7 Design Tips to Create the Perfect Picnic Area in Your Backyard

January 09, 2024 | fire pit, picnic area
7 Design Tips to Create the Perfect Picnic Area in Your Backyard

Creating an idyllic backyard picnic area allows you to tap into lazy summer days filled with alfresco dining and quality time spent gathered around a crackling firepit as the sun sets. With some strategic design choices, you can craft your personal outdoor oasis perfect for meals, games, conversations, and relaxation. From seating arrangements to decorative details, keep these 7 tips in mind when putting together your patio paradise.

1. Choose the Right Location

When deciding where to put your picnic area, opt for a spot with some shade from trees or an overhang, but make sure there is still room for sunlight to stream in. Pick a mostly flat area of your yard that allows for easy furniture arrangement and has good drainage after rain. Consider views of your garden beds or landscaping so you have something pleasant to look at.

2. Build a Fire Pit

While DIY fire pit projects may seem like an attractive money-saving option, having your fire feature professionally installed is worth the investment. Experienced landscapers are familiar with local regulations around pit placement and dimensions, and they have the proper tools and skills for gas line or drainage integration. This helps ensure your fire pit is legally compliant, properly ventilated, and built to last. Professionals also have access to higher-grade materials and the knowledge of how to choose the right components like burners, ignition switches, grates, and decorative surrounds tailored to your outdoor space. Perhaps most importantly, the pro installation gives you peace of mind regarding safety, so you can fully relax and enjoy backyard gatherings around the fire without worry. Though upfront costs will be higher, in the long run, you’ll likely recoup that by avoiding maintenance issues, replacement costs, or potentially hazardous mistakes that can happen with amateur construction attempts.

3. Use Comfortable, Weather-Resistant Furniture

Wooden picnic tables and benches are classics, but nowadays you can find furniture made of metal, plastic, or all-weather wicker that requires less maintenance. Choose seating options with comfortable cushions for the seats and backs. Don’t shy away from vivid colors and patterns that lend a playful vibe. Arrange items with different heights like side tables and ottomans to make the area more inviting.

4. Install Outdoor Lighting

To extend picnic time into the evening, install lighting around your designated space. Go with solar-powered lamps or path lighting that is low voltage. Wrap fairy lights around tree trunks or line the edges of planting beds to create a magical ambiance. Citronella candles will help keep mosquitos at bay as the sun goes down.

5. Prep a Generous Serving Area

Create an easily accessible spot to set up food and drinks that allows multiple people to comfortably gather plates and glasses. A large folding table is ideal. Attach an umbrella that can shade the surface yet still allow enough height for adults to stand underneath. Use decorative racks or crates to stow dinnerware, napkins, and cutlery. Sturdy plastic or melamine wares hold up better than breakable dishes.

6. Incorporate Fun Accessories

Personalize your alfresco dining nook with fun touches like a cornhole toss game set, giant Jenga stacks, or a connect four board attached to a fence or post. Galvanized metal tubs planted with flowers or bushes make great decorative planters that can help define the picnic zone. For music, hide a Bluetooth speaker amongst the foliage.

7. Keep Essentials Handy

Stash necessities in a vintage trunk, metal cabinet, or small shed so they don’t clutter the picnic spot but are still conveniently on hand. This could include extra folding chairs, bug spray, sunscreen, outdoor blankets, hand sanitizer, paper towels, plastic cups, and basic tools for minor repairs. A fridge or beverage cooler tucked out of the primary view is also super handy for chilling drinks and storing cold snacks.

With a bit of planning and these simple ideas, you can create a backyard picnic oasis tailor-made for relaxing afternoons, dinners under the stars, and precious memories made with family and friends.