With summer on the way and outdoor construction projects starting, we have a few ideas for your own outdoor entertainment builds based on some of the projects our clients in Greenwich, New Canaan, Rye, and Bedford have recently completed.
A luxury outdoor entertainment space is the perfect addition to an already completed home, and a great way to improve property value while giving you the option to entertain your guests in warmer weather. If you follow some of our ideas below, you’ll have trouble keeping friends and family away!
The first step in making a beautiful luxury outdoor entertainment space is deciding what type of space you’d like it to be. There are a few typical designs, such as dining and drinks, cooking, and relaxing. Each has its own considerations, and each can be used for entertaining friends and family. Think of what you’d most like to be doing outdoors with your company, and go from there.
In order to keep yourself and your guests out of the grass and to start the foundation for your outdoor luxury entertainment space, you’ll want to decide on the type of decking or patio that you’ll be relaxing on. Both decks and patios can be installed in a large variety of materials and designs. We’ll address some of the classiest and most popular options here.
Pressure-treated wood is one of the most popular and classic options for your outdoor recreation space. It is one of the most affordable options of decking material that will provide a nice feel for your space while maintaining its durability. Pressure-treated wood is rot-resistant, and it helps repel insects due to the chemicals (which are safe to humans) used in the treating process.
While pressure-treated wood is one of the most cost-effective options, it requires yearly upkeep to ensure it lasts its full lifecycle of ~30 years. It requires you to apply water sealant yearly and staining the deck every two years. Keep this in mind if you’re not a fan of having to continually treat your deck to prevent cracks and warping.
Redwood is a beautiful choice for decking material, with deep reddish and tan tones that are resilient to decay. The aesthetics of redwood are the primary reason that homeowners choose it for their decks. The main drawback to redwood is that it can be expensive. The trees that it comes from are a protected species, so it makes it harder to find trees that can be logged for boards. Also, if you plan to have raucous parties, you may end up denting the redwood as it is particularly prone to dents. With normal use, this shouldn’t be an issue, but you do still have to maintain your redwood deck similarly to pressure-treated wood.
Composite decking is one of the easiest to maintain types of decking that you can use for your deck. It withstands the elements each year without requiring additional or ongoing maintenance. While composite decking of the past lacked color and style options, today, there are many to choose from. You can ever create a multicolored deck and mix and match to fit your design goals. While it is one of the longest-lasting and least maintenance decking materials, it is about 50 to 100% more expensive than pressure-treated wood.
Aluminum decking is a polarizing choice. Most people prefer the look of wood to aluminum, but there are some that like the modern style of aluminum boards. Aluminum decks also get hotter (and colder) than their wooden and composite counterparts which can be a problem if you don’t plan on covering your outdoor space. Despite these drawbacks, aluminum is easily the longest-lasting, least maintenance decking option, even outliving composite options.
Concrete is the least expensive option when it comes to creating a foundation for your luxury outdoor entertainment space. While it’s not as appealing as other options, it is durable and easily maintained.
Stamped concrete can considerably scale up the look of your patio without adding too much additional cost to unstamped concrete options. You have options for styles, colors, and patterns that are not readily available with other patio options.
Clay pavers, or bricks, are a timeless patio material. They have a natural color that is aesthetically pleasing and upscale. They have been used for centuries, and have lasted as long. It is a durable option that does not fade and provides an upscale, long-term, low-maintenance look for your patio.
Natural stone is arguably the most unique and upscale option for your patio. There are many different stones to choose from, allowing natural stone to meet any design desires you have. You can choose from stones like sandstone, marble, granite, bluestone, and limestone to name a few. They are extremely durable but top the list in terms of cost.
Once you’re done choosing your base materials, you can move on to deciding what exactly your space will be used for.
The dining and drinks set up for a luxury outdoor entertainment space is one that will never go out of style. Food brings people together, and having the option to sit around a table with your guests allows not only for dinner parties but also card and board games. A well-designed dining and drinks space will bring happy memories of warm summer nights with your friends and family. It is typically a simple installation, and less costly than an outdoor kitchen or living room setup.
An outdoor kitchen is similar to having a barbecue but is much more luxurious. You also have more options as to what you can cook. Normally when there is outdoor cooking on a grill, the grill is placed far away from the center of attention. With an outdoor kitchen, you can set up a bar area with tables and chairs to make cooking the event of the evening. You can install ovens, grills, pizza ovens, and even fridges and wine chillers to ensure your guests are not without a cold drink of choice. A well-done outdoor kitchen is a true luxury and makes an amazing get-together space.
An outdoor living room is a great place to relax with friends and family, sit back, and talk until the sun comes up. There are many options these days for weather-resistant sectionals, couches, love seats, and rocking chairs that can make your outdoor living room a beautiful and comfortable place to be. Additionally, there are plenty of options for colorful weather-resistant pillows that will tie the whole thing together.
If you have the space and budget for the ultimate outdoor entertainment space, consider combining all three of these options. You can cook outdoors, eat your meal outdoors, and transition to your outdoor living room after dinner to relax and digest. If it’s a feasible option for you, we highly recommend it!
So by now, you’ve got your deck or patio, and the theme for your outdoor entertainment space picked out. With each of these options, there are things that can be included to really make your space feel like home.
If you are building the ultimate luxury outdoor entertainment space, you’ll want your space to remain safe from the elements so that your guests do not get sunburned or drenched with rain. A pergola or retractable awning will allow your guests to take cover when the sun is too hot, but may not give full protection if it is raining.
If you want to ensure your guests and belongings do not get wet, you can opt for a pavilion or a gazebo. Both pavilions and gazebos allow you to have complete protection from sun and rain while still maintaining the openness of your outdoor space. They are also both truly luxurious and beautiful in their design, further enhancing the look and feel of your space.
Lighting has the ability to set the ambiance for your entire outdoor entertainment space. There are two types of lighting to consider; both functional and style lighting. Functional lighting will ensure that your guests can see what they are doing, and style lighting is there to further enhance the mood and ambiance.
For functional lighting, we highly recommend having the option to dim your lights as different levels of lights will be needed throughout the night. For style lighting, you can do as much or as little as you’d like. Style lighting examples include spotlights, string lights, and accent lighting. Accent lighting can be candles (real or fake), lanterns, torches, and LED strips placed strategically out of sight.
One form of lighting that blurs the line between functional and style, is lighting that outlines paths to and from your home so that you visitors can see as they make their way inside at various times of the evening. It looks great too!
Sitting around a fire is a tradition that goes back to the dawn of mankind. The flickering flames, crackling wood, and warmth help to really improve the ambiance of your outdoor space. A fire is a great way to sit back and relax, and there are several options for how to contain your fire.
You can use a traditional fire pit, a fireplace with a chimney if it is built under a gazebo or pavilion, a fire bowl, or a gas fireplace if you want the convenience of not having to have wood around your home. Fire can also be had in smaller quantities. Consider using tiki torches to line the outside of your space to still get the flickering lighting fire provides without the hassle of building or using a fireplace.
Another focal point for your outdoor space is a water feature. There are several quality options for water features that go nicely with your luxury outdoor entertainment space. A swimming pool is a functional water feature that adds an entirely new dimension to your outdoor space. They are nice to look at when they are well-designed and can be used to take a dip on those hot summer nights.
Both provide calming sounds and a beautiful aesthetic component to your space. Natural sounds like fires crackling along with water trickling go a long way to improve the ambiance of any location. It’s part of the reason people like camping so much, despite having to sleep in tents and walk in the dirt!
No good party is complete without music. Wireless speakers are good at what they do but tend to lack the power needed for a group of people. Also, with only one speaker, it can be hard to have everyone hear the music without it being overpowering for some people in the group. For the best results, consider getting several wireless speakers to distribute sound evenly.
If you want to take it up a notch and ensure your entire space is blanketed evenly by sound, the more premium option is to install a hard-wired speaker system throughout your space. Again, you’ll want to ensure even speaker coverage so that the music can be used as a backdrop to the conversation and does not overpower any single area.
You’re outdoors, so be sure your outdoors is somewhere you want to be! Flowers, landscaping, and potted plants bring another element to the ambiance of your outdoor space. A well-landscaped property is a nice place to be in general. Add in your luxurious outdoor dining, kitchen, and/or living room space, and you have a recipe for the perfect entertainment space.
We find that our clients go out of their way to fund quality outdoor entertainment spaces. While adding these items to your home is not cheap, it will absolutely increase the overall value of your home. Keep that in mind when looking at prices, and know that you will not be losing all of the money you spend on improving your outdoors.
Of course, AVMRE is always here to help. Contact us.