When the first beautiful day of spring rolls around, it makes you want to bust out the patio furniture and invite over the neighbors for a barbecue. Before you can soak up the sun in your backyard with friends, though, you likely need to perform some much-needed updates to your deck or patio and maintain it after months of cold weather. If you don’t know where to start with creating the perfect outdoor party space, here’s how to bring your vision to life.
Essential Features of an Outdoor Entertaining Space
With summer days comes later sunsets, but for those evenings when the party continues after the porch light comes on, you’ll need outdoor lighting around your living space. Patio lights can have a massive impact on the entire look and feel of your yard. They set the mood for a relaxing and comfortable lounge space while providing much-needed task lighting for more active areas.
If you plan on installing an outdoor kitchen, for example, a series of pendant lights over the prep space creates illumination over your grilling. For general lighting, outdoor flush mounts provide an overall glow, while pendant wall lights can limit lighting to a doorway or designated section of the patio. Consider the lighting needs of your outdoor living space, and incorporate various options to bring it to fruition.
Install Ceiling Fans
Summer days and nights see blistering temperatures, and even shaded patio areas can feel the heat without a breeze. Outdoor ceiling fans are an immediate solution to this issue, circulating the air to create a cooling breeze. When shopping for an outdoor ceiling fan, though, there are a few considerations you need to factor into your decision.
First, determine whether you’ll need a wet-rated or damp-rated ceiling fan. While both types of outdoor ceiling fans can be installed outside, only wet-rated fans can be directly exposed to rain. This feature means you can install them anywhere, whether the area is covered or not. On the other hand, you can only install damp-rated fans in dry or damp areas, typically covered. If you’re not sure which one to choose, your safest bet is to select a wet-rated ceiling fan.
Beyond this functional concern, you need to decide what size and style work best on your patio. A fan that is too big will dwarf the space, while one that is too small will not adequately cool the living area. If you don’t want to use a huge ceiling fan for a sizable patio, opt instead for two or more smaller ones spaced appropriately throughout. Luckily, there are a wide variety of ceiling fans in all styles, shapes, and sizes that you can find on the market today, so it is relatively easy to find one that aligns with your design vision.
Update Your Patio Furniture
Seen above: Retro Round Back Leather Lounger — DH-161-001
Any outdoor party house needs plenty of furniture for lounging and entertaining. From outdoor dining sets to patio furniture, a ton of seating is an unquestionable requirement. Patio furniture needs to be durable to weather the elements, and they typically have removable cushions to maximize comfort while avoiding damage. For more protection for these investment pieces, purchase covers for your patio furniture so you can preserve them when bad weather hits.
When you have the budget to invest in high-quality patio furniture, follow the same rules as you would inside. If you have limited space, buy a few patio chairs and a small table that will be easy to rearrange. Don’t clutter the area with too much furniture, and make sure each piece is proportional to the overall space. Maintaining pathways is crucial to a patio, as you want to avoid bumping furniture with kids running to and from the yard and guests venturing outside from the house.
Buy an Area Rug
Seen above: Seeley Brick 9 X 12 Rug — UT-71076-9
Area rugs carry a lot of design power, as they pull together any living space by identifying designated gathering areas. Not only do they provide comfort for you and your guests, but they can also protect your floor from damage and the general wear and tear that results from constant foot traffic. What’s more, if you didn’t have time to make repairs to your patio floor, area rugs can help cover up any damage that you don’t want your guests to see.
If you’re looking for a fast and straightforward way to update your patio, an area rug is a simple solution. When researching outdoor area rug options, make sure your choice is made of a durable, outdoor-friendly material that can handle bad weather. While you are slightly limited on material options, outdoor rugs come in a variety of colors and styles that will fit into the aesthetic you’ve curated for your patio.
Invest in an Outdoor Kitchen
Seen above: Premium Refrigerator — 3590-DR
If you want to take your summer entertaining to the next level, an outdoor kitchen will have the whole neighborhood flocking to your next barbecue. From top-grade grills to exterior fridges, you can create an entire cooking space in your yard without having to pop in and out of your house for supplies. For a self-sufficient prep space, incorporate storage for utensils, a sink for water and cleaning, and even small appliances like blenders for cocktails and other culinary fun.
Install an Outdoor Fireplace
For a cozy outdoor living space that can endure beyond hot summer nights, an outdoor fireplace can make your patio useful for entertaining even in colder months. Whether you live in a climate that complements hot summer days with chilly evenings, or you want to enjoy the outdoors in the dead of December, this outdoor element can radiate heat and set a distinctly cozy ambiance.
To make the most of an outdoor fireplace, make sure you have ample space for storing firewood, whether it’s built into the hearth or it’s a wrought iron holder positioned next to it. If you live in a breezy area, fireplace doors can remedy any flame from going out with a gust of wind. For a fireplace that’s easy to function, consider installing outdoor gas logs with a stainless steel burner system. This option makes lighting a fire quick and convenient while ensuring that it endures moisture and rain when not in use.
How to Maintain Your Yard for Guests
Hide Items Out of View
When entertaining guests in your yard, even a vast backyard can feel cluttered when kid’s toys and outdoor activities are strewn across the lawn. To mitigate this issue, create designated storage options for all your lawn activities, whether they be outdoor-grade toy boxes or hooks to hang equipment out of sight. This tidying task not only makes your yard look more organized, but it also eliminates a tripping risk for your guests.
Care for Your Lawn
If you have natural grass, you probably know that edging it can make a huge difference in your lawn’s appearance. Edging is a relatively simple task that doesn’t take much time, but can make a huge impact. Pull out any large weeds, and for small ones that are difficult to remove, try hiding them by covering them with mulch, bark, or wood chips. If there are any areas on the lawn that are not level, consider filling them in and covering them with sod to eliminate an unnecessary tripping risk.
Beyond general lawn maintenance, make sure to pick up after any pets you have in your yard. The last thing you want is for your party to come to a screeching halt because one of your guests stepped in something accidentally.
Invest in Landscaping
Adding plants to your backyard is a simple way to turn it into a more beautiful and vibrant space. If you head to any home improvement store or garden center, you buy hanging planters and pre-potted flowers in abundance. You can then dig holes in the ground to place your pre-potted plants or replace the containers they came in with decorative pots and planters.
A patio space, in particular, can benefit substantially from a little greenery. If the living space backs up to a nearby window, add a window box for a pop of flowers on your home. Potted plants can also make a fun decorative accent, especially if they are in colorful pots or unique shaped planters.
Maintain Your Patio or Deck
More than anything, maintaining the structure of an outdoor living space is imperative to successful entertaining. A patio or deck in disrepair can not only distract from its relaxing appeal, but it can also feel dangerous to hang out on it. When a paver is missing on a patio or a board comes loose on a deck, it can create an unnecessary hazard for visitors.
Make sure to perform any necessary maintenance on the structure before the warmer months arrive to ensure you cater to any potential damage that cold weather brought. Also, if the pavers or wood look a little worse for the wear, a quick pass with a pressure washer can make a patio look as good as new in just a few hours.
When you’re ready to give your patio a little love, Hansen Wholesale has everything you need to create an entertaining outdoor living space. From outdoor kitchens to fireplaces, ceiling fans, patio accessories, and more, we can work with you to find the best options for your yard. For more information and to speak with our design experts, give us a call today at (800) 201-1193.