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Outdoor Entertaining Ideas For Your Backyard This Summer

 

Make the most of the warm weather by hosting a fun and memorable outdoor party. These seven outdoor party ideas will establish you as the king or queen of outdoor entertaining, and your parties will be remembered and talked about for years to come. Make sure to start planning well in advance to make your party an unforgettable experience for your guests.

Ice Cream Social

Kick off the summer season with an ice cream social block party! Start by planning the food, arranging for home-made ice cream, a buffet of self-serve toppings, and tasteful bowls and dishware appropriate for all ages. Make sure you have proper seating for your guests, and keep the ice cream cool by serving it and the toppings under a patio umbrella and/or in a cooler.

If you don’t already have an outdoor umbrella, it’s a smart backyard patio idea to purchase at the start of the summer, because the cooling shade and protection from the elements can extend the fun and preserve the food for your outdoor parties.

Tropical Luau

Bring out the tiki torches and flower leis for a taste of the tropics at this intimate party. Serve fruity cocktails in coconuts and set out your loungers for your guests, allowing them to relax in the sun as if they were on the beach. Plan fun beach-theme games, such as a limbo or hula contest, and serve luau-themed food, such as roasted pork and grilled pineapple.

After-dark Soiree

Hire a babysitter for this party, because the after-dark soiree is best kept for the adults. Outdoor seating around a fireplace or fire table can help set the mood for this elegant party. Send invitations requesting semi-formal attire for this event, and create stylish table settings and decor with an eclectic, exciting menu. Hang solar string lights for an energy-efficient yet attractive ambiance.

Red Carpet Movie Premiere

Go all out with a fun red carpet movie premier party. Invitations should include the dress code of “red carpet, dress-to-impress,” and you can even lay down an actual red carpet to lead your high-profile guests to the main event. A fun idea for this party is to create a photo backdrop like those at red-carpet events, and set up a camera for your guests to take pictures.

Set up a large movie screen and play a movie that will please a large group of people. Consider setting out hammocks and plenty of pillows for your guests to watch in comfort as they sit for the length of the movie.

All-American Party

Celebrate the Fourth of July with a classic BBQ bash for your neighbors, friends, and family. Choose traditional red, white, and blue for your decorations and dinnerware, and use patriotic flags and banners to accent your outdoor seating furniture, patio, and yard. Fireworks and sparklers will enthrall the children and, let’s be honest, even the adults. Serve traditional Fourth of July food, such as hot dogs, burgers, lemonade, and ice cream.

Summer Olympics Party

Bring out the competitive side of your friends and family with a summer Olympics party! Upon arrival, assign each person, or team of people, a country to represent. Prepare team uniforms in advance, or you could send invitations in advance with country assignments, instructing each person to wear a particular color. Purchase or make trophies and medals for each winner, and display them on an outdoor accent table to motivate the competitors.

Create a Home Away from Home with Your Guest Room Design

 

It’s easy to miss the comforts of home when traveling—particularly when accommodations are anything but comfortable. When you play host, take a moment to ensure your guests feel right at home by creating a warm and welcoming space. With a little extra effort in your guest room design, you can arrange a wonderful, cozy space for your friends, family, and other guests enjoy during their stay in your home.

 

The Bedroom

When it comes to the guest room, the bed can make or break the room. No amount of decorations or amenities can make up for uncomfortable sleeping accommodations. Of course, no two people are alike, and most guests will have their own preferences for bed firmness, temperature, and so on.

It’s best to pick a high-quality mattress which is neither particularly firm or soft. Instead, choose a medium-firm mattress (paired with a softer mattress topper guests can use if they’d like) which allows your guests the luxury of a choice between the two options.

Remember to cover the bed with high-thread-count sheets to maximize the comfort level. Cotton sheets paired with a cotton coverlet and a down duvet allow your guests to adjust according to their temperature preferences. It’s always a good idea to provide a couple of additional blankets in a basket or an easy, accessible drawer just in case they need some extra warmth.

Top it all off with an assortment of pillows (functional and decorative) to accommodate your guests and pull together the guest bedroom design. Some of your guests will like flat, firm pillows, and others will prefer soft, fluffy pillows.

 

Bookshelves

Provide your guest with a selection of books for them to check out to help them unwind before bed or to enjoy whiling relaxing during the morning or afternoon. As you build your guest library, try to feature a wide variety of books and authors to match your guests’ varied interests.

Even if your collection isn’t especially large, bookshelves are a great way to tie a room together with pictures and decor adorning the shelves. Our modern wall bookshelves provide a stylish way to house your book collection, decor, or whatever else you’d like to display.

 

Sitting Area

A guest bedroom should be more than a bed, nightstand, and alarm clock. Ideally, your guests will be able to use the room as their own private home away from home and will enjoy the option of some alone time beyond sleeping hours.

A proper sitting area will allow your guests to rest and relax somewhere other than the bed. Pick a high-quality arm chair such as the Astra Arm Chair or the Victoria Wingback to create a relaxing space for your guests to read, respond to their emails, or simply rest throughout the day.

Consider investing in a side or accent table to go in the sitting area for added convenience. To avoid water stains from cups, either provide coasters or choose a table with a glass top.

 

Lighting

Proper lighting can enhance or ruin your guest bedroom design. If your guest room is an area where natural light can come in, you might consider hanging blackout curtains over the windows in guest rooms. This could be especially helpful if the room faces a busy street or the rising sun. During the day, your guests can let in as much light as they’d like. At night, they can enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep without interruption from an early sunrise.

In your own home, you might be able to walk around with your eyes closed without running into anything. Your guests will not likely share that level of familiarity with your home. Guest rooms can benefit from sconces or lamps near the bed so your visitors won’t have to fumble around a dark room after shutting off a light. Localized lighting is also often less harsh than overhead lighting.

Be sure to also check out our outdoor furniture collections to create a relaxing outdoor space to relax and entertain guests while they are staying at your home.

Best Ways to Care for Your Outdoor Patio Furniture

Warmer weather, longer days, and budding trees signal spring and summer are just around the corner. As the whispers of winter give way to the smiles of spring, you probably have a long list of to-do’s in order to get your home and yard in tip-top shape for summer. When making your spring to-do list, be sure you don’t ignore your patio or outdoor living space.

As one of the most valued summer spaces, your patio is often the heart of relaxation, entertaining, friendly gatherings, family dinners, and romantic evenings. Thus, ensuring your patio furniture is clean and functional, is key. Similarly, by exploring fresh patio and backyard design ideas, you can have the most welcoming outdoor living area on the block.

These three tips will help you care for your outdoor furniture and achieve a patio design that you love.

1. Clean, Clean, Clean

One of the best ways to keep your outdoor furniture in tip-top shape is to give it good, regular cleanings. Similarly, starting with a clean patio will help you to better create a space that is both comfortable and welcoming. So before you set up your patio furniture and get it summer ready, be sure you give the surrounding wood, stone, or brick a good cleaning and make any necessary repairs.  Follow following tips to make your outdoor patio furniture shine:

  • Wicker and teak: Clean and moisturize by using a soft-bristled brush, water, and a mild oil-based soap. Rinse with water and maintain shine by hosing down every two to three weeks.
  • Plastic and wrought iron: Mix water and a mild dishwashing detergent and wipe all plastic and wrought-iron furniture with the mixture and a damp cloth. Hose down to rinse and repeat every three weeks.
  • Aluminum: Wipe aluminum furniture with a damp cloth and mild dishwashing detergent. Use a Soft Scrub brush to remove any scuff marks and rinse with a hose.

– Fabric and canvas cushions: Vacuum all cushions and saturate all sides with a mixture of 1 tbs. dishwashing detergent, 1 tsp. Borax, and 1 quart of warm water. Let the mixture sit for 30 to 45 minutes before using a soft bristled brush on stains. Rinse well, let dry, and repeat every three to four weeks.

– Patio Umbrellas: Use a bristled brush to remove any loose dirt. Mix ¼ cup of laundry detergent with 1 tbs. of Borax or baking soda and warm water. Let the mixture soak for 30 minutes and rinse well with a hose or bucket. Allow the fabric to dry partially before opening entirely.

2. Preserve & Protect

Hot summer sun, torrential rains, and regular use can be hard on your patio furniture. And while typical wear-and-tear is inevitable, there are several steps you can take to preserve and protect your outdoor furniture and ensure it stays in mint condition for as long as possible. After cleaning your furniture and patio, consider these quick preserving tips:

  • Wooden wicker: Choose a matching outdoor paint or shellac and allow it to dry at least two full days before using. You can also apply a thin coat of furniture wax for added shine and protection.
  • Fabric: Use a fabric protector like Scotchgard to protect against spill stains and make cleaning easier. Apply this fabric protector after each and every cleaning.
  • Teak: Although durable, Teak should be kept stained, varnished, and weather treated to prevent it from rotting and turning gray and weathered.
  • Metal: Remove any rust spots with mineral spirits and a damp cloth. Apply a coat of Rustoleum Paint or primer and paint to improve and repair the metal.

3. Decorate & Design

After you’ve cleaned and treated your furniture, it’s time for the fun part: decorating. If you’re looking for fresh ideas that will give your patio the facelift it needs, check out these backyard design ideas.

  • Notes of nature: Trendy planters and natural accessories are today’s hottest design elements. Choose hardy plants like boxwood, grasses, and evergreens for optimal privacy and design, and enhance the look with branches, shells, rocks, water features, and festive lighting.
  • Invision vintage: Make old, new by mixing modern accessories with vintage elements. Check out your local flea market or salvage store for unique pieces that help you avoid the showroom look and make your space more personalized.
  • Feature flooring: Summer is all about being barefoot, so make sure your patio design includes a flooring element that is safe and feels good on the feet.
  • Heat is neat: Include an outdoor fireplace, fire table, or several large pillar candles to make your patio the ideal place for warm, welcoming entertainment.
  • Add ambiance: Overhead canopies, trees, and arbors make your patio inviting while unique lighting can add fun and flair to essential elements.

With these care and design tips, you bring lasting comfort to your patio while also making sure it’s functional, safe, and inviting.

Find the Best Patio Furniture with these 5 Tips

Whether you’re repurposing indoor furniture or buying a new set, making the right choices for your outdoor patio furniture can be difficult. Use these 5 tips to help you select the perfect furniture to spruce up your patio or deck.

1. Choose Weatherproof Materials

Patio furniture is exposed to strong UV rays, harsh winds, pouring rain, freezing snow, and other weather conditions. Look for sturdy, weather-resilient materials when selecting your outdoor furniture to ensure it will withstand the elements for years to come.

  • Wood is a popular material for patio furniture. Make sure that your furniture comes in a domestic or exotic hardwood. Materials like teak wood require more maintenance due to needing treatment with wood oil twice a year.
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  • Look for aluminum when buying metal furniture. Aluminum is lightweight, reflects the sun’s rays, and repels moisture making it rust-resistant and easy to clean.
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  • When considering plastic, seek out high-quality reinforced poly rattan materials due to its durability. Other plastic furniture may offer more design options and colors, but are more susceptible to being bleached or deformed by the sun.
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  • Resin wicker is a great option made of synthetic fiber that is waterproof, pest proof, and easy to clean.
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    2. Look for Seating Options

    Whether you’re purchasing furniture with entertaining in mind or wanting to accommodate your family, your outdoor patio set must have options for seating.

    • Multiple Person Seating – Multi-person seating can come in different options such as a large sectional or a two-seater sofa. This type of seating allows families and couples to sit together.
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    • Individual Seating – Guests who are strangers to each other may feel uncomfortable if their only option is to sit next to someone else. Find individual seating such as club chairs, rocking chairs, and bar-styled seats to allow for personal space.
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      3. Cushions for Comfort

      If you want guests to remain seated for prolonged periods of time, seat cushions and pillows are a must for comfort.

      • Seek out matching cushions and pillows in waterproof or weather resistant fabrics like Sunbrella. Sunbrella fabrics come in an array of designs and colors to fit your patio set.
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      • Cotton cushions are great for comfort, but not so much for handling extreme climates. Coat cotton cushions with a waterproof spray to avoid mildew growth.
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      • Always check the labels for washing instructions. Some cushions may only recommend washing the covers which can leave cushions vulnerable to mold and pest buildup.
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        4. Dine Al Fresco

        While seating options are necessary, outdoor dining tables can expand the use of your patio and offer guests a focal point at which to gather.

        • If you have a smaller patio and intend to only host groups of people sharing drinks and snacks, purchase a round table that sits higher.
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        • For larger spaces meant for relaxing and outdoor dining, consider a rectangular table at regular dining table height for your family to congregate.
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          5. Invest in Good Cover

          Since you don’t have the time or space to constantly move outdoor furniture indoors to avoid weather damage, your furniture needs protection from burning sun and torrential rains.

          • Use the patio set’s fitted cover when not in use. Remembering to cover your table and chairs will prolong their life by preventing destruction from the exposure.
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          • Install a large patio umbrella to shade furniture and your guests from rain and shine, alike.

           
          You don’t have to sacrifice comfort and style when searching for high-quality, weatherproof outdoor furniture. Reading the labels for quality and utilizing a good cover will help you select the perfect set for your patio that is sure to last for years to come.

How to Protect Your Outdoor Furniture During the Winter Months

Snow and the bitter cold of winter can do some serious damage to outdoor furniture. Since nobody wants to spend the time or the money to get new furniture with each passing season, here are a few simple tips to help protect your outdoor furniture from the cold, harsh weather and keep it looking like new.
 

Metal Patio Furniture

The biggest concern when it comes to metal furniture is rust. While a lot of metal patio furniture now has a powder coating that is designed to keep the metal from rusting, corrosion can still find a way to appear, especially over time. Once your metal furniture begins to rust, snow and rain can begin to weaken the metal.

To winterize your metal patio furniture, follow these easy steps:

  • Use a small wire brush to remove any rust.
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  • Touch up any visible spots where the rust was removed with a bit of wrought iron exterior spray paint
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  • Clean all surfaces of your metal furniture to remove any dirt or grime.
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  • Keep your outdoor furniture protected all winter long by using a furniture cover. These are perfect because they are designed to fit your furniture and keeps it safe from rust and other elements which can cause serious damage.

 

Wood Patio Furniture

 
During the winter, wood furniture absorbs cold air, rain, and snow if it’s not properly treated, which can lead to cracking and cause the furnishing color to fade.  
To keep your wood furniture in good condition, make sure you properly apply waterproofing wood sealant. Sealed wood holds in its natural moisture and eliminates cracking. Sealant is also the best way to protect your wood furniture year round.

Purchasing custom patio furniture covers is also a great way to protect outdoor furniture, no matter what kind of materials the furniture is made from.  

Plastic Patio Furniture

 
Plastic furniture typically requires little to no maintenance and doesn’t absorb moisture like wood. However, when exposed to extra cold temperatures, plastic can become brittle and crack.

To keep plastic furniture in the best condition possible, make sure to clean it thoroughly throughout the outdoor entertaining season, and then move the furniture indoors during the winter months.

Even with plastic furniture, it is important to cover your outdoor furniture during the winter months. This is great for keeping dust and debris at bay, and not allowing the plastic to possibly warp in the cold weather.  

Storing Patio Furniture for the Winter

 
If possible, find a safe place to store your patio furniture for the duration of winter. Whether you store it in a shed, garage, basement, or even a storage unit, it will be clean, sturdy, and ready to go when spring arrives.

In addition to winterizing your patio furniture, keep in mind that following through with regular maintenance year round will prolong the life of your outdoor furniture without exception.

Cyber Monday Special! Jump On These Deals Today!

Missed out on the Black Friday deal? We have you covered! In honor of Cyber Monday, we are offering a great discount you’re not going to miss out on!

From November 28 to November 29, take—

  • 15% off your order if you spend up to $999,
  • 25% off when you spend $1,000 – $2,499, or
  • 35% off for orders $2,500 or higher.

We have something everyone is sure to enjoy from our outdoor furniture sets which are sure to brighten up your outdoor space to our stylish fire tables. Perhaps you’re looking for a patio umbrella to provide you shade and protection from the hot sun? We have you covered on all outdoor patio ideas so come and explore our collections!

When placing your order, use the promo code: CyberFun16

Don’t wait any longer and make your patio dreams come true this year! Remember to share the cheer and share this with your family and friends too!

Black Friday Is Here! Don’t Miss These Amazing Deals!

Thanksgiving is here and you know what that means! Black Friday deals are back! This year we have some phenomenal promotions for you to surprise that special someone. These deals won’t last long (November 24, 6 PM until November 27) so move now!

We have a lot of stylish, modern designs everyone is sure to fall in love with! Explore our outdoor furniture sets to transform your backyard patio into the perfect place to relax and entertain.

Settle into the winter months with one of our stylish fire tables and cozy up to your special someone while looking out at the night sky. Perhaps you’re looking for something to protect your outdoor patio furniture from the harsh winter months? We have a wide range of outdoor furniture covers to ensure your items continue to look great for years to come.

Over the few days, take—

  • 15% off your order if you spend up to $999,
  • 25% off when you spend $1,000 – $2,499, or
  • 35% off for orders $2,500 or higher.

When placing your order, use the promo code: FridayB16

This is your year to have the patio you always dreamed of! Don’t wait and make sure to share this great offer with your family and friends!

4 Things to Consider When Building an Outdoor Kitchen

Have you ever wondered if an outdoor kitchen is a right fit for your home? There are many things to consider when building an outdoor kitchen, from the materials you use, to the appliances you choose to include. Before you start construction on your outdoor kitchen, here are 4 things to keep in mind to help you build the kitchen of your dreams.

1. Start Strong

When you begin planning for your outdoor kitchen, it’s important to choose materials that are both attractive and durable. Stone countertops are a must—consider choosing the same style countertops you have in the kitchen inside your home to help bring the indoors out. As far as flooring goes, it’s important to choose something that won’t become slippery when wet, so consider stamped concrete or brick.

2. An Ideal Layout

As with any element in your home, the layout of your outdoor kitchen should accommodate your intended uses. Be sure to allow for ample workspace, an accessible fridge or stovetop, a dining area for your dining table and chairs and enough of a bar area to allow friends and family to gather around as you’re cooking. In addition, make sure your kitchen is well-covered to keep it safe from the elements and protect appliances from inclement weather.

3. Keep It Low Maintenance

While an outdoor kitchen does require some maintenance to keep it looking nice and the appliances in good working condition, the type of maintenance required is very different than the type required by your indoor kitchen. It’s important to have your countertops sealed regularly to give them extra durability and to consider disconnecting your appliances during long periods of time when you won’t be using your outdoor kitchen. Keep your yard free of grass, leaves, and other materials that can clutter up your outdoor kitchen, and consider power washing the area a few times a year to give it a deep cleaning.

4. Make It Practical

With an outdoor kitchen, you won’t have to leave the party to keep going in and out of your house to cook or retrieve food or other items for a meal. Creating a kitchen that is functional for your needs will add to its practicality and make entertaining and outdoor cooking much easier. Consider installing a fireplace or fire pit to create a seating area near the kitchen to help draw guests closer to where you’ll be working—after all, the whole point of an outdoor kitchen is to be part of the party, isn’t it?

Are you ready for an outdoor kitchen? Now that you’ve determined what you need to meet your outdoor kitchen requirements, it’s time to decorate! Compliment your outdoor kitchen with the beautiful and durable outdoor furniture.

Essential Pre-Winter Lawn Care Tips

No one wants to face an unhealthy, dying lawn when the weather turns warm again. Prevent that from happening when you follow this lawn care guide to protecting your grass from the cold and snowy conditions of winter. Doing so will give you a healthy and happy lawn come spring.

Clean It

Raking your lawn of leaves is critical to its health since debris can prevent sunlight from shining on your grass, thus encouraging disease. Before your grass turns dormant for the season, just mow and mulch the leaves into the lawn. After dormancy kicks in, it’s time to rake. Place the raked leaves under trees and shrubs to protect their roots during freezing temperatures.

Weed It

“Winter annual” weeds germinate in the late fall and sprout first thing in the spring. By being proactive and preventing these pesky plants in November, come March, your lawn will be weed free. Apply a pre-emergent weed killer that is suitable for cold temperatures.

Aerate It

Give your grass some fresh air before it’s covered in snow. Aeration punctures small holes in the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the turf’s roots. When this is done, your lawn will grow stronger and healthier and can more easily resist weeds.

You can hire a lawn care company to do the work for you or you can easily rent an aerator and do it yourself in about an hour, depending on the size of your lawn. Leave the soil plugs on the surface of the lawn and they will work themselves back into the soil over time.

Seed It

Overseed struggling areas of the lawn. Time the overseeding for 2-4 weeks before the first hard frost. Do not use herbicides or fertilizers on seeded areas.

Another option is to replace struggling areas with perennial groundcovers such as mondo grass, liriope, or juniper. They’ll fill any voids, reduce lawn maintenance, and provide year-round interest.

Feed It

Before your lawn goes dormant for the winter season, it needs to be fed. Applying a slow release nitrogen/potassium fertilizer that is specially formulated for winter will make your grass grow hardier. Then, water your lawn (only as much as necessary to work in the fertilizer) at the warmest time of day so that it can take full effect.

Mow It

Since over-seeding and fertilizing will keep your grass growing until the first hard frost, continue to mow your grass as needed.

Protect It

When it comes to winterizing, don’t forget your gear! Otherwise, when you’re ready to do some spring outdoor yard work, your tools won’t be ready for you.

  • Drain the oil from mowers. Don’t forget to drop the oil off at a recycling center.
  • Funnel extra gasoline into your automobile’s fuel tank or pour a fuel stabilizer into the mower’s gas tank and run the engine.
  • Replace dirty fuel and air filters. Clean the spark plugs.
  • Inspect equipment for missing screws, nuts, and caps. Replace them.
  • Clean off grime and rust.
  • Lubricate hinges and moving parts.

Now that your winter prep work is complete, once the weather turns warm again, you’ll be able to more fully enjoy relaxing on your outdoor patio furniture while looking out over your healthy sea of green.

Top 4 Tips for Picking Patio Furniture

Green Outdoor Patio Furniture Set

Designing the interior of your home is often fun and exciting, and designing the exterior should be nothing less than that as well. There is a lot to consider when you prepare to purchase outdoor furniture, which is why we’ve compiled a list of the 4 most important patio furniture buying tips. Taking each of these items into account will make the experience a lot easier and less stressful than it otherwise would be.

1. Determine Your Style

Prior to picking out patio furniture, it is important to determine your style. If assigning a label to your particular style seems impossible, consider creating an idea board filled with pictures of outdoor items that you love. Seeing style and design elements you prefer all in one place may help you to see a pattern and identify your style.  

2. Set a Budget

Establishing a budget before you even begin searching for patio furniture can actually make finding items you love easier—you know before you even step foot in the store how much you’re able to pay for any given piece. It’s easy to wander through a store or online and find pieces that you love, but it really is important to know what you can afford before you get your heart set on something out of your price range.

3. Consider Your Space

The type and size of outdoor space you’re working with will have a huge impact on the type of outdoor furniture you’re looking for. If you’re hoping for an area to entertain guests, you may want to consider a bistro table and chairs for a small patio, rather than a large 7-piece dining set that would best fit in a larger space. You may want to consider multi-purpose pieces that offer extra storage when working with a smaller space to be sure you’re utilizing your space in the most efficient way possible.

4. Make a Plan

Once you’ve successfully determined the previous items, it’s time to make a plan. You make a list before you go to the grocery store to be sure you won’t overspend—why not do the same thing before making an investment in outdoor furniture? Do some research online to identify items that you like, so you have an idea of what you’re looking for before you head to the store. Doing so will help you avoid making an impulse purchase and ending up with items you don’t absolutely love, and, in the worst case, regret purchasing.

Love Your Patio Furniture

With all of these tips in mind, make sure you are picking patio furniture that you will love and enjoy for years to come. Knowing your preferred furniture style, budget, and space you can work with will help you develop a furniture buying plan that will be effective and worthwhile. You will also be able to better focus on the furniture pieces that are best fit for your patio or deck.