Outdoor Living: How to Expand Your Living Space with a Backyard Patio

The rage in all the home design catalogs this year is outdoor living. Whether it’s a cozy patio set or a full-fledged outdoor movie theatre, homeowners are eager to enjoy their backyards with family and friends. Here are a few tips on expanding your living space in your own backyard.

Comfort
Where will you and your friends sit? A traditional patio set with cushioned seats is a great way to be comfortable, but more unconventional seating styles- from tree-stump kids’ seats and coffee tables to a staged sandy beach’ area with beach chairs, there are lots of ways to make your guests feel at home.

Food
The grill is of course the mecca of all backyard eateries. Be creative- hot dogs and hamburgers are great, especially for the kids, but grilling corn on the cob in tin foil with butter and fresh herbs or making Hawaiian skewers with shrimp, peppers, pineapple and onions are tasty choices for the grill as well.

Drink
We may not all have an outdoor bar, but a cooler filled with ice works well, too. Set up a camping or card table and set out the available beverages. An extension cord for the blender makes frozen drinks more accessible than running inside. It’s fun to decorate this table with tiki lanterns or a string of tiny colored lights.

Music
Nothing says party like some commercial-free music. Hook up the Mp3 player boom box or make some party CD’s in different themes with your favorite tunes- it’s worth the time to be able to enjoy your favorite songs all summer and who knows- some spontaneous dancing may break out!

Illumination
Avoid electric deck lights in favor of citronella oil-filled tiki torches, and bug-repelling citronella votives in cute holders. Votives scented in summery flavors smell wonderful for a party. There are some adorable u mbrella-mount candle holders and white lightstrings- be creative!

Fun!
Get some sparklers for the kids, and if you have a backyard firepit, fire it up! Your house will the most popular place on the block if you have marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers ready for S’mores! It’s easy to set up a hanging sheet area if you have a projector and with some popcorn, movie night will become a regular night in your backyard! Set up tents for the kids to camp’ in while they watch movies- a portable DVD player is great for this too!

Why pack up the car and kids when you can have a blast hanging out in your own backyard?!

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