With summer finally here, now is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy your backyard space! Whether you’re sitting around the fireplace or playing games, there are plenty of ways to revamp your entertaining area. Perhaps you want to add a fire pit, enabling your friends and families to make memories chatting around a cozy flame. Or maybe you want to add a movie projector and create a quaint in-home movie theater experience.
We’re here to walk you through five updates that will help you make the most of your outdoor entertaining area.
1. Fire Pit
Warm up your outdoor space with a roaring fire pit! Fire pits are perfect for roasting s’mores, barbecuing skewers, and setting the ambiance. When you’re looking for a fire pit, there are four different kinds of fire pits that you can install in your space. Each type has its own unique features depending on what use you want to get out of your fire pit.
Wood-burning fire pits are the closest thing to having a campfire in your backyard. You will get the same smoky ambiance and crackling sounds from a fire contained in a bowl with a safety screen cover. The materials can vary from steel to marble, and you can customize them to match your personal style.
Gel fuel fire pits have a clean-burning gel that will not emit any smoky or burnt wood smells and make for safer outdoor spaces. Gel fuel fire pits either have a gel canister or a reservoir to hold the fuel. You ignite the flames by lighting the gel fuel with a gas grill lighter. The flame will extinguish itself, adding to its safety features.
Propane fire pits are the most convenient option since you do not have to refill any gel fuels or build up firewood. Igniting and extinguishing a propane fire pit is as simple as flipping a switch. Most propane fire pits will use a 20-pound propane tank that you can buy from your local grocery store. These pits are typically larger than their wood-burning and gel fuel counterparts, so they are ideal for larger outdoor entertaining areas.
Lastly, the natural gas fire pit is the least common since you do need to have a natural gas installation at your residence. They have a permanent connection to natural gas, so you don’t have to worry about running out of gas, unlike the propane fire pit. Natural gas fire pits are the least portable type of fire pit since they cannot be moved at all. However, they are the cheapest and easiest option to maintain and operate.
2. Pizza Oven
A pizza oven will for sure be the focal point of any conversation in your outdoor space. What is more impressive than pulling a delicious, gooey homemade pizza out of your own pizza oven in front of all of your friends? You can even make an event out of it and have your guests make their own DIY pizza creations. Despite its name, the pizza oven can actually be used to make a variety of dishes beyond a scrumptious pie. They can be used for all things roasting, baking, and grilling. You can bake bread, roast vegetables, smoke meats, and so much more! A traditional brick wood-fired oven is considered one of the best methods for bringing out the natural flavors in your food while keeping all of its nutrients.
3. Movie Projector
Bring the movie theater to your own home by installing an outdoor movie projector! Drive-in movies are making a comeback, but nothing beats an at-home movie night, so why not enhance the experience? Creating your own outdoor movie theater is not as daunting as it sounds. It can be as affordable and easy to make as you want it to be! The key ingredients are a projector, a projector screen, speakers, and a media player.
Modern home theater projectors have come a long way and can now project a clear and bright image that can be watched enjoyably under the dark night sky. The price of a projector will range depending on how large of an aspect ratio you want for your image. Amazon has an $80 option that can be hooked up to your phone to project a 200-inch picture. Just keep in mind that you will need around 8 feet of space to project your images!
The next part of the puzzle is a projector screen, naturally. The most accessible way to project a movie is to use a blank wall on the side of your house. However, this is not the most ideal option since you will be able to see the texture of the wall in your picture. If you want to put in a little bit more effort for a much better result, simply use a big white sheet instead. You will probably want to anchor the sheet down with a homemade frame or nails so breezes won’t disrupt your movie screen. The higher the thread count, the higher the screen quality. Target has an affordable 400 thread count option! If you want to go all out, you can purchase an actual home movie screen. Amazon has a $170 option that comes with its own stakes to complete your setup.
The last component is a media player. Depending on what kind of projector you have, you may be able to stream directly from your smartphone using Bluetooth. If your projector uses an HDMI port, you can hook it up to your laptop. You could also use a streaming stick such as Roku or Amazon Fire to connect to your projector’s USB port and your home Wifi to access Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, or any other streaming service.
Lastly, your outdoor movie theater needs speakers. You could use your projector’s built-in speakers, but these are typically low-powered and quiet without surround sound. If you’re watching on a huge screen, you’re going to want the volume to be louder than your smartphone! You can either use an audio cable to connect your speakers or go wireless with a Bluetooth option.
While this outdoor addition may not have the same wow factor as the above suggestions, it will still transform how you spend your time outside. Hammocks are a great way to relax and enjoy the little things in life. Here you can gently sway with a book in hand and the sun on your skin. Everything's better when you’re in a hammock. Hammocks are even proven to promote deep, restful sleep — especially for short naps.
When choosing your hammock, you need to consider how it will work in your outdoor space. Do you have two trees that are more than 6 feet apart? If so, then you’re good to go with the traditional hammock with ties on the ends. If not, you’ll probably have to buy a hammock that comes with its own stand. The price of hammocks ranges widely, and it depends on the style and whether or not you want additional components. A standard hammock for trees will cost you around $30, and we found a trendy bohemian option that will look great in any space! If you need a hammock that comes with its own stand, that will cost you around $100-$200. A big price jump, we know. But it’s a better option than planting trees in your backyard! We found a hammock with a stand that comes in a variety of colors so you can customize it to your taste.
5. Giant Games
What’s more fun than chess? Giant chess. When it comes to fun and games, the bigger, the better. You can keep guests of all ages entertained with mega versions of your favorite party games such as Jenga, connect four, bowling, and more! You can find these jumbo-sized games either online on Amazon or at any big box store. Some of these games can easily be made at home as well! For example, you can make a large lawn version of tic-tac-toe with string, pegs, and markers made out of scrap wood or wood decor appliques from the craft store. If you or a friend is handy with a saw, you could definitely make custom giant Jenga playing pieces.
If you’re looking for a home in the Mid Peninsula, contact Mary Ann Teixeira today. Whether you’re looking for a short-term rental or a forever home, Mary can walk you through the process from start to finish and help you find a place that’s right for you. Mary serves a wide range of neighborhoods and is an expert in everything from Burlingame property for sale to Belmont real estate. Mary and her team can help you find a house that truly feels like home.