Design, Hardscape, Lighting, Outdoor Living

Landscape Design Ideas to Elevate Your Outdoor Entertaining Space

Patio with fire pit and patio furniture near house

‘Tis the season—graduation season, that is! And, as we stand in the yard of a family we barely know, desperately attempting to make small-talk with a parent whose name might be Sheila (but might be Shelly) about our kids’ shared sports team while picking at yet another unidentifiable pasta salad—we’re thinking about all those little details that make an outdoor space really feel inviting. Is it the tightly manicured lawn? The overflowing potted plants? The little froggy statue holding a “Welcome” sign on the way to the front door?

Frog garden welcome sign with flowers

While it might be too late to show-up Shelly (or was it Sheila?) for this year’s grad party season, it’s not too late to turn your backyard into the place to be. In this blog, we’re sharing five design ideas to elevate your outdoor entertaining space for better barbeques, birthdays, and backyard events of all shapes and sizes.

Let the compliments roll in

Create an outdoor entertaining space that you and your guests can’t stop admiring.


First on our list is patios, and with good reason! A patio creates a natural space for people to gather, making them the perfect choice for an outdoor entertaining space. With endless design options to fit the size of your yard and your unique style, a patio is a great way to extend your home beyond the four walls. As a bonus, many of the features we’ll discuss further down can be incorporated into a patio to elevate your entertaining experience even more.

Fire pits

A close second to patios are fire pits, a landscaping classic. There’s nothing better than enjoying a clear Northern Michigan night around the fire, swapping stories and watching the stars. And, let’s be real, how many of our favorite childhood memories involve a campfire, marshmallows, and sticky fingers? Like patios, fire pits come with plenty of variety to fit your space and style, from above-ground to in-ground and wood-burning to electric.

New patio with fire pit and spa and patio furniture

Outdoor kitchens

Nothing says “outdoor living” quite as loudly as an outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens are endlessly customizable, bringing convenience back into hosting by putting everything you need at your fingertips. From ample counterspace and storage options to grills and cooktops to refrigeration and beverage dispensers, an outdoor kitchen can include nearly anything—even the kitchen sink! When thoughtfully designed and expertly crafted, an outdoor kitchen will make sure you’re the host with the most.

Outdoor Kitchen with grey stone in Bay Harbor


Often overlooked, but vital in creating an outdoor space that shines, is lighting. Outdoor lighting enables you to keep the party going, even after the sun has gone down, and it adds great ambiance to your space. With a wide variety of lighting techniques, you can create a design that not only helps you and your guests maneuver safely through your outdoor space, but also highlights key features and areas of interest.


Did you know you can build an audio system into your landscape? It’s true, and it instantly elevates any and every outdoor event. Forget the portable speakers that never seem to be charged when you need them and instead pump up the jams with the touch of a button.

Turn up the volume

Create the ultimate hosting hub and take your outdoor events to the next level.

With endless ways to mix-and-match these landscape design ideas, it’s easy to create an outdoor entertaining space that you can’t wait to come home to—or invite your friends to come see! From places to gather to options for dining in style, your backyard can become exactly what you need to make outdoor entertaining a breeze. All you have to worry about is which pasta salad to serve.