A patio is the perfect spot for enjoying all that the warm weather months have to offer: balmy weather, bright sun, and days that finally last a little bit longer. But it doesn’t do you much good to have a patio if it isn’t ready for you to enjoy in comfort and style. Make the most out of the gorgeous weather by creating a patio that’s perfect for drinking, dining, and more.
Set the mood.
Creating a relaxing, inviting atmosphere in your backyard is more than just raking up the leaves and setting out a patio table. Use lighting and music to set the scene and give your patio a glow that’ll have you heading outdoors all spring and summer long.
A set of string lights can transform your backyard from a dark landscape to a glowy getaway in no time flat. These Edison-style bulbs are commercial grade and super sturdy, and will also complement a variety of styles in any backyard. Try draping them across your patio or even along your fence to light up your outdoor space.
If string lights aren’t your thing and you prefer more of a classic look, a decorative lantern can add the same light while leveraging a different style. You can hang them from a small hook or lamp post, or even just set one on your patio table as part of a centerpiece. The best part? Although they give off the look of a classic, lit-from-within lantern, they’re actually lit with flameless LED candles, so you can set one out throughout the whole night without worry.
Whether you’re having a fun backyard barbecue or just want to cultivate more of a laid-back atmosphere, tiki torches are a creative way to infuse your backyard with both light and ambiance. As an added bonus, you can also fill them with fuel that contains citronella to help keep mosquitoes and other bugs at bay while you relax outdoors.
If you’re looking to add a nice glow to your backyard without going overboard on lighting, candles are the way to go. A three-wick candle is the perfect size to add an extra bit of light to an evening outdoors, all while putting a subtle scent in the air, too. Using citronella candles can also help keep you free of bug bites as you relax outdoors.
The best time to enjoy your outdoor space is during the warm weather months, but it can easily get a little too hot, which admittedly drives some of us back indoors. Don’t let a little too much sun ruin your backyard hangout. This fan not only produces a powerful breeze that’ll help keep you cool, but it also produces a fine mist that will reduce the air temperature in your backyard by up to 25 degrees. It simply hooks up to your garden hose and gives you three speed options that can be adjusted based on the heat.
Of course, you can always hang out on your patio during the winter months, but it’s definitely not as enticing. Harsh temperatures, biting winds, and icy weather conditions don’t always make it easy to even get outside, much less stay there. With the right heater, though, you can enjoy your outdoor space all year long. This standing heater is perfect for warming up your entire patio, and also comes with a protective cover for times when it’s not in use.
The right music can make or break a backyard party, and some people even go as far as to set up entire sound systems in their backyards. However, if you don’t have the time or money to invest in an entire system, a good speaker can get the job done, too. The Soundlink Micro from Bose is a powerful, portable speaker that you’ll be able to hear loud and clear even when you’re outdoors. What’s even better is that it’s waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about sudden showers.
If you’re looking for something with just a little more power but still without the hefty price tag of an entire speaker system, the JBL Flip 4 is perfect. It’s waterproof and compact, and also has a rechargeable lithium ion battery that can keep it running for up to 12 hours. While it’s perfect for listening to music, it also features a built-in speakerphone that cancels out noise and echos, making it great for taking your next conference call from the comfort of your patio.
Set the scene.
Once you’ve got all the basics down, the fun really begins. Decorating your patio can be just as much fun as decorating the interior of your home, and it’ll encourage you to spend much more time in your outdoor space. When thinking about how you’d like your patio to look, consider how you’ll spend most of your time when you use it. From smaller family barbecues to larger garden party gatherings, with the right accessories you can transform your backyard into a space to host them all.
If you thought rugs only belonged on the inside of your home, think again. Adding a rug to your patio is an instant way to make it feel more homey and cozy, while also adding a decorative element. Don’t worry, though, because these aren’t the standard rugs you’d throw down in your kitchen or living room—they’re rugs that can be used outdoors and are made with special weather-resistant, easy-to-clean material. When they get dirty, just rinse them with a hose and let them air dry. Here are some of our favorite neutral options for any outdoor space:
Looking to get some rest and relaxation on your patio this summer? Try bringing the inside out with this wicker patio set, complete with a patio sofa, two armchairs, and a coffee table. All you’ll need is a nice shady umbrella and you’ll have your own outdoor living space where you can kick back day or night.
If you’re looking for a similar patio set with a slightly more breezy style, check out this collection from World Market.
If hosting countless backyard barbecues for your family and friends is your goal, having the right dining set on your patio is essential. This outdoor dining collection from World Market makes it easy to customize the look of your set as it offers both bench-style seating and traditional wicker chairs. Go with one style of seating for a streamlined look, or do half on one side and half on the other for versatility.
If you have a smaller space, it doesn’t mean that patio furniture is out of your reach. This three-piece set is perfect for a smaller patio. The bistro-style trio comes with two chairs and a small round table, perfect for sitting outside to drink coffee or read a book.
If you want a few more seats but still don’t want to go with a large dining table, this cast aluminum 5-Piece Dining Set can seat four people, and has a table that’s large enough for dinner and drinks outdoors on a summer night.
Set the table.
You might go with a more neutral look when it comes to your standard dishes, but buying a dinner set for your patio is where you can have a little more fun. This four-piece plate set comes in a variety of beautiful colors and patterns, perfect for adding a little zest to your spring and summer barbecues. They’re also made with durable melamine, so they’re great for any outdoor gathering.
We recommend having a set of durable glasses in your home to bring out just for outdoor use. These acrylic glasses are not only beautiful and festive, but are also way less likely to break than glass if you drop them, so you can have fun during your party instead of worrying about accidents.
When you really want to go the extra mile for an outdoor dinner, placemats are always appropriate. That said, you’ll want an option that’s weather-resistant and easy to clean when it comes to eating outdoors. These round placemats will add the perfect pop of color to your table and can be wiped clean easily once the festivities are over.