Wintertime is made for snuggling under blankets and curling up on the couch, reading a book and sipping a hot chocolate. Summertime, however, is meant to be enjoyed outside in the fresh air. That freedom and joy that you had for summer as a kid can still be had as an adult! The perfect outdoor living space helps you do all the outdoor activities you and your family want – the swimming, the sports, the entertaining – and here’s the best part: it is all so much easier when you have a designated place for them that’s not inside your house when the weather is nice.
For example, my kids love ice cream. They often get distracted, though, which makes it not the neatest of experiences. I would avoid letting them have it because I couldn’t stand the sticky table and floor afterward. However, now they certainly can eat ice cream outside and I simply hose down the table afterward! The same goes for my husband: he likes to cook but isn’t always conscious of the drippings and crumbs that are flying everywhere as he preps. Rather than having to disinfect the kitchen and run the self-cleaning feature on my oven every time he cooks, I send him outside where he can grill to his heart’s content. And he does a great job cleaning the grill so I never have to worry about it. It’s a win for everyone: I’m not cringing at every drip and splatter, and they’re free to be themselves.
Another great thing about having a nice patio area in the summer is when the kids go swimming. If you have a pool, you know what it’s like having a trail of wet footprints and puddles to places like the bathroom and the refrigerator. We put a small fridge outside and keep it stocked with water and other drinks that the kids like as well as a few snacks, and that has cut down on the water trails significantly. The kids love that they can help themselves and then sit at the outdoor area so they can quickly get back to playing in the pool. Now they only have to come inside when nature calls and the house is no longer a slip and slide.
For the grown-ups, how nice is it to sit out in front of a fire pit at night with a glass of wine or, on a really hot night, a frozen margarita? Summer parties are so much nicer at night. You put on a little music, light a few lanterns, and the yard has a happy, joyous feel that would take hours of prep to do inside. And clean up is always so easy – we often use paper plates (I love the biodegradable kind) and plastic cups so everything can be composted, trashed, or thrown in the dishwasher. I never feel obligated to break out the crystal wine glasses or the good china when we’re dining outside! Everything is so much more fun and casual when you have it in an outdoor setting.