Outdoor Entertaining at the Cabin—Tips to Get Off Your Deck

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As you think about what kind of spring cleanup you may be facing, it may be time to create a plan for an outdoor retreat. Don’t limit yourself to your deck! One of the reasons you have a cabin is to enjoy the nature you are surrounded with. A bit of planning can make it just as convenient as your deck.

A pathway can make your exterior inviting and the surrounding area more accessible. If your guests are picking their way through the brush like a deer, or overlapping their steps like a supermodel on a runway, it may be time to put one in!

It doesn’t have to be very fancy, it can be as simple as cleaning away brush and vines, laying down some available limbs or stones as a natural border, and leveling areas that are a bit treacherous. If the area is raw earth, you may consider laying a fine layer of crushed rock, though some landscape cloth would be best underneath it. Make sure you have enough width to bring down those rolling coolers! Your evaluation may lead you to reconsider where your path is currently located, but that’s fine, too.

Seating Area
Hopefully, your pathway leads to someplace great on your property. It may be a beautiful hilltop, a lake view, or a sun-dappled forest. Wherever it leads, you want to eyeball the space and decide on the best seating arrangement possible. Facing the view? Facing other guests and the view?

Don’t forget tables for drinks and snacks. Hardwood furniture is a great option for weather endurance. Gustav Stickley designed some beautiful outdoor furniture meant to stay outdoors year-round, and reproductions of his timeless designs are readily available.

For cushions or other décor that you want to stay dry, tuck a deck box away nearby or build a small enclosure off the path, saving you a trek back to the cabin. Lap blankets for your guests are a considerate touch.

Protection From the Elements
Speaking of weather protection, it’s a good idea to set up some type of cover from the blazing sun, rain or even snow! Sipping on warm coffee on a cool and drizzling morning in the summer is a peaceful way to start your day…and isn’t peace one of the reasons you have a cabin?

You don’t have to cover the entire space—just enough that you can house the typical number of guests that you have over. Your shelter can be solid or a fabric affair depending on your environment. If you have a property that gets a lot of snow, a solid roofed permanent structure is a better idea.

Heat Source
No matter how hot your property gets, it can cool right off in the evenings. Don’t let the coolness rob you of the opportunity to stargaze with your guests! Propane heaters or a firepit will provide a cozy environment after a long day. Your heat source can also double as a cooking area for all those S’mores!

This summer, make it your goal to create a beautiful outdoor retreat to take advantage of true cabin living.