Three Ideas For Sprucing Up Your Patio For Summertime Entertaining
It feels like forever for winter to pass to get back the warmer (but still cool) days of spring. And then almost immediately, summer comes back! Now is the time to update your patio for entertaining (and maybe even enjoy some of it on the warmer spring days). We've got some ideas your patio parties the hit of your neighborhood and make your guests want to come back for more.
Fire Pits and Outdoor Fireplaces
There's something a bit atavistic about an outdoor fire, and that's the secret of their allure. In this day and age no one actually needs one to cook or to keep warm. But outdoor fires are still the best for you and your family and friends to gather around, even if it is warm outside, even if you have a state-of-the-art gas grill.
Fire pits can be square or round, low to the ground or raised. They are made of stone, cast iron, copper, or hammered bronze and can have reflective, colored fire glass. With some fire pits you simply arrange kindling and logs within them and set them afire, while others use decorative fire stone or lava rocks. Sophisticated fire pits are lit with the help of propane or natural gas like barbecues. Like barbecues, the intensity of their fire can be adjusted. Some fire pits are works of art and can serve as such even when they are not lit (think focal point!).
Outdoor fireplaces work the same as indoor fireplaces, save the chimney of a fuel-burning fireplace is attached directly to it. They can't help but be the center of attention of any outdoor entertaining event (whether it be a small cozy gathering or extravagant party). They can stand alone or be part of a terrace, a wall, or be placed beneath a pergola. Larger ones come with accouterments like pizza ovens and storage space for logs.
Masonry that's made to order encompasses everything from a folly or an obelisk set up as a focal point in the garden, to stone walls, stone steps and stone fireplaces. Stone masons (like us) get creative by laying down irregular pavers and planting the space in between with pebbles of different sizes and colors. One design features brown and tan pavers and a path of turquoise blue cobbles that mimic a meandering stream. When wet, it is actually hard to tell from the real thing. Stone fire pits are also custom made to your requirements, and a grouping of stone slabs, boulders, cobbles and pebbles makes a beautiful scaffolding for a backyard waterfall.
Outdoor lighting has at least two purposes. One is to ensure the safety of your guests after the sun goes down, the other is to add splashes of beauty to your patio and backyard area. Outdoor lighting ranges from strings of LED lights to paper lanterns hung from trees, to embedded lights in the treads or stone steps, both to light the way for the climber and to make them beautiful. Projectors spray pinpoints of colored light at intervals across the party area. Wall sconces now come in all kinds of shapes, from old fashioned lanterns to spiraled cones to globes. They can be placed on either side of an entrance, or even on a fireplace. More and more are lit by LED lights, which are cool and last for years without having to be replaced.
Consider these three ideas, and enjoy entertaining all summer!