Advice on Creating a Cozy Outdoor Entertaining Area for the Holidays?

Advice on Creating a Cozy Outdoor Entertaining Area for the Holidays?

Colleen Quinn
Nov 23, 2012

Now that temperatures in my corner of the globe are no longer hitting the triple digits, my husband and I are looking forward to spending more time outside at our home. Unfortunately, our outdoor space, though large, isn't feeling particularly inviting. I want to get things into tip-top shape for holiday entertaining, and would appreciate ideas to help jumpstart my creativity.

These pictures were taken this summer so please excuse the harsh light. I can't change the color of the fence (unfortunately) or make any structural changes of any kind.


  • Size- we have plenty of space here to enjoy

  • Shade- we are lucky to have both trees and a pergola to help soften the sun

  • Bougainvillea- that bush blooms pink and white pretty much all year long


  • Size- the space is so large, I am uncertain how to utilize it all and make it cozy

  • Mother Nature- between the constant sun and the approaching season of sandstorms, this space takes a lot of punishment

  • Endless Sea of Concrete- ok that might be an exaggeration, but all that concrete (some of it in terrible condition) can feel overwhelming

The wicker furniture was just handed down from another family before they moved; those cushions have since been discarded. As you can see, we have a plethora of tables and chairs (both glass and plastic), a great grill for BBQs, and even a hammock for quiet afternoon reads. I think we have some good bones, but I need help rearranging everything to create functional and cozy spaces. Any advice welcome!

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