Photography by Ballard Designs

Summer is quickly approaching and with that comes a season of endless entertaining. For those whose goal for the season aligns with creating an inviting outdoor area, there are a few things to keep in mind when decorating the space. Whether the focus be on hosting, lounging, or grilling, we rounded up the essentials every patio or backyard needs for summer!

[updated April 27, 2017]

Photography by MOLLY WOOD GARDEN DESIGN

A comfortable seating arrangement.

Whether you’re going for something traditional, modern, or eclectically inspired, find a piece or set that speaks specifically to your style and needs.

Big on entertaining? Opt for an

outdoor living room

set that can cater to all your family and friends.

Photography by LAURE JOLIET

Tight on space? A

compact arrangement

featuring a small table and a pair of chairs will do.

Photography by SERENA & LILY

A

bar car or console

to keep all your entertaining essentials close-at-hand.

Photography by none Photography by Zio & Sons Creative

A

weatherproof

sofa

that can actually last you through the season. And then some.

Photography by CANNELLE ET VANILLE

A comfy

spot to catch a little sun

. Pool not required.

Photography by LAURE JOLIET

String

l

ights

to illuminate your sprawling outdoor setup.

Photography by LAUREN EDITH ANDERSON

Bring in a

hammock

that’s perfect for a midday nap, swaying in the cool summer breeze.

Photography by none Photography by Zio & Sons Creative

Pillows and cushions to further elevate your space with pops of color and bold patterns.

Photography by MAX KIM-BEE

An

umbrella

to shield you from the sun!

Photography by BRITTANY AMBRIDGE

A

statement seat

to give your outdoor area a little stylish edge.

Photography by TARA MARIE DONNE

A

fire pit

for the campfire enthusiasts, because what’s summer without s’mores?

Photography by WEST ELM Photography by Zio & Sons Creative

Whether you’re going for a full-blown garden or something a bit more modern and minimal, outfit your space with chic

planters

and

pots

for all your favorite backyard greens.

Photography by SERENA & LILY Photography by Zio & Sons Creative

A

weatherproof rug

that can work both indoors and out, preferably one that comes in a colorful pattern play.

Photography by Melissa Manning

garden stool that can double as extra seating, a coffee table alternative, side table, and so much more!

Photography by none Photography by Zio & Sons Creative

Every summer cookout needs a

grill

. These portable finds take up little space and yield the same delectable results!

Photography by HERVÉ GOLUZA

Mirrors

for small spaces. It’s a thing, we promise! Expand your outdoor area with a little illusionary fix. Bonus points if it looks like an actual window.

Read More:

– Editors’ Picks: Outdoor Decor and Furniture to Buy Right Now – How To Transform Your Patio Into An Exotic Escape15 Swoon-Worthy Outdoor Tablescapes to Copy This Season