You’ve finally done it! You’ve put plans in place, hired a deck builder, and your new patio is complete. Now is the fun part: setting it up!

The first thing to think about is how you want to furnish your patio. Then everything can go in place around the furniture—a garden, bird feeder, lamps, fire pit, and so forth. Creativity is the limit! Patio furniture typically includes chairs, couches, and a table. These come in all kinds of sizes and styles to choose from. Be sure to buy patio-specific furniture, as indoor furniture can deteriorate under the sun and weather, making it a poor investment. Patio furniture that is built for outdoor use should enjoy a long, sturdy life and withstand the elements.

First, let’s talk about seating! Chairs and couches come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and kinds. Consider how much space you have when making your selection. You’ll want enough furniture to fill your patio, but of course not too much. One popular choice comes as a set, and that is deep seating sectionals for your patio. These sets contain multiple pieces of the same style, and they may fit together or may be spaced separately. You may want something you can lie back in, or a more traditional set of two sofas and two chairs, or any number. They also usually come with a small centerpiece table about the same height as a coffee table. These can be ordered as a packaged set, ensuring that your furniture will be visually coordinated.

Now, let’s discuss the table! You may want a place where you can sit and dine in a more traditional style. Tall tables are very modern, or you could go with a more traditional garden table. Again, the chairs need to be weather-proof. Glass, tile, metal, wicker—all of these materials can be used in creating a beautiful, attractive table and set of matching chairs.

Now, let’s explore accessories! You may want decorations such as statues or water fountains. These can reflect your personal style and taste, and make for a pleasant outdoor experience. If you want to attract birds and butterflies to your balcony, consider planting a wildlife-friendly potted garden, installing a bird bath, and hanging feeders. Consider getting a grill or barbecue and enjoy food you’ve cooked outdoors, like burgers and grilled vegetables. Lighting is essential if you’d like to go outside at night, and you have multiple options here. A fire pit could be the center of your furniture, and you could even make s’mores at night. Or you might want tiki lights or old-fashioned lanterns.

Once your space is set up, enjoy your new patio. Make it feel like home, spend time with your family, and invite friends over. You can play games, make conversation, tell jokes, or just relax in peace. Enjoy watching wildlife, the smell of flowers, the stars, the breeze, and the sunshine. Patios are a great way to relax and wind down, solo or socially. Now you can get to work enjoying the benefits of your efforts.

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