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An outdoor patio can provide you, your family and your friends with the perfect place to sit back, relax and enjoy your surroundings. Outdoor patios provide a whole new living or entertainment area which is perfect for all different scenarios. From garden parties to time spent with the kids, from romantic nights with your spouse to Fourth of July barbeques, adding an outdoor to the equation equals fun for all.

Most outdoor patios consist of a table and chairs as well as a barbeque for the summer. Some will include lounge chairs or side tables to hold drinks and nibbles while you catch some rays. You may wish to put a kiddy pool on your outdoor patio or a portable sand box so the kids can have some fun as well. Some outdoor patios will have a roof over top while others will not.

If you do have an outdoor patio that has a barbeque, swimming pool or other dangerous attachment, make sure you know the rules and regulations involved. A swimming pool must be fenced off from the patio and from the entrance to the house; barbeques that use gas must be turned off and no smoking; and always monitor children when playing outdoors near these things.

Designing your Dream Patio

Outdoor patio furniture can be bought at any furniture superstore as well as specialty shops. You can find cozy day beds, portable fireplaces, sexy lounge chairs, folding loungers, painted chair fabrics, ottomans and storage seats for all situations. Go for a beautiful beach theme with white wicker furniture. Add a splash of the ocean with outdoor blue and pillows and luscious green hanging baskets.

If you are looking to 'man up' your outdoor patio, look into furniture that doubles as a cooler to hold your beer for all your mates. Look for furniture in dark chocolate hues and make sure there is plenty of room for a barbeque. If you have a lot of space to play with, consider adding a pool table, hot tub or foosball table to the outdoor living area for the perfect outdoor man cave. Now all you need is a big screen television and you won't have any reason to go back inside.

For the perfect living space for late nights after the kids have gone to bed, look for two cozy chairs or a swinging love seat. Consider adding a fireplace onto your patio so you and your partner can star gaze and keep warm even during winter. Top it off with a beautiful fountain ornament as well as a glass outdoor table complete with two glasses of wine and a bottle of your favorite red to really set the mood.

Outdoor patios are usually made out of concrete or timber. You can add an outdoor patio to almost any home as long as it is allowed by your landlord and your council. Choose a contractor that is licensed and knows the rules when considering adding an outdoor patio to your home. You may want to add a fence around it if you have young children or if the patio is attached to a swimming pool or other dangerous area.

If your new rental home has an outdoor patio, consider yourself lucky. Even if it needs a little work, you will be surprised how a coat of paint and the right varnish can make your new area sparkle. Add some outdoor plants, a garden bed or hanging baskets to the area and look for furniture and accessories that complement your needs and your personality. Discover the possibilities of outdoor patios and start enjoying the great outdoors.

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