As opposed to other parts of the country, the Valley’s outdoor entertaining season has arrived and no one is more excited about this than we desert dwellers! Gone are the long, hot days during which we spent more time inside than out, and as such, it is time to turn our attention to our Arizona backyard entertaining areas. Chances are your back porch right now is dusty and covered in spider webs and perhaps pool toys that you just haven’t put away yet, but what we are interested in talking about today is your seating areas. The pandemic created an at-home lifestyle that enticed many of us into turning our yards into private oases, and if you haven’t quite reached that point yet, NOW is definitely the time to do so! We at New Image Landscape and Pools have created this guide to designing the perfect backyard seating areas, allowing you to open up those patio doors and let the outside in for the first time in months!
The Basic Al Fresco Dining Experience
It is still a little warm in the daytime, but as the sun sets and evening breezes start to pick up, being able to eat outside accompanied by the sweet music from your windchimes you have hanging on your patio cover is definitely one of life’s greatest luxuries, and the options come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and best of all, prices! Maybe you live in a townhouse with a small patio and an even smaller budget, in which case a bistro dining set would be perfect for you. Generally coming with one small table and two accompanying chairs, this type of seating option adds charm and grace to your cozy space. But for those with a larger yard and covered patio, you have even more options, that come in a variety of materials. Go for all wood for a farmhouse look, but you will need to keep it conditioned or risk it falling apart in our dry climate. Choose a sleek metal and glass style that is easy to care for and adds a modern style to your backyard oasis or go for the faux wicker that maintains the charm of real wicker but is much more enduring, standing up to the elements far better than the real stuff. All of these options can be added to your back patio, or, if you prefer, a gazebo placed near the pool, offering a place for swimmers to get out of the sun for a few minutes during the summer months!
Keep Warm on the Coldest Nights in Your Arizona Backyard
It never fails to amaze us how cold the nights can get in the Valley when the sun drops behind the mountains, and although there is a good portion of the year when you won’t need this next option, there is nothing cozier than sitting around a roaring fire, staying warm and sharing stories. Fire pits have come a long way from the early days when we simply set up a circle of blocks in the far corner of our yards; as a matter of fact, many Midwestern transplants may fondly remember the days of bonfires with no distinguishable boundaries! Desert life, however, and the ever-present chance of wildfires will keep the bonfires as a fond memory and a firepit will help you stay warm safely. Coming in a variety of styles as well, the easiest firepit is a sleek and modern electric one, offering an ever-changing selection of colorful flames, and generally surrounded by padded chairs that add comfort to your outdoor “campfire!”
Propane firepits are another option that are easily ignited and can be purchased in the perfect size for your yard. Keep it simple with an oversized bowl shape and use the seating from your table if you are space conscious and enjoy a night of quiet pleasures with your favorite people. Finally, going old school with wood burning firepits and Adirondack chairs with wide arms to hold your beverages or plates offers a campy charm to your yard, but you have to remember that high pollution days in the valley can also be no burn days, so you may not be able to use this type of fire pit a good portion of the fall and winter!
Don’t Forget Your Pool
As of the time of this writing, many newcomers to the Phoenix Metropolitan area are still swimming and soaking up the rays, so that brings to mind another set of seating options. From built in lounge chairs and love seats IN your pool to the chaise lounges that surround your pool, this space is destined to be entertainment central throughout all seasons of the year. We recommend staying away from aluminum chaises that burn tender skin in the hottest months and choosing padded loungers that offer all the comforts of home!
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