Now more than ever, people are spending more time in their homes. Prior to the holidays, many of us were staring at a computer screen for multiple hours a day and mostly interacting with friends and family through video conferencing, which has led to us craving some normalcy, like hosting a dinner party.
You’ve probably been wracking your brain about how you can still spend time with your loved ones and maintain a safe space—we know we have—a small outdoor gathering may be the answer!
Hosting a small gathering outdoors provides ample opportunity for social distancing, not to mention the fresh air. Here are five things you need so your next outdoor gathering is smooth and enjoyable:
1. Prepare For Any Weather
Shelter is key. The main thing you usually have to worry about when hosting an outdoor event is making sure to keep your guests comfortable. In case of strong sun rays or humidity, having a covered area with overhead fans that can fit all of your guests and any cooking appliances will help to ensure a stress-free time. A few structures to consider include: pergolas, arbors, gazebos, and decks. Covered structures not only add a new dimension to your backyard, they also serve as an extension of your house, helping to establish a designated outdoor living area.
2. Keep Your Guests Warm
Bring the indoor comfort, outside. If you live in the southeast, like Georgia, the weather is enjoyable all year round. In the cooler season, all you have to worry about is some slight chill, not a snowstorm! Nonetheless, it’s human nature to want to feel warm and cozy. A few warmth generators to consider include: portable patio heaters, or a custom-built fire feature like a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace. Our landscape design team carefully crafts fire features for our clients that create ambiance, warmth, and functionality for their outdoor spaces. Need help deciding between the two? We’ve created a pros & cons list here.
3. Extra Seating
Bring everyone together, safely. There are so many creative ways to incorporate extra seating in your landscape without having to bring in folding chairs. You can add a built-in seat wall around your fire pit or use outdoor poufs and ottomans (a great combination of comfy and chic). From a built-in tree-hugging bench to thrifted Iron Bistro Sets, the options are endless for creating a safe seating arrangement.
4. Cook & Serve Outdoors
Never miss a beat cooking outdoors. The kitchen is often the headquarters of the party. Easily move the party outdoors with a creative space that’s perfect for cooking and entertaining, like an outdoor kitchen. Everyone loves a good BBQ meal. A few outdoor kitchen must-haves to consider include: a grill, ample counter space, storage, and a hidden spot for your propane gas tank. Even if you prepare the main dishes inside ahead of time, you can make grill-friendly side dishes like corn on the cob, grilled cabbage, garlic bread, or sausages outdoors while you host.
Serve your food hot by making sure to keep the food warm on the grill using the lowest setting. Pro tip: keep the dishes on the grill with the grill lid closed between servings. Make sure to use ceramic dishes and pans that can withstand the sustained heat.
5. Let There Be Light
Enjoy your landscape after dark. Keep the fun going after sunset with a carefully designed and integrated lighting system. From step lights to under-cap lights to post lights, there are numerous lighting solutions that can help to make your landscape more inviting and hospitable, while also adding an extra safety layer by reducing tripping hazards.
I hope this post encourages you to use your outdoor space to create beautiful memories with your family and friends. If you are looking to incorporate any of these landscape enhancements discussed in this blog, feel free to get in touch with us.
Install An Outdoor Kitchen In Time For Your Next Gathering
People come for the food and good conversations! If you’re looking to complete your landscape with an outdoor kitchen space, we’ve got you covered. Our new outdoor kitchen packages include a ready-to-assemble Coyote or Artisan grill, 6 ft of counter space for easy meal-prep, a hidden storage for your propane gas tank, and a customizable finishing.
Interested in learning more about our ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchen packages and their price points? Complete the form below to get started.