Expanding the Home with an Outdoor Living Area

Nothing says summer like a Fourth of July cookout celebration! What better way to host friends and family during this festive time of year than an outdoor entertainment area? Homeowners Gary and Shirley Westmoreland wanted to incorporate their large backyard into usable living space for that very reason. Working closely with their landscape designer, they divided up the space to include a kitchen, a fire pit and two separate seating/dining areas.

The outdoor kitchen features a built-in gas grill, a refrigerator and a sink. Adding themed decor to suit the occasion is a great way to keep a fresh look, while creating a drink station with a themed cocktail, like a Blueberry Coconut Sparkler, is an excellent way to welcome guests.

Blueberry Coconut Sparkler


3 cups fresh blueberries

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup coconut rum

2 1/2 cups ginger ale


Coconut flakes


Muddle blueberries in the bottom of a glass. Add lemon juice and coconut rum; stir. Strain mixture and discard blueberry skins. Add ginger ale and stir until combined. Garnish glass rims with coconut flakes. Fill glasses with ice and pour drink on top.

Recipe courtesy of SpicedBlog.com

Barstools & Island: Pottery Barn, July 4th Decor: Hobby Lobby

The stone fire pit is the centerpiece of this outdoor space with a semicircle seating area for relaxation. The fire pit is complete with gas starter. This is a multipurpose area that can be used year-round. The Westmorelands hosted a graduation party as one of their first celebrations after the space was completed. They filled the fire pit with ice and used it as a grab-n-go beverage station to accommodate a large number of guests.