5 ways to trick out your patio this season
The sun feels warm again, you can hear the birds chirping in the morning and little blades of green are breaking through months of frozen earth. When this happens our heads fill with ideas of how to beautify the outdoors with flowers, landscaping projects and spiffing up the patio. Here are five products that will transform your patio into an outdoor sanctuary:
New gas grill: Outdoor grills are starting to rival the indoor appliance that you cook on every day! Many of these new grills have several burners, warming burners, side burners, fold-down shelves and look like something you’d see in a commercial kitchen. There’s no easier way to celebrate summer early than with the smell of chicken or burgers cooking on the grill.
Lighting: Nothing sets the mood on a spring or summer evening like outdoor lighting. There are countless ways to achieve the perfect outdoor glow. You can string strands of outdoor lights together, which come in a variety of charming styles. Candles and tiki torches can create a soothing atmosphere, though open flame can be a bit challenging if there is a breeze. Home improvement and department stores also carry a variety of outdoor lamps that are as nice, or nicer than the ones you have in your living room! You may also consider a patio heater, which provides both warmth and ambiance.
Patio furniture: Here again, you can either go for the latest and cutest trends offered at places like Target and Pier 1, or you can go for the timeless option of wicker, which can often be found at garage sales. Or you can mix and match these ideas by taking garage sale patio furniture and dressing it up with new outdoor pillows. When considering outdoor furniture, you want to not only factor in comfort but durability and your level of commitment for caring for your patio furniture. If you are good about storing patio furniture in the off season, that opens you to lots of options. If you are more inclined to leave the furniture out in the blaring sun, rain and snow, then you’ll want to shop for more durable materials.
Rugs: Welcome mats have been around forever, but did you ever think you’d see the day when you could dress up your patio with a rug as nice as the one in your living room? Well, that day is here! This simple addition creates a living room feeling, inviting you and/or your friends to linger. And this is one rug you don’t have to worry about getting dirty!
Herb garden: Table-top herb gardens are pretty, functional and smell amazing. Imagine picking the mint for your Mojito right from your patio!
Dishes and accessories: Festive cups, plates and serving dishes will inspire you to enjoy your outdoor living space as much as the warm weather will allow. It also inspires you to entertain, and nothing says summer like long evenings with friends and neighbors in the back yard, wiping burger grease from your chin and enjoying wine from your festive watermelon wine glasses!
Fire-pits: Who doesn’t love a campfire? They are so comforting and mesmerizing. Sitting around the fire with the kids and a bag of marshmallows is a great way to build childhood memories. Don’t be surprised if the smell of your fire-pit lures in other kids and neighbors too!
Kat Hobza, of www.funnyfreelance.com, is a frequent contributor to the FamilyLifeExpo.com Ask an Expert blog.