultimate in window bling like this atrium, you can increase the natural light in your home. Consider:

  • Trading smaller windows and doors for big accordion, pocket, sliding or swinging doors, or replacing a plain wall with a wall of glass doors.
  • Adding a corner window, to create the effect of an atrium or courtyard.

#5 They Take 'Entertaining Outdoors' Seriously

Though a sport court isn't exactly a high ROI project, being the fun house on the block certainly does a little something to a home's appeal.

And, after all, an outdoor entertaining space should do just that: entertain. Here's to a fun summer season!


Kelley Walters is a Southern writer and editor. She focuses on interior design and home improvement at outlets from HGTV to Paintzen. She lives in Italy a month every year, drinking Negronis and writing in internet cafes.

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Published on:

Thursday, July 1, 2021