The patio is basically a Southerner’s living room. And you don’t need a lot to make your patio a fun place to hang out: a grill, some chairs, and a cooler are a great start. But if you want to make the neighbors truly jealous, here are a few of my favorite upgrades. Pick one, or combine them for a backyard everyone will enjoy being invited to this Summer.
1. Get Cozy
Outdoor furniture can look and feel as comfy as indoor these days, thanks to advances in technology and design. I especially love sofas and chairs that have cushions covered in performance fabrics. Of course, you’ll still want to take them inside in winter and protect them during inclement weather, but they’ll give you a super comfy spot to sit. Find an outdoor rug and side or coffee table, and you’ve added a whole new sitting room for the warmer months.
2. Light It Up!
Forget squinting over last year’s citronella candles. Adding lights to your backyard not only makes it easier to see your food (and guests!), it also adds ambiance. If you don’t have the budget to install hardwired lights, get bistro lights from your local hardware store.They’re surprisingly bright and can be strung from poles, through trees, or on a pergola.
3. Burn Bright
A fire pit is the ultimate outdoor accessory, not only for Summer but Winter too. All you need is a blanket and some marshmallows in the winter for a cozy get-together, for ultimate ease (and to increase the chances you’ll actually use it!) I love a gas option: No worrying about fumbling with wood or clean-ups. Gfm even has some beautiful ones that double as a bar table.
4. Cover Up
Any patio upgrades should come with function and form in mind: What’s going to make you most likely to use it? Increasing shade, for example, means you don’t have to worry about the heat at the height of the day – or the setting sun being too bright for people. It can be as simple as adding an umbrella to your table. You can also add curtains along a railing or pergola so they can be closed or drawn as needed.
5. Don’t Forget The Tunes
Music adds instant ambiance, whether it’s jazzy diner tunes or your kid’s favorite songs. Outdoor sound systems used to be expensive and labor-intensive to install. These days, you can get tabletop speakers just as powerful – and about the size of a bottle of wine. Plus, you can move them around as needed – from cocktail hour to cleaning music to bathtime. Bluetooth speakers are one of my favorite low-cost investments for inside and outside the house.
As always, live beautifully today!
-Mia, the Furniture Girl