Today I’m sharing some items that I love and use our on patio to make it an extension of our home. These outdoor entertaining essentials make it quick and easy to have dinner or a small get-together on the patio, as it will be always ready to go!
This is the 6th installment for the Simply Home Series with a small group of my blogging friends. To see past posts go here: January- How I Organize & Store All My Home Decor, February- 3 Decor Textures I Love in Every Room, March- A Spring Floral Arrangement, April- Vintage Lace as Art, & May- My Summer Essentials
1. Power Washer
Part of having a welcoming outdoor space is prepping for it. Before you put out any seating or decorations, it’s a good idea to clean everything really well by using a power washer to remove dirt and grime. You can use a power washer on outdoor rugs, outdoor cushions, and the cement patio.
We bought this power washer a few years ago and use the medium pressure nozzle on everything from washing the car to gutters. It also has a soaking nozzle and a very high pressure nozzle.
Once the cushions are sprayed clean, I just stand them up, leaning against each other and let them dry for a day (flipping them over half-way through). Good as new!
2. Comfortable Outdoor Furniture
The second thing on my essentials list is comfortable outdoor furniture sets that will stand up to the elements. We got this patio dining set and our outdoor living set both from Polywood 2 years ago. We leave them out year-round in the midwest and they look as good as when we first got them. They are investment pieces for sure, but they have a 20 year warranty and they are made from recycled ocean plastic.
3. Umbrella Canopy
Something fun we added to our dining set this year was the umbrella canopy. This is a game changer!! I feel like we can finally eat outside even when the sun is blaring down!
We bought the tilting umbrella stand in black, and a fringe canopy cover from World Market, and the umbrella base stand from Home Depot. That base is weighted with patio pavers and it was the only one I could find– I checked 4 stores, and almost everyone was sold out. If you looking online, I like this one too.
I wasn’t sure I would like the fringe canopy cover but now it’s growing on me! It adds a fun texture!
4. Serving Trays
I love trays to corral pitchers and food (makes bringing food/dishes to and from the kitchen so easy!), but it also looks pretty! This acacia wood one is the perfect size and it has durable metal handles. We have had it for 2 years.
Just like my coffee tables indoors, a tray can hold a vase of flowers, candles, a board game or drinks! Whatever tray you find, make sure it has handles!
5. Mosquito-Repellant Candles & Lanterns
I’m a big fan of citronella candles (this one smells really good!) and use them often to repel mosquitos. However, sometimes it feels like I have to put them everywhere to get adequate protection. In Missouri we get a lot of mosquitos, even when we spray our yard, so recently I found these mosquito-repellant lanterns that are a functioning light and also have a tiny butane-powered flame inside that heats up a repellant square. It is odorless and smoke-free and it actually does a great job! I was surprised we were able to chill for a few evening hours without seeing any mosquitos. I got 2 for our patio. I also keep a large citronella candle by the food station on the bar cart.
I also tried out this terra cotta pot with a smoking coil. It’s pretty effective (I didn’t notice too much smell) but the coil burns fast.
6. String Lights
Lighting is so important to any living space and the outdoors is no exception. We have had these heavy-duty outdoor string lights for awhile (3 years or so) and I love the amount of light they emit and the Edison bulb style. I also love these with similar look but solar-powered, so no need for an extension cord!
I added the rugs under the pergola and a matching one under the dining set recently from Target. They are the perfect color with a blue diamond pattern and the same material that has worked well for us in the past. I know they can be hosed off and a bleach solution can clean up stains on them. The most important thing to remember if you live in a very humid climate is they need to be aired out (not under anything covered) after a few days of heavy rain. If not, they will grow algae that is harder to remove (less learned from past rugs).
7. Outdoor Curtains
I didn’t realize outdoor curtains were essential until I owned them. They not only add texture and a feeling of intimacy to the pergola area, but they also do a great job of aiding privacy from neighbors if you don’t have tall or thick enough bushes.
These white outdoor curtains we have are very stain and water resistant (they don’t grow any algae from being out all summer!), but they have velcro tabs which make them very easy to take on and off!
It’s always a good idea to add a couple of fun and comfy outdoor pillows to your sofa or chair. All of our outdoor pillows we have had for 2 years and they have held up wonderfully! I never have had to spray them off, I just kept them stored for winter.
8. Outdoor Misting Fan
I just took the plunge after a lot of research and finally bought this outdoor misting fan:
After spending 10 summers here in Missouri, I’ve found I cannot tolerate the dead-of-summer heat even in the evening without some sort of fan. But with a misting fan, that all changes! It cools off the patio (500 ft) by 10 degrees! And the mist evaporates and cools you off anyways, so it makes things much more enjoyable.
Now I figured I’d show the rest of this view of our patio…
I added an outdoor bench in this shady spot by the house and even though it is metal and black, it doesn’t get too hot in the shade. I like having a bench here so the kids can dry off if they are playing in the sprinkler, can pull sunscreen or a ball out of the baskets, and can hang up swim clothes or their towels to dry on the hook rack.
It’s crazy how mature our bushes and trees have grown since we planted them two years ago! We have a full privacy hedge practically now!
I hope you enjoyed this tour around our patio for summer and found my outdoor entertaining essentials interesting or helpful!
Be sure to check out my friends sharing their outdoor entertaining essentials too!