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Expert ideas for your outdoor entertaining area

Projects Editor
Projects Editor

Ways to design an outdoor entertaining area.png


A well-designed outdoor area can provide a relaxing retreat and a perfect place for gatherings with friends and family.


We asked Jane Wright, merchandise trend and design manager at Bunnings, for expert advice on designing an outdoor entertaining area. 


Create a seamless connection


Many people now view outdoor entertaining areas as an extension of their home.


“Today's outdoor spaces are all about a natural flow, extending beyond mere indoor/outdoor integration,” Jane says. “People seek outdoor areas that emulate interiors, complete with distinct living zones for relaxation and entertainment.”


Bunnings Workshop member Ron (@buildwithroneth)'s extended outdoor entertaining area in his side yard is a good example. The space connects his dining area, garage and backyard.


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Make your outdoors more inviting and stylish by following these outdoor furniture trends.


Include zones


Jane recommends creating multiple linked zones in your outdoor areas. Examples include zones for dining, relaxation and play. “Defining these zones maximises space utility and simplifies decorating,” she says.


Watch how the Bunnings team creates a dream backyard with multiple zones for entertaining in this episode of the Make It Happen series.


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Find more creative ideas for your outdoor areas with the Top 10 most popular outdoor projects shared on Workshop.


Use the right decking


Jane recommends choosing decking material that suits how you plan to use the space.


“While wood is a classic choice, various options cater to different needs. These range from pressure-treated woods for traditional warmth to premium hardwoods for extreme durability,” Jane says.


“Alternatively, composite materials offer low maintenance, while PVC planks, though weather-resistant, can become hot if in direct sun.”


While building a low-level deck under his verandah, Shane (@DIY4Knuckleheds) opted to use a hardwood timber and applied clear oil for a rich, natural finish.


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Have a look at our Top 10 most popular deck projects and low-level deck builds for more inspiration.


Take advantage of greenery


Plants can play a huge role in how your outdoor area looks and feels. 


“Utilise your garden to create intimacy, windbreaks, captivating aesthetics and an overall sense of well-being,” Jane advises. “Fragrant flowers can transform your outdoor space into a haven.”


Marlie (@marliemakesit) used plants to turn a wasted space into a garden oasis in her backyard that's perfect for relaxing and hosting barbecues.


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Plants can also be used to create privacy. Check out 7 ways to add privacy to your outdoor area for inspiration.


Install lighting


Lighting can add functionality and ambience to your outdoor area.


“Overhead lighting is ideal for food preparation areas while ambient lighting sets the mood for relaxation,” Jane explains.


She suggests using outdoor floor lamps to enhance comfort and garden feature lights to make a statement. “Strings of lights add a magical and welcoming touch and can make your outdoor space truly enchanting.”

Member @nishadshah's low-level Merbau deck incorporates Wi-Fi controlled lights, adding ambience and visibility.


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The Bunnings team shares How to light your outdoor entertaining area.


Use natural elements to maximum effect


Jane says it is important to pay attention to sun exposure and wind direction when choosing the location of your outdoor entertaining area.


“This ensures year-round usability and comfort in your outdoor space,” she explains.


@Wados kept factors like sun exposure in mind when choosing plants for his outdoor entertaining area. It features a vertical garden with 400 plants and a pond.


Wados' vertical garden.jpg


Don’t miss these 5 ways to create a vertical garden.


More advice and inspiration for your outdoor entertaining area


The Bunnings team has shared many guides on designing an outdoor area, including How to plan an outdoor entertainment area.


For more project inspiration, check out these 10 ways to transform your outdoor entertaining area and Outdoor entertaining makeovers on a budget.

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