Summer is on the horizon, and that means longer days, more sunshine, and extra time outside with family and friends. To help you make the most of the better weather, we’ve got backyard design inspiration and recipes based on your summer style. However you plan to spend your summer outside, there’s a backyard idea and recipe for you.
1. If your backyard style is relaxed and laid back, opt for inviting outdoor seating, served up with strawberry mint margaritas.
Since summer is almost here, you’re probably already imagining inviting your friends over for hours outside chatting and laughing about life, soaking in the sun. If you’re going to be relaxing the hours away, you’ll need the seating to match. An outdoor couch – or two – makes it easy to face everyone and spend time as a group. Add a bright pop of color with some accent pillows or hanging décor items, and yours is sure to be the favorite backyard this summer. Working with a smaller space? Get some outdoor patio inspiration for summer.
Strawberry Mint Margarita
Sweet, refreshing, and with a kick! This easy recipe makes four drinks, and is the perfect refreshment to sip on while you wait for the grill master to cook up the food for you!
- 1 cup of strawberries
- 1 cup of tequila
- Handful of fresh mint leaves
- ½ cup of lime juice
- Agave syrup (optional, to taste)
2. If your backyard style is family-focused, you might like a big table, perfect for serving BBQ dishes, like grilled chicken and veggies.
When it comes to entertaining the whole family – and more – you’ll need a table big enough to accommodate the entire crew. A mix of chairs and bench seating can help you fit lots of little ones while giving adults their own spot at the table. A family-sized grill helps you cook a large amount of food at once so everyone can eat at the same time, and the chef isn’t constantly getting back up to check on more rounds of food.
A quick and easy dish that never fails is grilled chicken and veggies. Extra bonus: it’s something dad and the kids can pull off on their own to give mom a break.
BBQ Chicken and Veggies:
Put some of your favorite BBQ sauce on the chicken to marinate ahead of time to bring out the flavor and make it juicy and tender.
- A couple pounds of your favorite chicken pieces – legs, thighs, breasts, wings (keep the skin on, even if you don’t plan to eat it, because it keeps the meat moist)
- A mix of veggies – zucchini, bell pepper, onions, squash, etc. (you can cook in a grill basket, or on skewers, like in the photo below)
- A pinch of salt
- Vegetable oil
- ½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (you can buy it or make it, depending on how ambitious you’re feeling)
3. If your backyard style is whimsical and colorful, then watermelon and bright purple allium flowers could be a good fit for you.
For a dose of bright, welcoming color, plant some allium flowers. They almost resemble fireworks and will bring energy to any backyard space. Not only are these flowers big and beautiful, but they tend to attract butterflies, and work for cutting. This means you can not only enjoy these flowers at home but also share the joy by bringing them as a gift to the host of your next summer bash.
Watermelon is a quintessential summertime food - it’s sweet, juicy, and usually big enough to share with large groups of people. If you keep it cold up until you serve it, it’s especially refreshing on a hot day. More than just a good cool off, watermelon is 92 percent water and contains antioxidants and vitamins such as vitamin A and vitamin C. To make your watermelon extra special, use cookie cutters to create fun shapes.
If you’re feeling up for something new, try grilled watermelon. Yep, this is a thing – and people enjoy it as a side dish, dessert, in salsa, or salad.
A new take on the classic summertime treat, grilled watermelon can be used in a variety of fun ways, plus the recipe is simple, with ingredients you’ll likely already have around the house.
- 6 slices of (seedless!) watermelon, cut to about 1.25 inches thick
- 5 tablespoons of olive oil
- Ground pepper
Your turn! What’s your grill style? Are you all about classics, like chicken and veggies, or do you like to be adventurous and try new things, like grilled watermelon? How are you planning to style your backyard space for the warmer months? Share in the comments below.
Ready to have fun this summer? Check out some of the most notable fun outdoor features Shea Homes!
Not sure what your outdoor decor style is yet? We've got you covered.