This is the perfect time of year to invite friends and family over and savor a delicious meal outdoors. But an old, splinter-filled picnic table, a crumbling patio or rickety deck, or a ravenous horde of mosquitoes are enough to send your guests home well before dessert.
With July 4th weekend just around the corner, these 7 key tips and scrumptious recipes will get you ready to dine outdoors in comfort and style!
1. Mouth-Watering Food
You can’t do any outdoor dining without food, and you want your guests to enjoy a mouth-watering meal that will make them want to come back for seconds.
This article gathers together some of our favorite Fourth of July recipes, including tangy citrus chicken that you can marinate the night before so it’s ready to just toss on the grill, two of the best burger recipes around, a margarita recipe that’s to die for, and a red, white and blue sponge cake to top things off.
This article is loaded with 13 irresistible hot wing recipes, from classic Buffalo wings, to light-you-on-fire sriracha hot wings, to sweet-and-sticky maple chipotle wings. And you’ll need just the right tool to cook up your culinary masterpieces: here is a review of the 10 best outdoor grills, courtesy of Good Housekeeping. Bon appétit!
2. A Comfy Table Set
Your guests will need someplace safe and comfortable to sit, and the right table set will make all the difference. No one wants to stay long if their chair is pinching them, and you definitely don’t want a guest to get a splinter if your picnic table is on its last legs.
But outdoor dining sets can be pretty costly, and money is tight for a lot of families these days. Apartment Therapy has put together this wonderful list of 10 outdoor tables and dining sets for under $300.
If you have the time and the DIY gumption, you can also find old wooden tables and chairs at your local flea market and refinish them with matching outdoor paint or stain to create your own unique, inexpensive outdoor dining set.
Once you’ve got your seating arrangements ready, use our instructional video to liven things up with an easy-to-build DIY pallet bar or a beautiful flower tower.
3. The Right Deck or Patio
A deck or patio is typically the most comfortable place to entertain outdoors, and they are a good investment to increase your home’s value. But it can be hard to decide which type of deck or patio to add if you don’t already have one. Patio, or deck? Wood, metal, or composite?
If you’re thinking of adding on a deck or patio, click here for help choosing the perfect patio for your family, or click here for help picking the right kind of deck.
If you already have a deck, the right maintenance is key for protecting your investment. Click here for 5 essential tips for taking care of your deck so you can keep enjoying it for years to come.
4. Cool, Soothing Shade
It’s hot out there, so you want your guests to have some nice cool shade to relax under while they’re savoring the food and conversation.
Here is a can’t-miss resource that gives you the essential information about 6 of the most popular shade options for your outdoor living space, including the advantages and disadvantages and approximate cost of each option. (Photo courtesy of ERS Shading)
5. Relaxing Ambience
Now that you have the basics taken care of, it’s time to talk about ambiance. Simple things such as decorative lighting, a fire bowl, or fragrant climbing plants can really set the mood for your get-together and make your guests feel even more at home.
Click here for some ideas on making your outdoor living space super-cozy, and here for easy decorating steps to transform your outdoor space.
6. Effective Pest Control
No matter how attractive your outdoor space may look, your get-together’s ambience will be instantly spoiled if a ravenous cloud of mosquitoes descends upon your guests, or if a big, hairy spider drops onto Aunt Mildred’s arm as she reaches for the potato salad.
Click here for 7 natural mosquito repellents, click here for 5 tips on keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away, and click here to learn how to keep spiders away with just one spray with Miss Muffet’s Revenge.
7. A Clean Living Space without all the Work
While you and your guests are out enjoying delicious burgers on your deck or patio, you don’t want to have to look at ugly moss, or risk falling on slippery algae or mold and mildew. You don’t have to, and you don’t have to scrub or pressure wash, either!
Keep your deck and patio clean the easy way with Wet & Forget Outdoor. Wet & Forget Outdoor eliminates moss, algae, lichen, mold, and mildew with no bleach, scrubbing, or pressure washing needed. Just spray and forget about it!
Jeff battled slippery green algae for years on his patio, scrubbing it over and over with bleach, while his family still had to take their shoes off when they came in the house to keep from staining the carpets green. Now he sprays his patio once a year with Wet & Forget Outdoor, and it’s completely algae-free!
Make Wet & Forget Outdoor part of your deck or patio care routine, and set yourself free from scrubbing and pressure washing, too!
Have a wonderful summer! Stop by our website for easy solutions to everyday problems, so you can spend less time cleaning and more time enjoying your summer.