housepatio2.pngSummer is, without a doubt, my favourite time of year. In fact, I’m such a summer girl that I’ve often wondered why I haven’t moved myself to a more temperate climate where the hot days and warm nights stick around for longer than a few months. But perhaps it’s precisely the short shelf life we have on summers here in Canada that makes me itch to spend as much of them outside as possible.

Thankfully, no matter what the activity, in the summer months you can almost always take it outside. From enjoying your morning cup of coffee, to tackling your email inbox, to hosting a dinner party that goes well into the evening, it can all be done from the comfort of your patio. All you need are a few essentials and you’re set for the season.

Seating and furniture

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First and foremost, to enjoy your patio this summer, you’ll need somewhere to sit. However, if you go the route of inexpensive plastic chairs, your behind will likely stage a rebellion. Instead, opt for seating that has a little more cushion and a little more style, like the PatioFlare Lily Reclining Patio Chair, or the CorLiving Riverside Patio Reclining Lounger Chair, which I am personally coveting. With seating like this, you can be sure your tush will last through an entire afternoon spent reading, or watching your loved one mow the lawn. If space allows, you can even add a matching sofa and coffee table to really bring the inside outside, and ensure there’s ample comfortable seating for the whole family or for guests.

In addition to living-room style seating, a patio dining table and chairs set is an absolute must if you’re a fan of eating outside. Patio dining sets range from simple bistro sets to more elaborate picnic tables and benches, so of course what works for you will depend entirely on your taste and the amount of space you’re working with. Just keep in mind; you really don’t need a ton of space to have both the “comfy” seating and the “functional” seating. My “patio” is a 9’ x 9’ concrete slab, but I still have two comfortable lounge chairs, a side table, and a bistro patio dining set with two chairs, with room left over.

Umbrella

CorLiving-Umbrella.jpgIf you plan on spending a lot of time on your patio this summer, you may want to look into adding a large umbrella to your setup to provide some much needed shade. You might be like me and worship the sun, but there’s nothing worse than getting a nasty sunburn, except maybe getting heat or sun stroke from exposure. Or, you might be a shade lover and shun the sun. Either way, with an umbrella like this one from CorLiving, you can ensure you’ve got ample shade for those hot summer days.

Music

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Music is never a bad idea, especially when you are enjoying down time or party time on your patio. The good news is that these days, with all sorts of wireless Bluetooth speakers on the market, you don’t need to lug your indoor system outside, or turn its volume up to full so you can set the mood with your favourite tunes. I had the opportunity to test and review the Polk Omni S2 Wireless Speaker earlier in the year, and let me tell you, this little speaker packs a powerful punch and would be ideal on any patio. All you need to do is download the Polk Omni app to your Android or iOS device, pair it with Bluetooth, and you can play music to your heart’s content with the touch of a finger.

There’s also the Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM Bluetooth Wireless Speaker, which has received rave reviews, and having experienced the amazing sound it produces at an impromptu pool party that materialized at my building last weekend, those reviews are spot on.

Heat

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There is something magical about summer evenings. Sadly, they tend to get a little chilly, and while you can battle the chill with a cozy sweater or warm blanket, you can step it up a notch and add a propane heater to your patio! Not just for fancy restaurants, propane heaters like this one from Paramount, are surprisingly affordable and with 46000 BTUs, can keep you nice and toasty all year round.

You can also go the route of a fire pit like this 3-in1 stone version from Paramount. Fire pits add a little rustic charm to any outdoor space and also provide heat and a means to roast marshmallows and cook s’mores. All you need is an acoustic guitar, and you’re set!

Lighting

Lights.jpgNow that you’ve got comfortable seating, great music and heat, you’ll likely want to stay outside into the night. While propane heaters emit a touch of light, and fire pits a touch more, you may want more illumination, in which case a handful of Fusion Solar Stake lights are what you need. They feature one bright white LED and one colour-changing LED bulb and offer 4 lumens of output, which in layman’s terms means they will effectively light up your patio and surrounding area. Plus, they last up to 12 hours on a single charge, which effectively means you can stay out all night in the light should you choose to!

 

 

 

Décor

With the essentials covered, now’s the time to add even more of a personal twist on your outdoor patio space with some summer-inspired décor. Think of adding some colourful throw cushions to your comfy seating arrangement, some fabulous planter boxes for your herbs or flowers, and of course the non-breakable outdoor dishes and glasses so you can enjoy every meal in peace.

Summer just arrived, but sadly, will be gone before you know it. So turn that patio of yours into your own outdoor oasis and get outside! And if you’re not sure where to start, just turn to this handy Summer Survival guide and you’ll be in good hands.

Check out these other posts in the Summer Survival Guide series:

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Summer survival guide: sleeping tips for hot summer nights
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Summer survival guide: cool eating
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Summer survival guide: keeping baby happy

Title image: @loveanddesign.com

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Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. During the day, she works as Marketing & Business Development Manager for Vancity Credit Union … by night she writes, designs, builds WordPress websites, and fights crime.

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