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24 Backyard Design Ideas for Hosting Outdoor Parties

Want to create the ultimate backyard oasis for parties? Whether you want to spend some time by the pool with friends, host a tailgating cookout, or celebrate the Fourth of July, these 24 backyard design and decorating ideas can help you set up an incredible outdoor space for parties!

Landscape Your Yard

Make sure your yard looks good! Invest in some landscaping to create visual interest and a neat, tidy outdoor space. Even if you don’t want to hire professional landscapers, there are plenty of DIY landscaping projects you can tackle, from retaining walls and garden pathways to rock gardens and water features!

Go Big with Lighting

Backyard Living Space with Lots of Landscape Lighting. Photo by Instagram user @kristywicks

Photo via @kristywicks

Hang string lights, incorporate lanterns, light a few candles, or add an outdoor chandelier to make your backyard glow! Solar yard lights are a great option if you don’t have access to outlets or if want an eco-friendly backyard design. And don’t forget to include lights on pathways, along staircases, and around water features so your backyard party guests can see where they’re going!

Designate a Game Space

Be sure to carve out some green space in your backyard where you can set up fun outdoor party games! Lawn games like Spikeball, Cornhole, and Giant Jenga are great for entertaining people of all ages. Also, it’s a good idea to find a space that’s away from outdoor seating or dining so that games don’t disrupt other activities.

Design an Indoor-Outdoor Room

Having an indoor-outdoor room is excellent for backyard parties! To create an indoor-outdoor space, you’ll want a patio or deck space where you can add large sliding doors or glass accordion doors that you can push open so that your home extends seamlessly into the outside.

Create an Outdoor Living Room

Backyard Living Space with Large Couch. Photo by Instagram user @designsbyjeana

Photo via @designsbyjeana

Lay down an outdoor rug, set up outdoor sofas and chairs, and include outdoor end tables to design a backyard living room that your guests can relax in! Don’t forget to add some blankets and pillows, potted plants, outdoor candles, and lanterns for cute outdoor decor that brings a homey touch to your space!

Build a Deck

Don’t have a deck in your backyard? Add one! This elevated entertaining space can extend off a second-floor kitchen or be a platform in the corner of your yard where you can dine and lounge with guests. You can even choose from a number of different deck design ideas to perfectly match the style of your house!

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Include a Patio

Backyard Patio with Table and Umbrella. Photo by Instagram user @jennasuedesign

Photo via @jennasuedesign

Another great way to give your backyard a makeover and create a designated space for outdoor parties is with a patio! You can use stone, brick, pavers, or gravel to outline and fill in the patio space. This provides more space for entertaining, and you can use the patio area for dining, grilling, and more!

Install a Pergola

Backyard Pave Patio with a Large Pergola over the Top. Photo by Instagram user @lifebyleanna

Photo via @lifebyleanna

Pergolas are freestanding backyard structures typically made out of wood with latticework beams across the top. Because of their pattern, pergolas provide shade without completely blocking the sun! These outdoor structures are ideal for decks and patios where you’ll be creating a dining area or outdoor kitchen.

Consider a Lanai

Worried about bugs or the weather interrupting your good times? Opt for a lanai! This outdoor structure is often used to cover pools or patios and perfect for backyards in areas that get a lot of rain. Lanais typically offer a tropical flair to your backyard and have become increasingly popular in California and Florida.

Try a Retractable Awning

If your backyard has an uncovered patio or deck that gets too much sun, you could always add a retractable awning so guests have a place to go to get a break from the summer sun. Installing a retractable awning is an easy and budget-friendly way to upgrade your backyard space without adding a permanent structure!

Use an Outdoor Canopy

Small Backyard Corner Patio with an Outdoor Canopy Installed. Photo by Instagram user @luckyplot13

Photo via @luckyplot13

Another easy way to get a break from the sun is with a sun shade or outdoor canopy! Most home improvement stores offer these outdoor shades, and they can be set up over an existing backyard deck, patio, outdoor kitchen, or seating area!

Hang Patio Curtains

Add curtains to your deck, balcony, or patio to create extra privacy for your outdoor get-togethers! Outdoor curtains can also help keep bugs away from your guests and shield you from the sun’s rays. Plus, they add a tropical vacation vibe that’ll bring some tranquility to your outdoor space!

Settle for Umbrellas

Of course, if pergolas, canopies, retractable awnings, and other sun shades sound like too much work, you can always just go with outdoor umbrellas! Everyone needs a break from the summer sun at some point throughout the day, and umbrellas over tables and lounge chairs can provide some much-needed shade!

Put a Dining Table Outside

Create the ultimate outdoor dining experience by adding a dining set to your patio or deck! Style a refurbished picnic table or create a boho vibe with a styled wicker set. Place an outdoor area rug under the table and add cushions to the chairs. You can also set up candles or style lanterns on the table to create a welcoming atmosphere for your backyard cookouts!

Add Comfy Seating

Outdoor Covered Patio with a Hanging Chair. Photo by Instagram user @happydaysfarm

Photo via @happydaysfarm

Looking for non-traditional seating that’s extra comfortable? Swing on hanging chairs and hammocks, or curl up on egg chairs, chaise lounges, and Bali beds! If you want a fun DIY outdoor furniture project, create a pallet sectional to provide cozy seating for smaller gatherings in your outdoor living space!

Build an Outdoor Kitchen

Backyard Kitchen Space with Bartop Seating. Photo by Instagram user @ourcozycasa

Photo via @ourcozycasa

Is there anything better than grilling out with friends and family? Create the ultimate outdoor kitchen on your backyard patio or deck! This outdoor space can double as an area to cook and entertain! Install a pizza oven or add a meat smoker. Build in your favorite grill, and include countertops to provide room for food preparation and buffet-style serving. You can even add a few barstools for a place to lounge while food cooks.

Entertain with a Pool

Who doesn’t love a summer pool party?! Incorporate a pool into your backyard design so that you and your guests can stay cool! Include a volleyball net or basketball hoop for pool games. Throw in some pool floaties and inflatables. And be sure to put seating around the pool for comfy places to sit!

Designate a Kid-Friendly Area

Backyard Kids Play House and Swing Set. Photo by Instagram user @minimal_ishmom

Photo via @minimal_ishmom

You want everyone to enjoy your outdoor parties—even the kids! Providing areas where kids can play and stay out of the way of the grill or the dining area will keep everyone happy. Consider adding a swing set, treehouse, sandbox, or in-ground trampoline where kids can spend their time during backyard parties!

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Opt for a She Shed

Greenhouse Style She Shed. Photo by Instagram user @emilyyew.co

Photo via @emilyyew.co

Why not include a she shed in your backyard! Set up an outdoor shed for small group gatherings with comfy furniture and good lighting. To create your shed, simply pick a theme, paint the shed, landscape around the exterior, and decorate inside. Then, you can invite friends and family over for a she shed backyard party!

Set Up an Outdoor Theater

Backyard Movie Theater with Inflatable Chairs and Screen. Photo by Instagram user @motion.flix

Photo via @motion.flix

Who needs to go out to the movies when you can bring them to your backyard? If you already have an outdoor living room or patio, you can easily transform your space into an outdoor theater! Don’t have a TV outside? No problem! Just spread some blankets on the ground, hang a sheet, and use a projector!

Include a Putting Green

Backyard Putting Green. Photo by Instagram user @dudeanddad

Photo via @dudeanddad

Create a golfer’s paradise by adding a putting green into your backyard design. Make a putting green with synthetic turf or use a putting green mat for easy and portable installation. Be sure to add slight dips and curves by leveling only parts of the ground.

Create an Outdoor Bar

Invite guests over to your backyard bar for an exciting gathering! Whether you choose to set up a simple bar cart on your backyard deck or patio or build a full-on backyard pub, be sure to stock your bar with your favorite beers, wines, and liquors, as well as with cocktail glasses, pint glasses, and plenty of garnishes!

Warm Up Next to the Fire

Backyard Extended Deck with Lots of Seating. Photo by Instagram user @searing.styles

Photo via @searing.styles

Whether it’s an outdoor fireplace, built-in fire pit, DIY fire pit, or a kit you purchased from a store, guests will flock to your backyard for s’mores and fireside chats! Make sure to install your fire pit at least ten feet away from anything flammable. Also, space plenty of chairs around the fire, stack logs in a rack, and grab all the ingredients you need to roast your summer night party snack!

Mount an Outdoor TV

Backyard Hangout Space with TV Mounted Above Fireplace. Photo via @outdoordreams

Photo via @outdoordreams

Have your friends over for a backyard party to watch the big game or watch the latest episode of your favorite TV show! Install a TV on your patio and add comfortable seating for the ultimate watch party! Build a cover to protect your TV from the rain if you’d rather not bring it inside every time. And don’t forget to include an outdoor sound system, too!

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