When you invite everyone over in the warm months do they typically make an excuse to gather somewhere else? Does everyone pop by unexpectedly at your friend’s house, but never at your home? Maybe your outdoor living space is not as inviting as you think it is. Sure, you have nice furniture and an expensive grill, but how inviting is it? Here are five must-haves if you want to create a cozy outdoor space. 

Patio Umbrellas – Patio umbrellas should be right up at the very top of your shopping list. People need relief from the heat of the sun, and no one wants to have to strain their eyes to see while they are trying to relax. Plus, your fair-skinned friends definitely do not want to get burned. Ideally, the umbrella will be large enough to shade the sitting area. You may also want to consider one with a tilt feature to block the sun at different angles throughout the day.
Rug – Whether you have a concrete patio or a wood deck it probably gets pretty hot during the day. Not to mention, these are not very inviting surfaces to bare toes. Add a nice decorative outdoor rug so guests can kick off their flip-flops and tan those white marks on their feet.
Water Fountain – Water features are much more than decorative pieces of art. Sure, they create a beautiful visual display but the sound they make transforms your patio into a very tranquil place. Plus, that soothing sound also masks undesirable noises from the neighborhood that could be disruptive.
Fireplace – When the sun goes down are guests forced to go inside because it is cold? They wouldn’t if you had an outdoor fireplace. It doesn’t even have to be cold to enjoy a dancing flame. The fire creates an inviting and relaxing atmosphere. Right about now you are probably saying that your neighborhood does not allow fires, right? Well, you may not be able to create smoke, but you can certainly enjoy a fire fueled by gel or bio ethanol. Both are clean-burning and do not create smoke.
Bug Repellent – No one wants to deal with biting insects, but they don’t necessarily want to load up on bug repellent either. There are natural products you can spray around your property to make the environment less attractive to bugs. You can also use tiki torches and citronella candles.