Entertaining guests at home during the summer season is never easy and can even be stressful at times. Lucky for you, we’ve teamed up with Mary Cifuentes–Director of Showrooms-Northeast for Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery–to construct a guide to help you create the ultimate outdoor entertaining experience. Ferguson is the premier destination for access to the latest quality home fixtures and appliances and they’ve given us professional tips on creating both a functional and fun atmosphere for hosting warm-weather get togethers.
Components for creating the ultimate outdoor entertainment:
- Preparation is Key
Preparing your outdoor space with practical features and bringing features of your primary kitchen outside, will help prepare you while entertaining your guests and save you some trips back and forth. Cifuentes explained, “Functional additions like a side burner and warming drawer will provide more space to cook and will help to keep prepared food warm and fresh.”
- Staying Refreshed/Cool Down
Having an outdoor fridge will be helpful in keeping beverages ice cold for your guests as well as a sink for washing fresh meats and vegetables. “Treat your guests to ice cold beverages from right outside with an integrated refrigerator and ice machine. A built-in trash chute will also be helpful in minimizing insects, and a weather-rated sink and pullout bar faucet will allow you to quickly rinse meats, fruits and veggies on the spot.”
- The Perfect Grill
Quality matters when choosing the right grill because your grill should be the focal point of your outdoor kitchen space. You want to find the right grill that meets your needs as a chef, and ultimately allows you to cook over an open flame, sear on electric grates and smoke-in natural flavors. “Choose a grill with simple, high-quality construction from a respected manufacturer incase replacements parts are eventually needed. Side burners, extra heating elements, rotisseries and large warming racks are important functional additions that will provide added space and flexibility when throwing a party or entertaining a large group outside.”
Gas vs. charcoal: Charcoal grills are believed to produce more flavorful results, however, gas grills are also a popular choice due to their convenience and easy operating.
Built-in vs. freestanding: A built-in grill is perfect if you are going for a true outdoor kitchen feel. There are many ways to customize a built-in grill to make it blend in with the rest of the kitchen. Freestanding grills allow you to move the grill anywhere in your outdoor space making for a flexible and convenient use. The choice is yours.
- Light It Up
Ensuring that your outdoor space is well-lit for nighttime entertainment is an important aspect for creating an enjoyable experience for your guests. “A decorative chandelier, ambient wall sconces and freestanding lanterns can be used to create the perfect ambience for sitting and dining areas, as well as points of entry,” Cifuentes said. “Consider accent lighting to illuminate trees, wash walls and light pathways and trails.”
- Decoration Delight
Lastly, decorations will tie everything together helping to create the ultimate entertaining space. Stainless steel tiki torches are a great way to decorate your outdoor space while also helping to keep those pesky mosquitoes away. Don’t forget plants! Hanging baskets of flowers will give your outdoor space extra color and charm, creating an inviting vibe for your guests.