5 Ways to Visually Define an Outdoor Area for Entertaining

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Whether you're working with a big backyard with no discernible patio or you're sharing communal outdoor space, have an unconventional outdoor area or are just looking for inspiration to make your outdoor area a little more cozy, we've got a few ideas to help define an outdoor area — make it delightfully distinct. Just like an area rug in a large living room will help define a seating area, these five tips will help create an outdoor living area for you to enjoy solo or with friends.

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Use an outdoor rug to define an outdoor seating area
If you don't have a patio or any other permanent structure that defines an area outside, look to outdoor rugs (bought or DIYed) to do the job. You can lay down a large one and use that to anchor seating or a table, or you can layer a bunch of them to create an inviting bohemian look. Try this easy project: Easy DIY Outdoor Rug.

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Use painted pavers to lead you to an area or define one
If you can find or afford enough, you can always just place concrete pavers, outdoor tiles or stepping stones down on the ground to create a temporary surface for a table and chairs. But if you don't want to go that far, consider just using a few pavers to lead the way to whatever outdoor area you're trying to create. The directional cues will help add to the distinction and make your area seem like a destination. And consider painting or adding color to them to add to the fun. Find a cute project in here: Quick & Colorful: 5 Easy, Affordable and Upcycled Outdoor DIY Projects.

Use Pallets to create an elevated area
Throwing a party? Consider using free found shipping pallets to create a temporary raised platform for entertaining. You could place rugs on top or do any manner of things with seating arrangements. Just don't leave this idea — or the pallets — on bare grass for very long (they weren't meant for that). If you want something more permanent, we came across this interesting project on Redo Redux.

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Create a magical time with a tepee, tent or canopy
Making a tepee, pitching a walk-in tent or stretching a canopy over a small bit of area in your yard will give you the opportunity to create an outdoor living room — even if just for one day or night. This could be an especially interesting solution for folks with balconies without a lot of privacy, too! Find some inspiration: Beach Umbrella Alternative: Teepee Love.

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Use lights to attract and distinguish
When in doubt, use light — string lights, candles and more — to visually distinguish a seating area from the rest of your outdoor space. In fact we've got some tips on the best ones to grab up: The Best Outdoor String Lights To Light Up the Backyard, Patio, or Balcony.

(Image credits: Nancy Mitchell; Katie Steuernagle; Design Improvised; Cath Kidston Retro-Inspired Tent at Free People; Danny Seo)

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