It’s a bit early to fire up the barbecue (or is it?) and open up the pool, but you can at least start planning how you’re going to spruce up your backyard patio for summer. That way, once summer finally gets here, you’ll be ready to take full advantage of that warm weather and those long days. Read on to learn how you can create the ultimate outdoor space for summer, perfect for relaxing and entertaining.
Exercise Your Green Thumb
Fresh flowers and vibrant plants are an easy and affordable way to update your backyard patio. And they aren’t just for gardens and flower beds! Arrange plants and flowers in pretty pots or baskets and group them together in different areas of your deck. Tall plants and topiaries work especially well in corners, while smaller plants and flowers can be placed on tables or even in hanging baskets. Let your décor pull double-duty by using tomato plants or herbs to add some greenery.
Experiment with Lights
Proper lighting allows you to keep enjoying the fresh air long after the sun goes down but can also be used to set different tones. A mixture of ballast lighting and softer lights will help create a relaxing and balanced atmosphere. Add string lights or lanterns to create a soft, whimsical effect and opt for colored ones if you want to create a more festive, playful mood. Tiki torches outlining your backyard patio or deck create an island atmosphere and have the added bonus of keeping bugs at bay. Don’t be afraid to experiment or change it up!
Bring the Indoors Outside with Cozy Seating
During the summer, it’s not unusual to spend most of your down-town lounging and entertaining outside. So why are you still using plastic chairs? Switch out traditional patio furniture with items similar to what you’d see in a living room. There’s a wide variety of durable, weather-friendly loungers, loveseats and ottomans available and don't be afraid to mix and match colors, textures and styles. Add some comfy cushions and lots of pillows to create an inviting outdoor space that’s perfect for entertaining or relaxing for hours on end.
Stay Cozy by the Fire
Fire pits are the perfect way to maximize your outdoor time by providing additional lighting and generating warmth on cooler evenings. With so many styles and designs to choose from, you can go as simple or as fancy as you like. Purchase a steel fire pit or create your own from stones for a rustic, camp-fire feel. There are also tabletop options that allow you to dine and lounge by the fire without leaving your seat. Whatever option you choose, your fire pit will be a hit with your family and friends.
Be the Grill-Guru of an Outdoor Kitchen
During the summer months, outdoor cooking and dining spaces can be just as important as your indoor ones. You don’t need to be spend thousands of dollars to upgrade your outdoor cooking space (though you certainly wouldn't regret it). It’s simply a matter of focusing on a few things that will help maintain the hassle-free, relaxing atmosphere that comes with being in the fresh air.
Use a kitchen cart. They’re great for transporting things from your indoor kitchen, provide additional space for food prep and storage, and can be stored in your kitchen when not in use (perfect if you don’t have a lot of space on your patio or deck).
Invest in a “mini” appliance. With more and more kitchen appliances becoming available in outdoor, weather-friendly options, the sky’s quickly becoming the limit. If you’re going for convenience, installing a bar sink or mini-fridge next to the grill on your backyard patio are affordable options. If you’re looking for something a little more non-traditional, why not get an outdoor pizza oven for your pizza-loving family?
Create additional seating. Adding a bar table and some stools close to your cooking area is a great way to keep chatting with guests while keeping an eye on dinner.
Provide overhead shelter. Don’t let rain, wind or even extra sunny days stop you from enjoying your backyard patio. Partial roofs, pergolas or even large outdoor umbrellas are all affordable options that will allow you to make the most of your outdoor cooking and dining areas.