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7 Outdoor Entertaining Areas Done Right

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The season for pool parties, barbecues, and eating al fresco is afoot. Take a spin through our collection of fire pits, backyards built for cookouts, and dining areas tailored for consummate outdoor entertainers.
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  A Kenji collection dining table and benches from Modern Outdoor outfit the patio behind landscape designer Loretta Gargan's Ross, California, cottage. Her partner, the artist Catherine Wagner, salvaged granite pavers from a museum installation to line the eating area. Photo by: Morgan Rachel Levy.  Photo by: Morgan Rachel Levy

    A Kenji collection dining table and benches from Modern Outdoor outfit the patio behind landscape designer Loretta Gargan's Ross, California, cottage. Her partner, the artist Catherine Wagner, salvaged granite pavers from a museum installation to line the eating area. Photo by: Morgan Rachel Levy.

    Photo by: Morgan Rachel Levy

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  Behind a renovated Portland house, Gloster’s Elan dining table from Design Within Reach is surrounded by Spark chairs by Don Chadwick for Knoll and a built-in fire pit and DCS grill by Fisher & Paykel—all resting on a smooth surface of bluestone pavers. Photo by Lincoln Barbour.  Photo by: Lincoln Barbour

    Behind a renovated Portland house, Gloster’s Elan dining table from Design Within Reach is surrounded by Spark chairs by Don Chadwick for Knoll and a built-in fire pit and DCS grill by Fisher & Paykel—all resting on a smooth surface of bluestone pavers. Photo by Lincoln Barbour.

    Photo by: Lincoln Barbour

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  A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in the garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a white-granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini. Photo by Joe Fletcher.  Photo by: Joe Fletcher

    A maple tree grows through an ipe deck in the garden that Mary Barensfeld designed for a family in Berkeley, California. A reflecting pool separates it from a white-granite patio, which is furnished with a Petal dining table by Richard Schultz and chairs by Mario Bellini. Photo by Joe Fletcher.

    Photo by: Joe Fletcher

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  The Los Angeles home of Laura Gabbert and Andrew Avery wraps around an outdoor dining area furnished with pieces from Room & Board. The couple bought a seven-acre property in 2003 and hired architects Jeff Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of L.A.-based firm Standard to reimagine the existing ranch house as a sustainable home engineered for entertaining. “We created outdoor rooms on either side of the house,” says Allsbrook. Sliding doors on either side of the living room and along the kitchen open all the way, allowing the breeze from the nearby canyon to spin right through the house. Photo by: Catherine Ledner.  Photo by: Catherine Ledner

    The Los Angeles home of Laura Gabbert and Andrew Avery wraps around an outdoor dining area furnished with pieces from Room & Board. The couple bought a seven-acre property in 2003 and hired architects Jeff Allsbrook and Silvia Kuhle of L.A.-based firm Standard to reimagine the existing ranch house as a sustainable home engineered for entertaining. “We created outdoor rooms on either side of the house,” says Allsbrook. Sliding doors on either side of the living room and along the kitchen open all the way, allowing the breeze from the nearby canyon to spin right through the house. Photo by: Catherine Ledner.

    Photo by: Catherine Ledner

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  Sparta stacking chairs, a deep-wicker Baia sofa, and matching Baia armchairs, all by Mamagreen, are arranged around a custom concrete fire pit outside of a renovated Eichler. Landscape architect Bernard Trainor specified orange kangaroo paws, which lean in from the sides, creating a sense of privacy without sacrificing views. It’s a welcoming space that serves as a casual gathering spot when the weather cooperates. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.  Photo by: Daniel Hennessy

    Sparta stacking chairs, a deep-wicker Baia sofa, and matching Baia armchairs, all by Mamagreen, are arranged around a custom concrete fire pit outside of a renovated Eichler. Landscape architect Bernard Trainor specified orange kangaroo paws, which lean in from the sides, creating a sense of privacy without sacrificing views. It’s a welcoming space that serves as a casual gathering spot when the weather cooperates. Photo by Daniel Hennessy.

    Photo by: Daniel Hennessy

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  Though only 16 feet wide, the yard behind a narrow Toronto house accommodates seating for six and a grilling area. A Gloster table is set with Marimekko textiles. Photo by Dean Kaufman.  Photo by: Dean Kaufman

    Though only 16 feet wide, the yard behind a narrow Toronto house accommodates seating for six and a grilling area. A Gloster table is set with Marimekko textiles. Photo by Dean Kaufman.

    Photo by: Dean Kaufman

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  For the residents of Curved House—so named for its U-shaped plan that wraps around an expansive, Japan-inspired patio—a summertime shindig typically involves splashing around the pool in the afternoon, barbecuing in the evening, and gathering around a custom fire pit as the sun goes down. “Climbing down into the pit feels very intimate,” says architect Matthew Hufft, who modeled his design after the recessed conversation areas popular in 1960s and 1970s interiors. Taking cues from a slatted screen applied to the house’s facade, Hufft Projects applied a ring of ipe wood around the perimeter of the pit and designed and fabricated removable powder-coated aluminum benches upholstered in Sunbrella fabric. Photo by: Mike Sinclair.  Photo by: Mike Sinclair

    For the residents of Curved House—so named for its U-shaped plan that wraps around an expansive, Japan-inspired patio—a summertime shindig typically involves splashing around the pool in the afternoon, barbecuing in the evening, and gathering around a custom fire pit as the sun goes down. “Climbing down into the pit feels very intimate,” says architect Matthew Hufft, who modeled his design after the recessed conversation areas popular in 1960s and 1970s interiors. Taking cues from a slatted screen applied to the house’s facade, Hufft Projects applied a ring of ipe wood around the perimeter of the pit and designed and fabricated removable powder-coated aluminum benches upholstered in Sunbrella fabric. Photo by: Mike Sinclair.

    Photo by: Mike Sinclair

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