Decorating a large outdoor entertaining area

Decorating a large outdoor entertaining area - Olan Living

We chose our first home purely because of the deck - it was huge (the bedrooms were tiny).  Having a large outdoor deck offers endless possibilities for creating a beautiful and functional space that complements your lifestyle. Whether you plan a relaxing oasis for lounging or an entertaining hub for gatherings, decorating a large outdoor deck requires careful planning and thoughtful design choices. Explore ideas to help you transform your expansive deck into a stunning and inviting outdoor haven.

  1. Define Functional Zones:

Divide your large deck into distinct functional zones to maximize its potential. Consider creating separate areas for dining, lounging, and entertaining. Arrange furniture and decor in each zone accordingly to create a seamless flow and ensure optimal use of the space.  Define each space with an outdoor rug.

  1. Outdoor Living Room:

Use some of your deck for an outdoor living room by incorporating comfortable seating, such as sofas, armchairs, and ottomans. Choose weather-resistant materials like outdoor wicker or teak furniture with lots of cushions for added comfort. Add a coffee table or side tables for convenience, or even use stools for side tables - they can also be used for overflow seating.

  1. Alfresco Dining Area:

Designate a space on your deck for alfresco dining. Invest in a stylish outdoor dining table and if possible, an extension table makes it easy to accommodate the extra guests for things like Christmas day.  Don’t necessarily choose a “set” unless you find one where the chairs are comfy and look great.  Its ok to mix it up a bit - and definitely make sure that the chairs can pushed under the table - you would not believe how many outdoor tables have been matched with chairs that don’t find under.  Create an inviting atmosphere with outdoor lighting, such as festoon lights or lanterns. Consider adding a shade umbrella or pergola overhead to provide shelter from the sun.

  1. Outdoor Kitchen and Bar:

If you love entertaining, consider incorporating an outdoor kitchen and bar area on your deck. I am a huge fan of a large bar outdoor bar table if you have the space.  Install a built-in grill, countertop space, and storage for cooking utensils and supplies. Add a bar counter with stools where guests can gather and socialize. Enhance the ambiance with a mini-fridge, a sink, and decorative elements like hanging planters or a vertical herb garden.

  1. Vertical Gardens:

Take advantage of the vertical space on your deck by creating vertical gardens. Install planters or hanging baskets along the perimeter of the deck or on trellises. Choose a variety of plants and flowers to add color, texture, and a touch of nature to your outdoor space. Vertical gardens not only beautify your deck but also provide privacy and can help to reduce noise.  These gardens are improving all the time with great options available.

  1. Outdoor Entertainment:

Transform your large deck into an entertainment paradise by incorporating elements like a projector screen for outdoor movies, a built-in sound system for or dj deck for music, and comfortable seating options. Consider installing a pool if space permits or create a designated area for outdoor games like cricket or bocce ball. Outdoor entertainment options will ensure your deck becomes a hub for fun and relaxation.

  1. Lighting and Ambiance:

Don't underestimate the impact of lighting on your deck. Install a combination of ambient lighting, such as festoon lights or solar-powered lanterns, and task lighting, like spotlights for specific areas. Enhance the mood with flameless candles or outdoor lanterns on tables. Proper lighting will not only create a welcoming atmosphere but also allow you to enjoy your deck well into the evening.  Given the Australian climate and the fact that entertaining can often go well into the night I prefer not to use actual candles outside and often opt for LED light strings in decorative jars/vases.  That way it doesn’t matter if you stagger to bed without turning them off.

With careful planning and creative design choices, your large outdoor deck can become a stunning extension of your living space. Whether you prioritize relaxation, entertaining, or both, defining functional zones, creating inviting seating areas, incorporating outdoor kitchen and bar elements, and adding greenery and lighting will transform your deck into a stylish and functional oasis.

Embrace the potential of your expansive deck and create an outdoor sanctuary that suits your lifestyle.

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