As the vaccine rollout picks up and that light at the end of the pandemic tunnel becomes brighter and brighter, lots of us are imagining our first big post-pandemic gathering. Will it be a dinner party? A barbecue? A full-blown party?
While we wait for friends to be fully vaccinated, why not take that entertaining energy and put it toward your home? There are plenty of cost-effective, small upgrades (as well as large ones!) that can make your home an entertainer’s paradise. Here are a few to consider.
Upgrade your outdoor gathering space with seating, a fire pit, and lighting
There’s no question that outdoor gatherings will likely feel safer for many people for a long time to come, and with spring and summer weather approaching, the time is ripe for backyard barbecues and cocktail hours.
According to a report on top agent insights from HomeLight, some of the most desired and valued backyard features include:
- Fire pits
- An elevated deck or patio
- Covered outdoor living space, with seating and tables
- Area for yard games
- Built-in grill and/or outdoor kitchen
By investing in weather coverage (like an awning) for some part of your yard, plus adding sophisticated lighting, you’ll drastically expand the amount of time you and your guests can use your yard for get-togethers. Fire pits, aside from providing warmth on chilly nights and a focal point for guests to gather around, also encourage people to settle in for a while and converse—and those connection points are key for any successful event.
Make the most of your new backyard office
If you’re among the thousands of people for whom work from home is becoming a likely permanent scenario, you’ve likely stepped up your home office game—perhaps even creating a backyard office.
What’s great about backyard offices, aside from the fact that they provide additional value when the time comes to sell (if you’re in this position now, you may want to check out this net proceeds calculator), is that they can easily be set up as multipurpose space. If you’re hosting lots of get-togethers with friends, you may want to consider options like foldable or portable desks that allow you to transform your daytime work space into evening entertaining space.
Great backyard offices also make ample use of their outdoor setting, incorporating lots of light and an airy, spacious design. These factors can also make it a beautiful space for guests to mingle.
Create conversation or social zones in different areas of your home
It’s a truth every host knows: no matter how small or messy your kitchen is, guests will naturally gravitate toward it. It’s called the heart of the home for a reason, after all.
However, to help avoid the crowding and bottlenecking that a packed kitchen can create, try to develop “social zones” in different areas of your home.
That could be a conversation area in your living room, with chairs and other seating around a focal point like a coffee table or fireplace. Outdoor social zones can be more fluid, with camp chairs, Adirondack chairs, a bench, or seating around a table. You can even create a social zone in a small, otherwise unused area of a hallway or landing simply by creating an inviting place to sit and chat.
Upgrading your home’s entertainment capacities is an easy thing to do that will pay major dividends once gathering at home is once again safe for everyone. All it takes to get started is a bit of imagination!