Many homeowners look for houses with patios and want to use the space all year round; however, they’re not always equipped to handle regular entertaining. Patios require a certain amount of setup before they’re ready for picnics, barbecues, and long nights spent talking. If you feel like your patio isn’t getting as much use as you wish it would, check for these three factors or see if they can be improved to make the space more welcoming.

  1. Install a Patio Cover for All-Weather Enjoyment: Your patio might be welcoming during the cool fall months and bright spring days when the flowers are starting to bud, but are you able to sit out there during the summer? Does your patio furniture get so hot that you have to put towels down or risk getting burned? If so, consider installing a patio cover to provide shade and keep your furniture cool. They don’t have to be expensive, as some hook up to your roof and then to pools in your yard. Investing in a patio cover or awning also opens up the space during the rain. Now you can sit outside and listen to the rain hitting the cover while breathing in the fresh air. Your patio use alone will increase dramatically.
  2. Add Mood Lighting that’s Meant for the Outdoors: If you enjoy long summer days but have to move inside once the nights become earlier, then you’re not making the most of your patio. Consider setting up some outdoor lighting to keep the party going long after the sun has gone down. If you visit specialty sites like then you can find affordable LED strands that can stay up all year round. These look great during the holidays, but also create a warm glow during summer nights and fall bonfires. They’re also durable enough to survive whatever nature throws at them without the risk of a home fire.
  3. Look for Comfortable and Practical Furniture: Many homeowners choose durable metal patio furniture that’s easy to clean and meant for the outdoors. While it’s relatively low maintenance, it’s also not very comfortable and can get hot during the summer months. Plus, if you don’t want to sit on the metal bench or uncomfortable lounge, then you won’t spend much time on the patio.patio

Image via Flickr by Bellafaye Garden

Instead, look for furniture with waterproof fabric that’s easy to clean and patio sets that you will actually use. Investing in a table and chairs is a great option if you want to eat meals together and hosts guests outside. This way no one is trying to eat ribs or hamburgers in a pool chair. It’s easy to get caught up in the design elements of patio decor, but this can get in the way of creating a livable space. Look at what you want to do and how you want to live, and then buy furniture for it. This will make your life so much more comfortable than forcing your family to use a space that looks good but has no practical comforts.