Creating an ideal outdoor space doesn’t have to be a huge endeavor; with the right items and a little creativity, you can transport yourself anywhere you please. In order to have the perfect patio setup, however, there are definitely some things you’re going to need to make sure you have.
Patio Furniture Set
If you want to do any sort of entertaining, you’re going to need a patio furniture set. These come in an incredible amount of combinations, so finding the one that fits your needs is going to be completely up to you. I’ve seen sets that contain a couch, sets that contain a recliner, sets that have chairs that rotate, and more.
Personally, I like to go for a set that has four chairs and a decent-sized table. An umbrella is also an excellent addition. Most tables that come with patio sets have a hole for an umbrella, if they don’t already include one. If you need to get one, most home stores sell them at decent prices. If you live in a sunny area, try to get one that has some protection from UV rays.
This is, of course, dependent also upon the type of room you have. Since we’re going for the perfect patio setup, we’re going to assume you have plenty of room. If not, though, there are some smaller sets. My current patio is a little on the small side, for instance, so our patio set is two chair, a small table and two ottomans. It’s fantastic for sitting outside in the evening and enjoying a moment while the dogs play.
No patio is complete without a barbecue pit. Much like patio furniture, there are all kinds of configurations, and what you want is going to depend on preference and price point. Some pits have smokers built in or a flat top for cooking. There’s also the age-old battle between wood and propane.
When it comes to wood versus propane, each has some good and bad points. Wood is, in my opinion, the superior fuel because it makes food taste delicious. I prefer mesquite, particularly in the form of briquettes, but I’ve also used mesquite logs. Other woods work as well, but nothing tastes quite as good as mesquite.
Wood, however, is a pain to deal with at times. If you’re not using charcoal, you’re going to have to chop the stuff up. Wood also leaves ashes behind which will need to be scooped out of your pit from time to time, at which point they will need to be disposed of.
Propane is significantly more simple and clean. You buy canisters of the stuff and hook it up to your pit. You don’t have to clean up after the fact, which is a giant bonus. And you get some extra cook options, like being able to better control the temperature of your pit. In my opinion, though, it just doesn’t taste the same. Also, propane isn’t a renewable energy source, so you’re not doing the environment any favors.
Still, though, it all comes down to preference. I like a simple wood-burning pit on which I can throw some fajitas or burgers. I’ve never smoked any sort of meat, but I think if I had a pit that allowed it I might give it a go.
I would consider this one to be optional, but it’s definitely something nice to have. An outdoor fireplace doesn’t just add warmth during the colder months of the year, it serves as a focal point for your outdoor experiences.
Any time I have been to a gathering with a fire outside, people gather around it. This is where the discussions happen, where the laughter is, where the cool guy with the guitar hangs out. Even on a warm night, the fire draws people in with its attractive warmth, smell and glow.
It’s important to make sure it’s safe, though. If you’re going the fire pit route, make sure you have one with a cover in order to avoid flying embers. It’s also safest to have one that either has a protected bottom or allows for sand or something else to serve as a firewall between it and the ground. Too much heat on the bottom of a fire pit can cause grass or anything below to warm too much and possibly ignite.
For outdoor fireplaces, there are an incredible number of options, both in look and fuel type. Much like barbecue pits, you can go with wood or propane. Fireplaces can also be fueled by bio ethanol, which is a great renewable resource-based fuel. Gel fuel and even natural gas are two other options.
You’ll find wood and propane fireplaces have the same pros and cons as barbecue pits. Bio ethanol and gel fuels both burn very clean, not putting off much in the form of fumes or smoke, and also not putting off quite as much heat. Natural gas is very similar to propane, which is actually a byproduct of refining natural gas.
I will, again, vote for wood just because it has the most authentic feel. If I didn’t want to deal with the hassle, though, I’d probably go for something like bio ethanol. Bio ethanol fireplaces are easy to maintain, the fuel is inexpensive and it’s better for the environment than other fuels.
If you ask me, no patio is complete without a hammock. The patio sets, with their chairs and such, are nice, but nothing is as comfortable as laying back in a net, reading a good book while the wind gently swings you.
Hammocks also come in several varieties. Take the Pawleys Island Single Cotton Rope Swing, for instance. This one is actually more like a chair, which is pretty fantastic. I can definitely see myself sitting in something like this, letting my feet dangle over the edge or even balling up in it for some real relaxation.
A traditional hammock, however, offers classic comfort. Stretching out on a full-sized hammock like the Pawleys Island Presidential Size Original Duracord Rope Hammock would feel like a dream. This particular hammock is actually designed for two, so it holds up to 450 pounds. This also means a big guy like me can use it without too much worry.
For something a little more solo, though, I would recommend the Algoma 13’ Cotton Rope Hammock with Hanging Hardware and Pillow. It has absolutely everything you need to really find a relaxing moment on your patio. The pillow actually ties onto the hammock in order to prevent it from falling off if you end up doing so yourself.
The biggest key to finding the right hammock is making sure it can handle whatever weight you’re going to throw at it. You’re also going to want to make sure whatever you get can stand up to weather in your neck of the woods.
An ideal patio is definitely within reach. You want to have an area that is warm and inviting, even if you’re the only person who uses it. Think about all the different uses for your patio and you’ll have a good starting point. Do you want to entertain? Do you want to eat outside? Do you enjoy relaxing in the sun? Once you answer these questions, you’ll be well on your way to creating your own perfect patio.
What kinds of things do you have on your patio? Do you have a wishlist? Let us know in the comments section!
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