With the weather warming up and the vaccine rollout accelerating, millions of Americans are looking forward to gathering safely again this summer—and chances are, our backyards, patios, and outdoor spaces will play an even bigger role in those gatherings this year than they usually do.
The question is: is your backyard ready to host those barbecues, get-togethers, and after-work happy house?
Here are a few easy ways that you can make your outdoor space more inviting and ready to entertain this summer.
Add some outdoor furniture
A simple seating arrangement can make all the difference when it comes to making guests feel welcome.
If you like a more formal look, an outdoor living room set with a couch or loveseat, end tables, and matching coffee table can give guests a place to relax and converse for an evening. These sets tend to work best on a deck or patio.
But you don’t need a full set of outdoor furniture to make your family and friends comfortable. Adirondack chairs, a bench or two, and even camp chairs can give guests the spaces they need to take a load off before getting back to mingling.
Light that fire pit
According to the Top Agent Insights Report for Spring 2021 from HomeLight, the number one backyard feature when it comes to desirability is a fire pit with seating.
Fire pits not only add a sense of festivity to an outdoor space, but they also add warmth on cool nights and give you the option of hosting fun events like s’mores nights, or campfire singalongs.
Lighting is critical for making your backyard not only welcoming, but safe for guests when the sun goes down.
Solar lights are perfect for along your walkways and to line flowerbeds. Tiki torches are another option that work well around the perimeter of your yard, although if you have low-hanging branches, they can pose a fire hazard!
String or globe lights and lanterns are another instant backyard upgrade, though if you have a covered area that you’ll be using frequently, you may want to consider recessed lighting.
Create space for yard games (and have the games ready to go)
Whether your preference for yard games tends more toward croquet or cornhole, having some space for guests to engage in the fun is key to throwing a great daytime backyard event.
Choose games that are portable and don’t take up your entire yard—unless, of course, the event you’re throwing is a yard games tournament!
And a bonus of upgrading your backyard is that those small additions can add some serious value to your home, if and when you decide to sell (and if you are, this home affordability calculator can help you see what you can afford for your new home). It is, after all, a seller’s market.
Creating a backyard that’s ready to welcome your friends, neighbors, and family, doesn’t have to be expensive or overwhelming. With these tips, your outdoor space will be party-ready in no time.