Published on June 12, 2019

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A good rule of thumb for patios is to treat them like you would an indoor space. (More on what that means in a moment.) With summer, comes the need for outdoor entertaining, and the patio or deck is the obvious place to make party-central. Take the space you’ve got, add a little DIY and Done—Walmart’s one-stop-shop for all things outdoor improvement—and you just added practical square footage to your home.

Here are a few ideas to help create an outdoor space that rivals anything inside.

Get a larger rug than you think you need

Small rugs optically shrink a space, so when in doubt, go big. Look for products made from hardy, weather-resistant materials that can be washed or hosed down after entertaining, like this green striped option. 

Or you could throw your outdoor sitting area a curve by adding a graphic round rug.

Accommodate, accommodate, accommodate

Make sure everyone gets a seat so you’re not dragging your best dining chairs outside at your next function. Having a few of these teal stainless steel chairs will get the job done. 

Accent your seating with functional pillows. Your guests will appreciate the extra lumbar support, or you can toss them on the outdoor rug for a casual Moroccan vibe.

Don’t skimp on the surfaces

Outdoor side tables hold drinks, appetizers, and paperback novels—you can never have too many surfaces when you’re entertaining.

Liven up a tired outdoor setting with this sunny side table by the Novogratz.

Create ambience

Every room needs a focal point—it could be a mantle, a large painting, a large sculpture—and your patio is no exception. A fire is a superb attraction, drawing guests to huddle closer, hypnotized by the flames. People are a lot more like moths than you’d think.

Speaking of fire, lighting is important indoor and out, especially once the sun sets. A good tip for chic gatherings: keep the lighting low. It makes everyone look softer and less spooky. 

See more outdoor ideas:
Summery Porches We Can’t Stop Pinning
Don’t Let the Name Fool You: “Mullet Homes” Are Drop-Dead Gorgeous
The High-Impact Trick That’ll Make Any Home Stand Out