13 May Four Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space This Summer
Four Ways to Make the Most of Your Outdoor Living Space This Summer
Summer is right around the corner. Are you prepared to make the most of it? The truth is, even if you have the most beautiful, elaborate or expensive outdoor living space, it simply isn’t going to do you much good if you don’t actually use it. All too often homeowners invest the time and energy into creating gorgeous outdoor grilling spaces, only to let them gather dust all summer long. Don’t let that be you. Here are a few tips you can use for making the most of your outdoor living space.
1. Clean the Space Before the Summer Grilling Season Starts
Outdoor living spaces tend to get dirty very quickly and easily. If you have to do, or pay for, a massive clean-up every time you want to use the space, chances are you’ll just opt to sit inside instead. Prevent this by choosing weather-friendly fabrics and materials and by doing a thorough deep clean at the beginning of the season. This way, a few wipes with a soapy sponge are all you will really need to get your space ready for your family and friends. Check with your home cleaning service as most have specials on seasonal outdoor cleaning to get you ready for outdoor seasons.
Once your living space has been deep cleaned, you’ll also want to make future cleaning easier on yourself as well. Purchase a second set of cleaning supplies to keep right on hand in your outdoor storage so you aren’t running in and out of the house before and after every meal. You may even want to invest in a nice rolling cart to help you carry everything inside and out. This will make clean-up and breeze and help ensure that it gets done in a timely manner.
Most catering or chef services that come in to host parties include cleaning as part of the package and most party hosts relate that it is worth every penny to be able to simply close the doors to your outside space and be done with your day.
2. Invite Friends and Family Over on a Regular Basis
Every year, people all over the country look forward to summer and the relaxing time off it will bring. Unfortunately, however, many of these same people quickly find themselves headed into the fall without ever having a chance to enjoy so many of the experiences they were hoping to. With work, summer sports and volunteer projects all vying for your time and attention it can be difficult to get everything in. Summer can be an incredibly busy time. If you aren’t proactive, the days will slip by before you know it.
This summer, make the most of your time by planning in advance. Plan a neighborhood barbecue, birthday party or fourth of July barbecue. Invite friends, family and even clients over on a regular basis for summer cookouts. You may even consider hosting a regular cookout every Friday or the first Saturday of every month. There’s always an excuse for a get-together; you simply have to take the steps to make sure it happens.
You can even have chef or catering services come in to help you do complete meals or even just prepare and let you be the hero by cooking!
3. Find the Perfect Grilling Recipes
A cookout simply wouldn’t be a cookout without a fantastic menu, and summer is the perfect time to dust off the grill and try out some new and interesting recipes. Here are a few great grilling ideas your guests are sure to love.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers: With jalapenos, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and bacon, your guests are sure to love these rich and creamy appetizer with its festive kick. Prepare the poppers in advance and they should only require about ten minutes on the grill once your guests have arrived.
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Mozzarella: A simple yet impressive appetizer, grilled Portobello mushroom caps are the perfect way to begin a gorgeous summer evening outside. With Italian dressing, red pepper and mozzarella, these mushroom caps are packed full of flavor.
Fruit and Vegetable Skewers: A mouthwatering addition to any main dish, fruit and vegetable skewers are one versatile appetizer. Choose from a wide variety of colorful and flavorful combinations for the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Popular options include: pineapple, mango, tomato, peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Prepare this appetizer in advance, or set out bowls of cut up fruits and vegetables and let your guests create their own.
Pineapple Bacon Burgers: Summertime wouldn’t be summertime without juicy burgers on the grill. This summer, take a break from the usual burger recipes to try one with a unique and memorable flavor: pineapple bacon burgers. Sweet, tangy and oh-so-satisfying, you may never eat a “normal” burger again!
Homemade Pizza: If you’re really up for an adventure, why not try cooking your own homemade pizza on the grill? Instead of trying to manage one large pizza, make several mini-pizzas and set out a wide variety of toppings so your guests can create their own. You’ll love seeing all of the interesting topping combinations your guests are sure to come up with, and everyone will love the taste and texture of this fun summertime treat.
Caprese Salad with Grilled Flank Steak: Nothing is better than a delicious steak hot off the grill, but that doesn’t mean you want to blow your entire dining budget on buying enough steaks for everyone at your end-of-summer get-together. Serve your guests the best while still keeping your budget in mind by serving caprese salad with grilled flank steak. Light enough for summer, yet filling enough for a crowd, this delicious and flavorful salad with help your steak stretch far.
Grilled Pound Cake with Berries: If you think grilling is just for main dishes and side dishes, you are missing out. Prepare your entire meal on the grill, including a delicious grilled pound cake with berries for dessert. Light and sweet, yet richly warm and satisfying, pound cake with berries is the perfect summer treat. Mix up the berries according to what is in season for maximum results and flavor.
4. Make the Space as Comfortable as Possible
Lastly, it doesn’t matter how beautiful, clean or attractive your outdoor living space is; if it isn’t comfortable, you and your guests aren’t going to want to use it. Thankfully, whether your space is enclosed or out in the open, there are several ways you can improve your comfort and the comfort of your guests.
Plant large, shady trees and install fans with misters to keep guests cool on hot summer days. Consider hosting your parties later in the day, when the temperatures are beginning to drop. Use bug screens, candles and bug-repellant plants to keep mosquitoes, bees and other insects away. Provide plenty of delicious beverages to keep guests hydrated on hot summer days. Make sure you have enough comfortable seating for all of your guests, and arrange it in a way so that everyone can navigate your outdoor space easily.
Talk to your builder about creating ways of staying cool and comfortable. From fans to misters to outdoor air conditioners, technology has improved to make your outdoor living space great for actually living in the warmer months.
This summer, escape the indoors. Make the most of your outdoor space with these delicious grilling ideas and practical outdoor living tips.
For more ideas on outdoor living and inspirational photos of outdoor living areas, click here.