Eight Elements to Create an Inviting Space
If your backyard entertaining space could stand some freshening and pops of color, here are elements to turn a patio or deck into a welcoming place to entertain friends and family.
Patio furniture is the focal point of any outdoor living space. How you use your patio or deck should guide your choices. If you’ll be doing a lot of outdoor dining, a table and chairs are essential. Do you envision relaxed evenings chatting with friends in a comfortable setting? Outdoor sofas, love seats, benches and gliders arranged around a coffee table can create an intimate area. Patio furniture doesn’t have to be expensive. You can find affordable styles and pieces at discount home stores like Big Lots (biglots.com) or used furniture for sale in your locale on sites such as craigslist.org.
Colorful cushions and pillows
Even the most-loved patio set can benefit from replacing old, faded cushions with something new. New cushions can really change up a look. Consider adding toss pillows here and there in colors or patterns that complement your chair cushions.
Adding a firepit can extend your enjoyment of your outdoor space well into the night. Not a fan of tending a wood fire? There are gas-fueled firepits that make starting a fire as easy as turning on the gas and flipping a switch.
An enlightened atmosphere
Lights also extend your entertaining hours and create an inviting ambiance. Choose a mix of light sources, such as candle-lit lanterns for a warm glow, solar lights to illuminate travel paths and string lights that cast gentle light from above.
Smart shade sources
If you don’t have shade, take steps to provide some. Have a large, open patio? A gazebo with a canopy and netting offers shade and keeps insects away from guests and food. Want to move the shade with the sun? An offset umbrella with stand can help you put the shade exactly where you need it at any time of day. Traditional umbrellas shelter seating areas.
Multiple seating areas
In addition to being a focal point, use your patio furniture to create separate seating areas for more flexible usage. A small bench under a tree is a great spot for sipping your favorite beverage or relaxing with a good book. A glider near the patio or deck can be a spot for special conversations with family.
Arrange flowers and greens in containers in a variety of shapes and sizes throughout your area. A small, brightly colored pot of pansies makes a wonderful table centerpiece. Plant a tall fern or palm in a large, vividly hued pot and use it as a natural division between “rooms” in your outdoor space.
A great grill station
Whether you have a big, four-burner 48,000 BTU stainless steel gas grill or a simple charcoal grill, an efficient grilling station is a must. Useful accessories include a grilling tool set and grill brush, and a cooler for briefly storing food, especially if you have a lot of meat or veggies, before it goes on the grill.