When the temperature rises to an acceptable T-shirt and jeans level, it’s time to get ready for summer. Summer is a festive time perfect for spending time outdoors with friends and family. The typical way to prepare your outdoor space for a fun summer includes garden prep, cleaning up debris, power-washing driveways, and clearing your gutters.
Once the cleaning is done, here are ways you can further prepare your outdoor space for enjoying summer nights.
Add A Fire Pit
A fire pit in the summer is a great idea for a lot of different reasons. The best reason why fire pits mean fun summer nights is that they are the focal point of any gathering; everyone is automatically drawn to it, leaving their distracting phones behind to start conversations, tell stories, and roast s’mores. Truly a recipe for unforgettable nights.
Other great reasons include:
- The fire lights up the night, so you can use it to light up a far corner of your yard without having to fuss with electricity
- It works in both large and small spaces
- They aren’t just good for parties or gatherings, they are equally suited to small intimate romantic nights.
- They are easily customizable to fit your budget
- You can even cook over the open flames. Note that cooking over a gas fire pit is not advised. If you have a wood fire pit however you’ve got options; like placing a grill rack over the fire to cook above the flames, or wrapping up foil packets and tucking them among the coals
- You can use it all year. In fall and winter, gather with friends and family around the cozy blaze
If you’re going to have one installed, essential safety tips include keeping it at least 10 feet from your home or other structures, not having it installed beneath a tree or overhang, and keeping a container of water, a hose, a fire extinguisher, or all three on hand whenever you light it up.
Add Lighting for Ambiance
An easy yet underrated way to set the mood for an awesome night is by strategically choosing lights and placing them in a way that improves ambiance.
Here are lighting tips to perfectly prepare your space for the best nights:
- Go solar by popping spikes in among shrubs and along paths, or lighting strings around features
- Add deck lights as a way to add a gentle glow of ambient light. As an added bonus it’s a useful safety feature
- Use wall lights to highlight the texture of a stone wall so that it creates a beautiful illumination across the surrounding surface
- Fairy lights aren’t just for Christmas. They’re incredibly versatile for setting the right mood; cast nets of them over shrubs, fix them along branches of trees, or tuck battery-operated strings of them into glass pots
- Place lights on either side of steps and pathways to cast a glow that’ll be a stylish way to welcome your guests by illuminating their passage
Provide Comfortable Seating
Preparing your space for enjoying long summer nights can’t be complete without providing seating for your guests. The right seating cushions, chairs, stools, and plans are an important determinant of how great the outdoor gatherings will be.
For example, for seating around the pit, a great way to go is individual chairs that allow everyone to easily move them around depending on the weather because of the movement of the wind and its effect on the direction of the smoke.
Another way to go is bar stools. You can easily incorporate happy hour into evening hangouts with a clever pub table and bar stools set up. Choose bar stools that come with cushions so that you and your guests can stay outside longer while still staying comfortable.
Yet another option you have for a more intimate seating area to catch up with family is an outdoor sofa set. An outdoor sofa set is an answer to finding furniture for your outside space that’s both comfortable and coordinated. Because they require little to no assembly, you’ll be able to enjoy the furniture as soon as you receive it. This means you won’t have to spend time manually looking for single pieces that go together. A trick to defining the conversation area, even more, is to roll an outdoor rug out underneath the sofa set. This will tie the outdoor space together while making the floor temperate and soft.
Keep in mind that whatever furniture you decide on will be outdoors, so it’ll need to be able to brave the elements and still maintain its durability. Thus, consider wicker, metal, wood, and teak materials. For cushions:
- Polyester is a durable, inexpensive fabric that will not stretch or fade and is resistant to mold and mildew
- Acrylic is a fabric that’s water-resistant (but not waterproof) thus easy to clean. Plus it’s very breathable, allowing the fabric to stay cool in hot summer weather
- Sunbrella is a completely waterproof fabric. It is dyed with acrylics, which makes it resistant to fading, mold, and mildew
Consider An Outdoor Kitchen
Cooking and food bring people together. Few things can make a gathering more enjoyable than mouthwatering food.
The first big decision to make is deciding exactly where to put it. It needs to be close but not too close to living spaces, has adequate space for storage and dining, and yet be protected from the elements.
For example, imagine the inconvenience of situating it in the direction of the wind. Especially if there are trees or bushes nearby, a strong gust of wind will pick up all sorts of flower petals, pollen, branches, and leaves and send them flying right on the grill so that any food you cook on it will be ruined.
Then, when you start looking at options for outdoor kitchens, you will discover there are two main options: a prefabricated kitchen and a custom kitchen. A prefab kitchen comes with everything you need to assemble and set up in your outdoor space while a custom-made kitchen is built for you with all the details you want to be added at your discretion.
Here are some pros and cons of both to help you decide:
- Prefab kitchens mean a quick and easy setup
- Custom kitchens can be made to work with any outdoor space
- You save money with prefab kitchens
- You have several more personalized options for your outdoor space with custom kitchens
Preparing your outdoor space perfectly to create great memories with friends and family can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be. With the help of professionals, installing fire pits, fixing lights strategically, adding a kitchen, and picking the right furniture should make the process not only easier but enjoyable.