What’s shaping luxury outdoor entertainment spaces?

Whether it’s a lively pool party, a night spent with your nearest and dearest for a soiree under the stars, or simply an evening relaxing around the firepit, outdoor home entertainment has never been more popular. Luxury homeowners and developers have been busy working with top designers to create stunning spaces to ensure their events are the toast of the season. Let’s take a look at some of these innovative concepts. 

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1. Swim-up bars  

As confirmed by celebrity designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard at this year’s Architectural Digest Global Design Talks, swim-up bars are the must-have home upgrade this year. 

There’s nothing that better combines extravagance with practicality than having the opportunity to mix your favorite cocktails without having to leave the pool. 

Pools are also being given aesthetic upgrades via extended fire pits that offer illuminance and warmth if splash time extends into the evening, as well as beautiful fountain displays that turn your pool into a stunning spectacle as the light fades on the day’s festivities. 

Photo by JR-stock 

2. Seamlessly blend indoor-outdoor living  

Astute designers are effectively making home interiors feel more spacious—as well as enhancing entertainment capabilities—by blurring the lines between a property’s inside and out, improving the natural flow. 

A kitchen passthrough window that looks out onto the external dining area is a great way to stay connected to guests while preparing food. But homeowners are increasingly demanding even fewer physical obstacles, leading designers to pursue options such as folding doors and retreating glass walls. 

These sleek and vogueish alternatives offer as little barriers as possible—enabling you and your guests to move seamlessly about the property—while still providing the option to scale back and make the space cozy and intimate when called for. 

Photo by Artazum

3. Breaking traditional design rules  

One trend we are seeing across the luxury homes market is that homeowners and architects are getting more creative about what activities can be successfully transplanted to an external setting. 

Outdoor home theaters are becoming increasingly popular. In fact, we’re not just seeing smart projector screens and comfy seating—people are soliciting full-scale entertainment systems on their patios, complete with karaoke, gaming, and top-of-the-range audio capabilities. 

Living rooms are also being replicated outside thanks to ornate fireplaces that mimic their internal equivalents. Picture a spacious courtyard peppered with plush seating and a grand, oversized fireplace that offers warmth and comfort to those sat nearby until well after the sun retreats below the horizon. 

When it comes to moving indoor activities outside, there is still a high desire to keep them distinct—as if in their own outdoor rooms. Separate spaces for dining, entertaining and relaxing mean you can tailor each area to fulfill a specific need—whether that’s through décor, furniture or lighting. 

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4. Let there be (night) light

Speaking of lighting, to ensure those outdoor areas are fit for purpose at all times of the day (and night), extra consideration is being given into how these spots are illuminated. 

Thoughtful light placement can accentuate certain bespoke features as well as provide a gorgeous backdrop for evening rendezvous. And at the very least, appropriate lighting helps gardens and patios feel welcoming and warm—as well as improving the safety of the area. 

Designers are opting for a mix of different light sources: wall sconces, lanterns, string lights and recessed lighting all double up as both décor and illuminating devices, adding touches of class and ambiance to outdoor spaces. 

Photo by Jubéo Hernandez on Unsplash 

5. Cook something up outside

While outdoor kitchens have been growing in size and functionality for years now, we are seeing most recently a trend toward more bespoke appliances—such as wood-fired pizza ovens, ceramic grills and outdoor refrigerators. 

There has also been an urge to reconnect with one’s natural surroundings, which is fueling the rise in specially curated orchards and vegetable patches. These tailored garden spaces are perfect for adding some organic flair to cocktail making and al fresco dining.