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23 Ideas for a Great Backyard Entertainment Space

By: Caroline Warnock |

Your home’s backyard shouldn’t be wasted. Instead, think of it as a whole extension of your home where you can go to spend time with loved ones outdoors. 

Whether you want a space for barbecuing or dining in the summer, or a comfortable lounge and firepit, the sky is really the limit. If you’re planning to develop an outdoor entertainment space or sprucing up the one you have, then look no further than these 23 inspiring backyard ideas.

Consider Different Sections and Purposes

Consider Different Sections and Purposes
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This backyard entertainment design is huge, but it doesn’t feel overwhelming or cluttered. That’s thanks to the furniture being arranged in separate sections for different purposes. 

There are some comfortable chairs around the firepit, some lounge chairs in another area with a shade umbrella, and a nice table and stools for outdoor meals. This example shows how important it is to map out the design first so you know exactly the space you have to work with. 

Keep Your Space Open-Air

Keep Your Space Open-Air
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You can incorporate your backyard entertaining area with the garden and natural spaces so it feels more natural and unplanned. This backyard looks gorgeous, with some couches and lounge chairs for large outdoor gatherings. 

A small fire pit and a grilling and cooking area finish off the look. I absolutely love the large plants and trees spread out all over the space. It makes the whole area feel more relaxed and intimate. 

Add Privacy With Wood Plank Walls

Add Privacy With Wood Plank Walls
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Large wood plank walls on two sides add some privacy to a backyard lounge and dining space. This is a great idea for homes that have neighbors nearby. Not only do the walls create intimacy, but they do a bit to block out sound as well. 

These narrow finished wooden planks are very sleek and modern, perfect with the green of the lawn and garden. 

Create a Large Chess Board Set

Create a Large Chess Board Set
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This large Harry Potter-sized chess board is quite magical, I think. It’s a lot better than standard chess because you can be less sedentary while playing and enjoy some rays from the sun. 

It’s quite easy to accomplish or buy, and makes a great conversation starter when you have friends over. The only trouble is because it’s so big, it can be hard to take a step back and look at the big picture.

Go Modern with Sleek Lines and Mixed Materials

Go Modern with Sleek Lines and Mixed Materials
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If you don’t have a big area, you can still maximize the backyard space you have. In this photo, we can we that there’s a large seating and dining space, counter and grill for food preparation, and even a pool. 

The dining space is mostly covered, while the pool is open air. It doesn’t feel enclosed though, in large part thanks to the tall living wall beside the pool that is covered in plant life. 

Keep Things Simple With Firepit and Couch

Keep Things Simple With Firepit and Couch
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Your backyard entertainment design doesn’t have to be complicated or massive. If all you’re really looking for is a firepit for evenings and a couch to curl up on, then don’t bend over backwards and blow through your budget to get other things you don’t need. 

At the end of the day, it’s a space for you and your family, so choose what makes sense. As you can see, this simple combination is perfect as it is.

Build a Charming Brick Kitchen Space

Build a Charming Brick Kitchen Space
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This look is the opposite of the modern look, channeling rustic and Tuscan vibes. The counter and cooking space are built by using uneven, rough hewn stone bricks. The result is very charming, especially when backed by a high hedge wall like this one is. 

It’s small but has everything you need to prepare food outdoors for a large gathering of friends and family. 

Create a Separate Entertainment Area

Create a Separate Entertainment Area
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You can also build a whole covered space that’s completely apart from the house and patio. This standalone backyard space has a long table for more formal dinners and lots of counter space, as well as some great heat lamps for the cooler evenings outdoors. 

Once you’re done the space, you’ll want to start using it for parties and get togethers. Here’s a great guide with tips and suggestions for throwing the perfect outdoor party. 

Add a Fireplace and a Fan for Any Weather

Add a Fireplace and a Fan for Any Weather
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If you live somewhere with a lot of varied weather, hot days and cool nights, you want to be able to still use your space. In this example, a lovely stone fireplace is key for spending time outdoors on cold evenings. 

The fan hanging from the pergola is just as useful, this time for keeping occupants cool while lounging on hot summer days. Sometimes the small touches are what make or break an outdoor entertainment space. 

Hang a Sheet for Outdoor Movie Nights

Hang a Sheet for Outdoor Movie Nights
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Have you ever been to an outdoor movie? It’s a great experience, one for kids and adults alike. You can turn it into an evening picnic by bringing out a lot of folding chairs, blankets, and drinks and snacks. 

Maybe you can even start hosting a regular movie night in the neighborhood, which is a great way to spend time with your community! The frame for the screen here is simply built from sturdy branches. 

Channel a Resort Experience With Poolside Bar

Channel a Resort Experience With Poolside Bar
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If you know you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors, then it makes sense you would want to go all out with your backyard entertainment design. This photo is the perfect example of that idea. 

A full size inground pool is next to an intricate stone floor expanse which includes lounge chairs, a kitchen, a fireplace, a poolside bar, and television. It’s a really luxurious look that could belong at any five star resort.

Add a Couch and Television Set

Add a Couch and Television Set
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This outdoor entertainment space focuses more on the lounging and television entertainment than cooking and dining. For those kinds of spaces, you’ll want to make sure your electronics are protected from the elements, so focus on the roof and placement of your furniture. 

In the end, it’s a space that you could spend all day lounging in by yourself or with loved ones, with a nice fresh breeze blowing through. 

Keep a Brick Paving Design Throughout the Space

Keep a Brick Paving Design Throughout the Space
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A good way to connect a large backyard space is to use the same decor theme throughout. This example shows that something as simple as brick tiling can create a unified backyard space. 

The white tiles are complemented by a blue tiled stripe from the open spaces, to the counters, to the lounge area and firepit. Even though the bricks are all different sizes and shapes, it works really well. 

Put Up a Basketball Hoop

Put Up a Basketball Hoop
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Even if you don’t have kids, you can add some sports and activities to the yard. It’s a great way to spend time outdoors and relieve stress after a long day at work. 

It doesn’t need to be a basketball hoop either, although that’s an easy thing to add to a yard. You can also put a hockey net, soccer net, or even a volleyball court if you have the space. Now all you need is an opponent. 

Install a Firepit and Adirondack Chairs

Install a Firepit and Adirondack Chairs
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When I think of a fire pit, I usually think of something more low key, like a campfire built in a ring of stones in my backyard. However, this type of fire pit works really well and it’s easy to manage it and keep it contained. 

he Adirondack chairs in a circle around it are a nice touch for late night get togethers and relaxing around a fire. It’s time to pull out the marshmallows now. 

Hang Some Cute Criss-Cross Lanterns

Hang Some Cute Criss-Cross Lanterns
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Lanterns add a lot of intimacy and charm to a backyard space. This works really well for smaller backyard where you can easily hang strands of lights across the space a few times. At night when you turn them on it becomes beautiful and magical. 

Lighting is really important for a backyard entertainment design—you have to find the perfect balance between too much lighting and not enough. 

Focus on Dining and Entertaining

Focus on Dining and Entertaining
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This backyard space doesn’t have a lot of lounging areas, and that’s okay. A bar space and grill is great for standing and mingling backyard barbecues, and you can add some plastic or fold out chairs to accommodate your guests. 

You can add some loungers by the pool but don’t worry about getting a large couch and chairs if you don’t think you’ll use them. 

Keep Things Fresh With Lots of Plant Life

Keep Things Fresh With Lots of Plant Life
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The small touches matter a lot in a backyard entertaining area. Too much plant life and you can feel overwhelmed and swallowed up by a jungle. Not enough and it can seem barren and lifeless. 

A good solution is getting some interesting and manicured plants like these ones, and making sure they stay neat and tidy. Look for colorful plants too, like these bright, eye catching purple flowers. 

Wood Accents and Exposed Lights Are Charming

Wood Accents and Exposed Lights Are Charming
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This is a look that is a lot more rustic than many in this list, but it shows that anything is possible. Some lovely unfinished wood in a pale grain creates a lovely shade structure for this backyard space. 

The deck is simple wood planks made more inviting with a large area rug and plants. The couches and chairs are very comfy and it looks like a space you could easily spend hours chatting, relaxing, or reading. 

Ensure Comfort Is Key With Blankets and Pillows

Ensure Comfort Is Key With Blankets and Pillows
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You want your guests to feel comfortable and at home outdoors, so make sure your seating has a lot of pillows. You can also add some baskets or boxes with blankets in case it gets chilly at night. 

Some people are much more comfortable grabbing a blanket than asking a host for one, so make sure they have everything they need. Use your pillows to add a pop of color to the space if you want. 

Build a Sunken Entertainment Pit

Build a Sunken Entertainment Pit
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A sunken entertainment pit is a great idea for a more cozy or intimate gathering space. This is a great example of a long lounge bench with lots of pillows and a beautiful stone fireplace for heat. This whole space is inviting and calling out for big get togethers with friends. 

A Jacuzzi Is Relaxing and Calming

A Jacuzzi Is Relaxing and Calming
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Sometimes you want your backyard space to be more intimate and private. Consider focusing on a jacuzzi and lounge space, like the one pictured here, or incorporate this design in your overall entertainment area. 

The wood panels work really well with the Scandinavian sauna look, and the lounge chairs create a space for daytime relaxing. It’s a great alternative if you want a relaxing space but you don’t want to get a full inground pool. 

Create Your Own Bocce Ball Court

Create Your Own Bocce Ball Court
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Whether you have kids or not, bocce ball is a really fun activity that helps everyone unwind and enjoy themselves. Your backyard space doesn’t need to be completely serious or mature. Instead, lighten things up with some activities—bocce is also a great icebreaker. 

If you have the space and desire to build this fantastic bocce ball court, then you’ll want to head over to HGTV’s guide to building your own bocce ball court.

Final Thoughts

A functional and beautiful backyard is like adding a whole new room or two to your home. By adding seating areas, firepits, kitchens and more, you can transform a patch of grass to something much better. 

The design will depend a lot on your budget, so start by mapping out the space and the layout you want to have. Think about the main purpose of the space and what you’ll be using it for the most. 

You also need to spend some time thinking about the design and lighting, but once you’re done, you’ll have the perfect backyard for entertaining. Enjoy!