Create the Ultimate Outdoor Entertaining and Gathering Space

Ideas to transform your outdoor areas no matter your budget
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Photos courtesy of Lifescape Colorado

If there is one thing we have learned in early 2020—our homes are truly our shelter. And, as summer approaches, having a great outdoor space to entertain, relax and get away from it all will be more valuable than ever before.

Outdoor entertaining, gathering and “staycations” are going to be top of everyone’s list this summer. If you are looking to upgrade your outdoor spaces, now is the time to do it.

Whether your budget and vision are small or large, there are hundreds of ways to create the ultimate outdoor entertaining space. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

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Budget: Under $10K

If you have a smaller budget, don’t shy away from working with a professional. You can enlist them to help you plan and create a workable design that can be executed with a DIY approach. Here are some ideas to consider for upgrading your outdoor areas that won’t break the bank.

  • Add a freestanding gas fire pit
  • Freshen up your perennial beds with new color
  • Create an edible garden to take advantage of summer’s bounty
  • Reduce your turf and create a more sustainable, water-friendly xeric garden
  • Get a clean edge on your bed lines with a landscape refresh
  • Add planters and containers full of beautiful, colorful flowers and plants
  • Stain your patio surface
  • Add bird feeders and other opportunities to attract wildlife
  • Buy a rug and throw pillows to update your outdoor space
  • Paint and refurbish existing patio furniture with new cushions to give it a new life
  • Increase curb appeal with a new mailbox or house numbers
  • Add outdoor LED lighting on pathways and overhead
  • Update tired outdoor furnishings

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Budget: $10-$50K

At $10-$50K you will likely be using your existing infrastructure with some added elements and upgrades. Your landscape professional is essential in this budget range because they can help you find areas to save, where to spend, and create a long-term plan that phases in your vision over time.

  • Overlay a new patio. If you start with a good concrete slab, you can overlay a paver, tile or stone patio surface
  • Add a small pergola or structure to create a shaded outdoor dining space. It adds dimension and can become a great focal point for entertaining
  • Create an outdoor seating area with new furniture edged with perennial containers
  • Add a freestanding water feature
  • Retrofit your irrigation systems with upgrades and new technology

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Budget: $50K+

The bigger the budget, the bigger you can dream. If you want to transform your outdoor spaces into the ultimate entertaining and gathering place, the options are endless. Here are a few of the most requested updates and upgrades in Colorado.

  • Install an outdoor kitchen with BBQ, burners, refrigerator and sink
  • Build a large outdoor fireplace, which also extends the patio season well into fall
  • Expand your existing patio or create additional outdoor spaces in your landscape for privacy and reflection
  • Install the latest outdoor A/V technology—speakers, lighting, TV’s and more
  • Add a large water feature such as a fountain or stream
  • Install a lap pool or spa
  • Install a gaming area for beach volleyball, croquet or lawn bowling
  • Create the outdoor area of your dreams with a full landscape overhaul

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Whether you have a small or large budget, the key is to enlist the professionals who can maximize your space, create a plan for future improvements, and ensure you don’t make costly mistakes.

Getting professionals involved from the beginning has a multitude of benefits:

  • They know how to maximize your budget and have tools and tricks to make sure your vision can come to life.
  • Designing a landscape is complex. Professional landscape architects have been trained to design, plan and build under all conditions and environments—they will ensure the minimal amount of mistakes.
  • Professionals think in phases so you can start with a master plan and then work on one phase at a time. This can be a cost-effective solution for homeowners who don’t have the full budget to do everything at once.

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LeAnn Ostheimer is the Executive Vice President of Lifescape Colorado. For more than 44 years, Lifescape Colorado has been Colorado’s trusted source for landscape architecture, construction and property care. View their profile or contact Lifescape Colorado at 303-831-8310 or

Content for this article provided by Lifescape Colorado.

Categories: Exteriors, Native Content