Entertaining outdoors is one of the best things about the summer and fall season. Not only do you get to hang out with friends and family but you also get to use the outdoor living space that can sometimes be too cold to use during other parts of the year. Consider these must-have items for an outdoor entertainment space that will serve you well for years to come:

Plenty of Seating

One of the first things that a guest will look for when entering your outdoor living area is a place to sit down and take a load off. Make sure to have different areas of seating that include many options for different guests. Consider this outdoor dining set that features a sturdy dining table as well as chairs to match.

Other seating options include more cozy ways to catch up with a long lost friend like this fire pit set that would also be a big hit with the kids. Make sure that your entertainment space has enough room for those who come over as well as lower profile options that you can easily set up, like extra metal folding chairs, in case a big crowd stops by to party.

Set the Mood with Music

Nothing is more bland that going to a party and hearing the lulls in conversation. Make sure to liven up your outdoor space with music that will help set the overall mood of your gathering. Many outdoor speaker options are available that will sync up with smartphones to offer great sounding music from your playlist. Make sure to have a wide variety of playlists available that would do well for a backyard pool party with your college buddies or a romantic dinner outside with your spouse.

Grill Options

Most outdoor entertainment spaces include either a grill or a smoker that will help draw guests outside. These options help to keep the house cool while also offering an iconic taste of summer with burgers on the grill and smoked ribs. A wide variety of grills are available depending on your budget but make sure to get a large enough grill according to the amount of guests invited over. Consider getting a few grilling options to handle the food needed for a larger party as well.

Well-Placed Plants

Make sure to have a variety of plant life in your outdoor entertainment area in order to add natural beauty to the space. Consider using native plants that are not only easy to maintain but help to add color to your entertainment space but they also create an atmosphere that is conducive to enjoying all the benefits that nature has to offer. Try incorporating colorful plants such as pink muhly grass to add texture, the white blossoming narrow-leaf milkweed that attracts monarch butterflies, or green succulents that add a delicate and refined design to any space.

Create garden beds that border the main seating areas filled with flowers that are both native to your area and ones that you enjoy. Small potted plants can be easily placed on outdoor dining sets as well as around the space overall.

Add Shade

Make sure that your guests don’t burn under the hot summer sun by providing enough adequate shade to keep the area cool and comfortable. Items like this beautiful outdoor umbrella are wide enough that they will cover most of a dining set and can be placed in other areas of the entertainment space. Other options include building a pergola or installing a sun shade sail that will keep guests from burning up and allow you to enjoy your outdoor entertainment space longer.

Consider adding a few or all of these must-have items to your outdoor entertainment space for the ultimate outdoor living. Adding enough seating as well as shade for guests is important in keeping guests comfortable. Other items like the ultimate grill set up and potted plants will help to add interest to the space. Don’t forget to add mood music as well in order to enjoy your outdoor entertainment space with the whole neighborhood.

Emma Bishop is a lifestyle and design writer, and mother of two beautiful girls. She is  a social butterfly and loves to entertain guests at home with beautifully decorated spaces for any occasion.