20 Tips for Designing a Party-Perfect Backyard

Create a backyard that's ready to party at a moment's notice. From fab furniture to lighting to incorporating a sense of fun, these 20 tips will help you create a backyard that'll be everyone's favorite hang-out spot.

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April 15, 2019

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: LGB Interiors

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Joslyn Amato

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

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Photo By: Kristi Will ©Scripps Networks

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Photo By: Tomas Espinoza

Photo By: Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery

Photo By: Mark Scott

Photo By: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography

Photo By: Warwick P Hunt

Photo By: Amy Bartlam

Photo By: Cate Sheriff

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Photo By: Leanne Vande Kamp ©Scripps Networks

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Photo By: Steve Silverman Imaging

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Bring the Indoors Out

Interior comfort surrounded by the great outdoors is the ideal setting for a kickin' soiree. Enjoy a meal alfresco with all the luxury of being inside — beautiful artwork, a spacious, wood dining table surrounded by deep, bright yellow chairs and a cushy feel underfoot, thanks to a soft blue area rug.

Illuminate the Night

Take your entertainment from day to night by stringing lights all around your backyard. They transform a shadowy landscape into an enchanted scene and guarantee that guests feel welcome long after the sun has set.

Create a Kids-Only Space

Give kids a place to escape from the boring grown-ups. Pull together pint-sized furnishings, like little Adirondack chairs, play tents and low wicker stools that double as tabletops. Have a collection of fun outdoor toys and games on hand so they can explore nature and play together while the adults eat and chat.

Cozy Up to the Fire Pit

No matter the season, a fire pit is always a welcome addition. Built-in gabion benches surround the offset decomposed granite firepit for a party-ready space. A concrete slab walkway with black Mexican pebble joints adds a striking contrast to the calming, low-maintenance landscaping.

Fireside Get-Together

If built-in seating isn't in the budget, create a more casual fire pit layout with relaxed, moveable furnishings. These slouchy beanbag chairs and pillows add cushy seating and bursts of color around this stacked stone fire pit. A rolling bar cart keeps drinks and snacks handy.

Create Destination Points

Keep the party interesting by designating different gathering spots throughout your backyard. Not only does it invite guests further into your outdoor space, it also creates intimate conversation places in a large open yard. This desert retreat has three distinct seating groups: snuggly blankets and pillows piled up on the ground, a pair of chairs by the fire pit and a comfortable sectional under the lighted tree.

From: BOXHILL

Game On

Find a game you love to play as a family or with friends — badminton, croquet, cornhole or horseshoes — and incorporate it into your design. Enjoy some friendly competition with this bocce ball court set in the back corner of the backyard. Sideline views are provided by comfy armchairs and loungers so no one misses any of the action.

Mark It Down

An oversized chalkboard is a fun addition to any backyard. Write fun sayings and inspirational quotes or use it to keep score during your next match of horseshoes.

Set Up a Bar

Be party prepped with a bar area that's always ready to go. An open three-tiered shelf provides plenty of surface space to set out drinks, food and accessories. Use trays and buckets to organize sparkling water bottles, cocktail essentials and appetizers.

Orders Up

You can't throw a barbecue without the right equipment. This built-in stainless-steel grill has an attached island so you can chat with friends as you grill up burgers and hot dogs. Woven black barstools with copper bases add contemporary glam to the space.

From: BOXHILL

Accentuate Your Assets

Use all the advantages your backyard offers. A great view? Situate a cushy sitting area so that it maximizes the scene. This oversized, deep-seated sectional gives everyone a place to curl up, warm themselves by the firepit and take in the truly awe-inspiring view.

Designed for Festivities

Look for furniture that's made to party. These streamlined sofas have built-in side tables for setting drinks and plates. Double-duty furniture is always a win.

Go for a Swim

Pools are a refreshing gathering spot on a hot summer day. Surround your pool with various seating and dining areas where guests can lounge and eat. Incorporate shady spots — under pergolas, porches and umbrellas — so family and friends can retreat from the sun when needed.

Bring in Softness

Cozy up any outdoor seating area, whether wrought iron benches or upholstered sofas, with a mix of pillows. Use a variety of patterns and solids to add color and texture. This neutral seating area gets a lovely dose of hue from striped, diamond and dotted pillows.

Set the Table in Style

On the day of your get-together, set the table just like you would indoors with a table runner and placemats, candlesticks lit for ambience and vases full of flowers. Invest in white porcelain dinnerware, which goes with any combination of textiles and hues you have. Keeping in mind the outdoor elements, add throw pillows and blankets to cozy up chairs and benches.

On Tap

Customize your outdoor space to your shindig preferences. Here, this outdoor kitchen takes its countertop to the next level with a built-in tap for beer. Last-minute parties just got a whole lot easier.

Cooking Outside

An outdoor kitchen makes meal prep and service a cinch. Stoves, warming drawers and grills mean you can cook most anything you want outside, while sinks help you prep veggies and allow for easy cleanup. Long countertops are ideal for setting up a buffet so you can handle anything from a little get-together to a large bash.

Score One for the Party Team

Take the game day celebration outside. This open pavilion has a flat-screen TV and state-of-the-art sound system, as well as a comfy sectional and chairs, for watching the game with a breeze. Set up a spread of your favorite drinks, dips and appetizers so you don't have to miss a minute of play.

Get With the Sway

Amp up the playful vibe with a swing. Raised on a platform slightly above the pool surround is a two-toned pergola and oversized bed swing. The woven base is topped with colorful and patterned pillows, creating a comfortable and whimsical place to relax.

Fully Refreshed

No fete is complete without a major drink selection. We love this do-it-yourself beverage station made out of a galvanized bucket and a simple wood barstool. Throw bottled drinks in ice and quench your guests' thirst with ease.

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