6 steps to make a patio picnic paradise
August 11, 2016
We've all said it countless times: "Come for the winters, stay for the summers." Summertime in Summit County is hard to beat. Make the most of the long summer days and warm summer nights by turning your patio into a picnic paradise. Follow these tips to create an outdoor oasis that you'll enjoy all season long.
Start from the ground up, or in our case, the patio up! For the ultimate lounging experience, create a soft place to sprawl out. Begin with a large, over-sized natural fiber rug like jute or sisal. The muted tones will work well with any décor style. Next, layer a smaller patterned rug or two in your favorite colors. The variety of outdoor all-weather rugs has come a long way, so have fun with it. Be sure to choose low-pile options so you can roll a bar cart on top of the rugs and easily move seating around. For a lower cost alternative, opt for a few oversized beach towels. Choose simple stripes or solid colors and arrange them in a grid pattern to keep it looking intentional, not sloppy.
To really get the full picnic effect, clear away your chairs. Go for seating that's low to the ground — soft poufs in vibrant colors or woven materials. Be sure they are created with Sunbrella fabrics or other weather-resistant fabrics. To be safe, store them inside or under cover during the afternoon rains. If sitting on the ground isn't a comfortable option, go for a low lounge or Adirondack style chair with a footrest.
Keep everyone entertained with lawn games. Set up corn hole boards, Twister or Polish horseshoes (using ski poles as the stakes). Have a sporty game of mountain terrain bocce ball or take it easy with a mellow game of croquet. We love the classic croquet set from Coleman. Also, no patio party would be complete without proper tunes. The Sport LX from FUGOO connects via bluetooth to your phone or computer. It's waterproof, dustproof and has a 35-hour battery life. Create a playlist before your picnic starts so you don't have to worry about playing host and DJ.
FUGOO Sport LX, $299, fugoo.com
For an afternoon picnic, you'll want to have a bit of coverage from the midday sun. Set up a few patio umbrellas or large sails. (Bonus: They also do a decent job of keeping tree sap off your deck.) For an evening picnic, the right lighting can make all the difference. String café lights above your patio and set out lanterns with candles in varying heights. A small fire pit can add a romantic glow and warmth on cool summer nights.
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To really take your patio picnic to the next level, think about a theme. The bohemian Morrocan vibe is on-trend and ideal for an outdoor area. Plush textures and deep hues are perfect for mountain meditation-worthy space. Going back to our early tips, start with layered rugs and poufs. Add soft pillows and throws scattered around that can be used as blankets when the sun goes down. Use intricate lanterns in bold colors to decorate the perimeter of your patio. Instead of café lights, hang colorful fabrics or gratitude flags. We adore the handmade flags from A Ruby Moon. Owner Jen is a Colorado-based artisan who creates her flags using hand carved block prints of her own design. Her outdoor-inspired prints add a bit of whimsy and inspiration. Choose from various styles (we especially love the bike-themed and vintage trailer flags) or work with her to create custom flags for your family.
Gratitude Flags, $20, ARubyMoon.com
Keep things fun for the kiddos by turning your patio picnic into a Palm Springs pool party! Head to Lowe's to purchase a roll of faux grass carpeting, cut to fit your patio. Then set up a kiddie pool right on top. Add a few oversized inflatable swans and pink flamingos scattered around your "lawn." Before the party, freeze homemade popsicles using fresh juices and fruit, then have the kids help prepare flamingo-shaped watermelon snacks. For the adults, have a well stocked bar cart ready with prickly pear cactus martinis and pineapple mojitos.
No matter the style you decide, remember to have fun! Your energy level and attitude sets the tone for the entire picnic. If you're happy and relaxed, your guests will be too!