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How to Create the Perfect Patio for Summer Entertaining  

bucket of refreshments

Summer is a time for spontaneous, casual, comfortable get-togethers with family and friends. Stress-free entertainment should be the goal, whether it’s a Friday-night barbecue for the family, a Saturday afternoon pool party and pot-luck dinner with neighbors, or a special-occasion cocktail party under the stars.

But outdoor celebrations aren’t limited only to the summer months. With the right garden furniture and accessories, you can count on extending the season throughout the year for complete Patio Bliss. Paddy O’ Furniture, with a showroom in Nashville, Tenn., and multiple locations in Arizona, helps homeowners do just that, always with the emphasis on style, comfort, quality, and value.

Transforming an outdoor space into the perfect setting for any type of gathering is not difficult, but there are a few guidelines to ensure you make your patio functional and inviting, no matter how – or how often – you plan to use your patio and yard. Here are some suggestions to help you achieve the perfect balance for your setting:

Create a Focal Point

Just as desirable interior rooms have a distinct appeal based on their primary purpose, your outdoor “room” will benefit from having a specific focal point, too. It might be a pond or water feature, a fireplace or fire pit, a formal garden area or a piece of sculpture. What you choose as your focal point will, of course, depend on the size and configuration of your yard.

pool with sun loungers

A pool is often the focus for a fenced backyard. Water is both captivating and soothing, and pool decks are natural gathering spots. A fish pond or bubbling fountain can be just as enticing as a pool. Browse our website or visit one of our showrooms for ideas on ways to build seating around your focal point. Plan for a variety of ways to encourage socializing and relaxation.

Maximize Shady Spots

If you have a roofed patio adjacent to your backyard, you already have a basic structure for comfortable outdoor seating. With a little planning, it’s possible to create an open-air “living room” that rivals its interior space for comfort and appeal.

As an alternative, consider a beamed ramada adjacent to the rear wall of your home, a unique pergola in the garden, or a retractable awning over the patio for relief from the hot summer sun. Other ways to achieve distinctive outdoor seating include a free-standing pavilion or a quaint backyard gazebo. A few strategically placed umbrellas also provide much-welcomed shade. Consider adding a few sun loungers beneath your shade structure.

patio furniture near the pool

Optimize Comfortable Seating

Choose seating for your outdoor space that will complement the architectural style of your home, offer you flexibility when entertaining guests, and stand up to local weather conditions.

If you have a pool, you can reserve the pool deck for sunbathing and lounging, and then add seating and tables elsewhere for enjoying refreshments, or as a center for conversation.

mill valley conversation patio set

Group the furniture to encourage conversation, but be flexible with your arrangements. Add art and accessories that reinforce that your is space meant for enjoyment. Plant flowering shrubs in movable pots, and use hanging baskets or windchimes for additional ambiance. Acquire garden art and let your backyard become a showplace!

Make Room for Dining

The most luxurious backyard patios today include grilling and serving areas, as well as bonuses like outdoor refrigerators, ice makers and sinks. Some outdoor kitchens even provide storage space for cookware and utensils! Barbecues, smokers, or a pizza oven can create unique, entertaining and memorable experiences.

If you plan to entertain frequently, include a dedicated dining table and chairs to your outdoors. A portable bar cart or built-in counter will help with serving and cleanup. With a large patio, deck or garden area, include multi-purpose seating, benches and ottomans that work for afternoon naps and accommodating guests. Use moveable tables or carts to accommodate drinks and snacks. Make your outdoor space as inviting and functional as possible for both solitary relaxation and social fun.

barstool chairs surrounding tall fire pit table

Light Up the Space

Outdoor lighting is just as vital as seating and eating arrangements. Place torchieres along a garden path, sconces on a fence, or lanterns atop garden posts. If you can, add recessed lighting in the patio ceiling, wrap string lights around tree trunks, and use landscape lighting that delineates specific areas. Solar lighting along pathways, or for accents, is practical and relatively inexpensive.

Lighting is particularly important if you have a deck, stairs, or multi-level spaces. Always light steps and walkways to ensure safety, and install railings as needed throughout your outdoor living space.

Games, Anyone?

Outdoor games are fun for everyone. Let your interests and imagination govern your choices. Croquet, horseshoes, badminton, bocce ball, or a life-size chess set can be great fun for adults and children alike. If you have lots of room, install a badminton court or a putting green. Exercise your inner child and hang a rustic wooden swing from a sturdy tree limb, or place a two-seat glider in the garden just for the fun of it.

Get Comfortable

Consider the weather. But also plan to mitigate the effects of the most extreme conditions. For ultimate comfort in Arizona, consider adding ceiling fans and misting systems to counteract the heat of summer, and know that an outdoor fire feature (like one of these) will not only be nice to look at but will also take the chill out of cool evenings.

Wire outdoor speakers or hang a wall-mounted television to provide the entertainment you prefer, whether it’s listening to your favorite music or watching your favorite team.

man relaxing on patio lounge chair with a drink in his hand

With a wide selection of outdoor seating, including sofas and loveseats, sectionals, swivel chairs and bar stools, you can always find your bliss at Paddy O’ Furniture. Shop our online selection to find your favorites, or visit one of our showrooms in Nashville or the Phoenix area.

We can help you create the outdoor entertainment space of your dreams. Don’t settle for less. Let  Paddy O’ Furniture be your guide to quality, value and satisfaction. We offer the best solutions for blissful outdoor living!

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