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3 Steps to Creating an Outdoor Entertaining Area (on ANY Budget!)

If you have purchased a new home in the last few years, chances are you’ve thought about how you’d like to improve your backyard space to be able to use and enjoy it more. Even in communities with smaller backyards, there are still ways to upgrade your backyard into an outdoor living and entertaining area. Although there are low, middle, and high cost options suggested below, there are many options in between as well.

Beautiful Backyard Living has a reputation for our creative and unique designs, especially for smaller spaces and making the most of a budget. Want to know the best place to start? Continue reading below for tips and ideas. Or, if you think you are ready to begin and would like to meet with one of our design experts to start working on YOUR new backyard, submit the form below now for a FREE consultation!


Step One:

Create a Patio or Deck to Define Your Space 

Most newer homes come with a small concrete pad outside the back door. Extending this concrete pad to allow some room for patio furniture and a barbecue grill is a great place to start. To do this, there are several options depending on your budget.

Money Saving Option: Have us pour basic, broom finish or salt finish concrete to extend the concrete pad (left), or search youtube for DIY videos on how to correctly install concrete pavers (right). You can add an outdoor rug to upgrade the look of basic concrete pavers.

Mid-Price: We will install a custom stained concrete or stamped concrete patio or deck. Concrete can even be stamped, colored and sealed to look just like a wood deck, without requiring the maintenance of a wood deck!

Go Big: We will install beautiful Travertine tile over a sub-base, or build a custom cedar or composite wood deck.


Step Two:

Create a Comfortable Seating Area

There are three factors that can make your backyard party an evening to remember, or an awful experience that ends with all of your guests wanting to go inside. Those three things are: Shade, seating, and pest control. In addition, if you are hosting an evening event, you’ll also want fire and lighting for ambiance. No matter your budget, there are practical solutions to ensure your guests have a great experience at your backyard barbecue.

  1. Shade-  You’ll want to provide relief from the blazing heat and harmful rays from the sun. It also helps to have outdoor fans blowing on hot days.

Money Saving Option: Buy a large, weather-resilient  patio umbrella.

Mid-Price Option: We will build a beautiful cedar pergola over your seating area. This will provide shade but still allow plenty of sunlight in. For an awesome evening ambiance, string lights can be draped around or hung from the rafters.

Go Big: Enjoy your backyard any time of the day, during almost all weather conditions – with our custom designed and built patio cover, complete with recessed lighting and ceiling fans!

  1. Seating-

Money Saving Option: If you are a DIYer, scour Pinterest and YouTube for ideas to build your own patio furniture, like this pallet patio furniture pictured below. Also, you can check local Facebook groups or the 5mile app for free patio furniture that may not be in the best shape now, but can be refinished or recovered for an almost new look.

Mid-Price Option: Search the Facebook marketplace or local groups for some gently used patio furniture.

Go Big: Buy a new patio furniture set with comfortable cushions, a matching table, and coordinating patio rug from a furniture store, or order it online.

  1. Firelight-

Money Saving Option: Tiki Torches (usually around $3-$15 each!) Not only do these provide an excellent and fun source for lighting, if you fill them with real citronella oil, tiki torches can help cut down on pests such as mosquitoes (read the label carefully because some products are actually only citronella scented).

Mid-Price Option: Purchase a metal fire pit or chiminea, either new or find a nice used one online. (Check your HOA rules and city ordinances first, but these are usually allowed as long as fires are attended.) Fire creates a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere, and are perfect for winter gatherings or Summer evenings.

Go Big: We will design and build for you a custom outdoor stone fireplace or stone fire pit. We can also build stone benches around the fire place or fire pit for additional seating areas!

  1. Pest Control- Outdoor events are impossible to enjoy while being bombarded with flies and mosquitoes. In addition to having your yard regularly treated for pests, citronella candles can help cut down on the presence of pests. For a fun project, try making your own citronella candles! (Instructions Here:) You can also buy and hang a “bug zapper”, just make sure you put it on the side of your house, or far away from your entertaining area so that you don’t spoil the mood. Essential Oil Diffusers filled with lemongrass, sage, or rosemary are said to help with pest control as well. Use wire mesh or plastic tray covers to cover food that you are serving to keep pests out of it.


Step Three:

Food & Drinks – Prepping and Serving Area

Food brings people together, and most gatherings include a meal or a few appetizers. In order to be present at your own event and not have to be constantly going back and forth to the kitchen, you’ll want to create a way to prepare and serve food and drinks outside.

Money Saving Option: Use a traditional barbecue grill to cook for your guests, and put a cooler on your patio for a self serve drink station. Or, you can search the internet for tutorials on how to build your own standing beverage cooler like the one below! A folding table covered with a tablecloth can serve as a food prep, or food service area.

Mid-Price Option: Have us build a stone bar with a grill base and stone countertops. The countertops can serve as a food prep area, and the raised bar area can be used for serving food. Stone bars can be built in a wide range of shapes and sizes.

Go Big: A custom outdoor kitchen, complete with sink, beverage cooler, and refrigerator! There are many different options for an outdoor kitchen, and the design that is best for you depends on your preferences and budget!

This custom outdoor kitchen includes Grill with built-in storage cabinets, Outdoor Gas Range, reach in beverage cooler, outdoor refrigerator, waste receptacle, all stainless steel and a Big Green Egg Grill with grill base. The counter tops are natural stone leuders, and the bar base was built with chopped stone.

This all-inclusive Outdoor Kitchen has everything — even the kitchen sink! Our customer hosts the best outdoor parties in their neighborhood with this pool side outdoor entertaining area that we recently completed for them!


We provide a free, no obligation consultation for you to meet with one of our design experts, to help you design your perfect outdoor living space to fit your budget! Call us today at (972)974-3515, or use the form provided below to request your free consultation!


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