Designing a Backyard Landscape for Entertaining

We want to help you transform your backyard into an outdoor space for entertaining this summer!

Whether you’re creating a landscape design with lots of green space for playing, planning for a pool or you want a patio for entertaining, having a clear objective is very important. A well thought-out and professional landscape design, is just as important as the structural integrity of the landscape elements. One of the first things your landscape designer will ask you is, what you will be using your space for? Here is a list of points to think about when you’re designing a backyard landscape for entertaining.
When you’re designing a backyard landscape for entertaining, the most important feature is an area for gathering or dining. Here are the important considerations to make when you’re planning your patio area.

backyard firepit by pool


First, determine the purpose of your future backyard entertaining area; will you be throwing lots of parties with many people or using it as a family dining space? What do you envision this area being? Start by creating a list of the activities and areas you’d like in your backyard design. Maybe you want a place for a patio table, as well as an area for outdoor couches and chairs for lounging. The purpose of the space is important in deciding the scope and size of the project.

purpose of the space


Once you’ve determined the main purpose of your entertaining area, you’ll want to think about how many people you’ll be accommodating to define the size of your space.  You want to design an area that will comfortably accommodate people, as well as the furniture you desire. Make sure you consider the size and type of furniture you want before building the patio. You need to make sure you are designing a large enough space for the furniture to fit and guests to move about comfortably
Tip: In a large space, we recommend using varying elevations to separate dinning space from seating areas. You can also use an interlock-paver detail to help define the different spaces.

separate dinning space


The location of your backyard entertaining area should be as close to the kitchen as possible, since people will generally migrate in and out from there. You’ll want to design the space with as few steps down from the kitchen as possible, so consider the elevation while you’re designing. Another point to consider, is the vantage points that neighbours may have of your space, this may affect your use of plants or privacy screens.
If you’re designing a space with more privacy or you want it to be remote, consider creating a pathway towards a back corner of the property where you can plant for privacy and comfort.
When choosing your location, you’ll also need to consider sun exposure. If you do a lot of daytime entertaining, place the patio in a shaded area or plant gardens to add shade.  If you expect to do a lot of nighttime entertaining, provide lighting to illuminate the space and direct guests around the landscaped area.
Tip: Don’t forget about bugs. If you live on a property with a pond or near a swamp, you MUST consider this before designing a patio for entertaining. If you’re worried about having an issue with insects there are a few solutions to consider:

          • Outdoor structures with screens can reduce pesky intruders
          • Locating the patio close to a fire-pit (most bugs aren’t fans of smoke)
          • Find a dry space and monitor it prior to designing to ensure no bug problems


The last details you should think through, is the type of hosting you’ll be doing and what landscape features may enhance the setting.

      • A fire-pit adds evening appeal, but it must be a safe distance from the house and any surrounding trees/plantings
      • A water feature can aid in reducing noise from close by highways or businesses
      • Privacy screens can provide a more intimate appeal to the space and add an element of safety
      • Outdoor structures can offer rain protection, sun protection or both
      • Music or an outdoor TV for watching sports games or movies

landscape features