One of the great joys of having a patio is hosting a variety of events. Perhaps you enjoy extended family dinners or cookouts with the neighbors or intimate soirees with friends. Maybe you like a variety of entertaining types and would prefer your patio to accommodate those gatherings. Decorate your patio with versatility to facilitate your social plans.
One of the most important elements of your multi-purpose patio is multi-purpose furniture. Unless you have a large patio, a dining set may not be the best configuration. Instead, consider a selection of pieces that you can draw together for casual dining, such as bistro tables. Otherwise, think of a lounge configuration with chairs and low tables. You can enjoy casual dinner al fresco or transition into a cocktail party according to your social needs.
Along with multi-purpose furniture, mood lighting is also essential. First you must ensure all entryways to the patio are properly lit. Next, consider post or rail lights to gently define the perimeters of the space. You could wind string lights around the post or rails for a festive atmosphere. From there, think of lighting in layers. Set up pretty tea light candle holders around seating for more intimate gatherings. Such candle holders also have a place on tables. You could also string lanterns or add them as part of your accent pieces.
Speaking of accent pieces, Better Homes and Gardens suggests you include accent artwork in your décor. As the magazine points out, your accent pieces must be outdoor safe. From there, let your natural taste drive the design. Choose accent artwork that will spark a conversation during your gathering or help foster a festive mood.
Along those lines, keeping warm helps foster a festive mood on colder evenings. If you want to be able to use your patio year-round, a fire pit is an important consideration. A fire pit also serves as ambient lighting as well as a gathering spot. Choose a style that fits with the rest of your décor, such as a natural stone bonfire for rustic style or a concrete fire bowl for modern.
Night needs aren't your only consideration. For barbecues and other daytime parties, you'll want proper shade. Sun umbrellas work well for this purpose. They come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and patterns. It's even possible to choose styles with segmented posts so you can tilt the canopy. Note where the sun hits at key times of day, and set up sun umbrellas to shield your guests.
Let your patio décor facilitate your outdoor entertaining needs.