It wasn't all that long ago that the options for outdoor furniture pieces were limited, and many spent their leisure time at wood picnic tables and in rather uncomfortable chairs and loungers.
Thankfully, times have changed. Not only have patios, decks and courtyards become an extension of the home for many, there are more options for outdoor furniture than ever before. Outdoor furniture now comes in every material and color imaginable, with styles ranging from modern to classic, with new and innovative products always arriving. Not every piece empties your wallet, however, and there are numerous DIY options.
Here are seven ideas:
Day Beds and Benches
Whether you build them yourself or not, day beds and built-in benches can offer both space and comfort, as well as a place to stretch out. Plus, they create natural barriers and extra seating for guests. Better Homes and Gardens has some great examples.
Bring the Fire
If you don't have an outdoor fireplace, create a communal space with a fire pit or feature that draws everyone together. Fire pits and features can range from simple and inexpensive to extravagant projects, and come in every shape and size. Here's a gallery of ideas from DIY Network.
For an old-fashioned feel, swings are great for relaxing, can be hung anywhere and are a nice aesthetic. Get creative and hang a classic porch swing or day bed from a pergola, or even design an area with several swings around a fire pit like this example.
What better way to keep guests refreshed? From stainless steel to charming wood barrels and wrought iron tubs, there are many options that can match your décor and keep guests outside and relaxed.
Serving it Up
Serving carts are a simple idea that make hosting, serving and storage convenient. Use them for drinks, to serve food, store condiments or for anything that needs to be close by and mobile. Here is a top 10 list from Elle Décor.
Bring the Light
Outdoor lighting and lamps can add the perfect ambiance to an outdoor space, and many options are inexpensive or DYI projects that will also bring personalized character. For ideas, check out these galleries at Curbly.com and Shelterness.com.
A customized table – whether its reclaimed pieces, something restored or a piece you built yourself – can add just the right amount of charm and serve as a conversation piece. Use as old farm table, a reclaimed industrial cart or an old door and add a flower box or fire feature for flair. Get design ideas at Houzz.com.