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Create a Patio Area Ideal for Entertaining Guests and Relaxing

Updated on July 24, 2013

I have always enjoyed visiting friends and family that have a nice outdoor patio area. Deck and patio parties are a big thing here in Texas where the weather is almost always cooperative even though it may be hot. We have solutions for that as well.

My idea of an ideal patio area suitable for entertaining guests and allowing you a relaxing atmosphere should ideally include the following features:

  • Chiminea, Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace
  • Full outdoor Kitchen, Hibachi, or BBQ Grill
  • Outdoor Lighting (mixture of solar and wired)
  • Comfy patio furniture
  • Exotic Plants-live plants and potted plants
  • Misting Systems and/or fans
  • Shade-Trees, umbrellas, gazebos, awnings, tents
  • Water features-waterfalls, ponds, fountains
  • Themed décor

  • Chiminea, Fire Pit or Outdoor Fireplace

Sitting out on a patio on a cool evening is more inviting and cozy if you have a nearby heat source. If you do it often, live in a cooler climate area and can afford it, an outdoor fireplace is the way to go. We’re starting to see more of them even in Texas. More common here are fire pits and chimineas, probably due to them being much less expensive and portable. Be sure to use caution when dealing with any open fire and consider the safety of your guests, particularly if children will be invited.

  • Outdoor Kitchen, Hibachi, or BBQ Grill

If you enjoy cooking outside, an outdoor kitchen or nice BBQ Grill is a must. Some people enjoy charcoal over gas. There are many options and styles to choose from. Pick one that suits your needs and make sure you maintain it well.

  • Outdoor Lighting-solar lights, strings of lights, tiki torches, citronella candles

To create a nicely lit patio area you have lots of options. There are all kinds of strung lights and solar lights. If the area gets adequate sunlight during the day, I’d opt for solar lighting. However, if the area is covered and shaded you may have to go with strands of lights. Lights come in all sorts of colors and themes. Consider slow twinkling lights to create that magical atmosphere. Tiki torches with citronella oil can help keep away unwanted insects. Candles can also be used, but be cautious when using them around party-goers, particularly when kids are involved. If you have a pond or pool, floating candles create a nice look.

  • Patio Furniture

Remember the chaise lounges made of metal frames and the woven webbing that rotted after just a couple of years? I remember my mother re-webbing the ones we had quite often. Luckily, today’s patio furniture is much more durable. There are resin chairs and lounge chairs that are made to look like natural wicker, but are far better suited for the elements. Wrought iron and treated wood patio furniture are very common as well. Be sure to find a set that meets your needs and can withstand sun and rain unless you plan to keep it covered. A little TLC goes a long way with the longevity of patio furniture.

  • Exotic Plants-live plants and potted plants

Plants can really set the mood for a patio area. Experiment with different varieties of palm trees and ferns to give it that tropical atmosphere. I love banana plants, Elephant ears, and philodendrons.

  • Misting Systems

If you’re in a particularly warm climate you may want to invest in a patio misting system. If you have handyman available, you can easily install this yourself. Misters can drop the temperature in an area by 10-20 degrees Fahrenheit. That is significant on a hot Texas day.

  • Shade-Umbrellas, Gazebos, Awnings, Tents

There are lots of shading options for creating a covered patio. You can utilize patio furniture with umbrellas. You can build a gazebo. There are also all kinds of tents and awnings available to create a customized area. Carefully placed trees and shrubs can serve as shade as well.

  • Water features-waterfalls, ponds, fountains

The sound of water can be a soothing sound. Create nice water features using ponds, waterfalls, and fountains. There are fountains to fit any theme. You can find fountains to fit any price range. Some can be mounted to a wall as well.

  • Themed décor

Decorating items for the patio are abundant. You can find various solar-powered figures, sun dials, statues, pots and planters with oriental themes, country themes, and nautical themes just to name a few.


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    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Duchess OBlunt. I'm hoping to design my own patio one of these days. I have tons of ideas, just don't know which to settle on.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 7 years ago

      Some wonderful ideas here. I especially like the ones with water. Food for thought as we think about redoing our own patio. Although our warm season is a lot shorter than yours, it's still nice to have a place outdoors to enjoy it in comfort.

    • KCC Big Country profile image

      KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

      You're welcome, Jim10. I hope you can incorporate some of them in your plans.

      I thought about you, Ethel when I was writing this. I picture you having a nice patio. My in-laws in England have a beautiful little patio area with grapevines, etc.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Roll on summer and time relaxing in the garden

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 7 years ago from ma

      I gotta redo our patio. But, have no idea where to start. Thanks for the ideas.