Living Without Walls Starts With A Wow-Worthy Patio Set

Entertaining outdoors just seems to have a magical je ne sais quoi…and with the right patio pieces in place, soirees just seem to flow that much more smoothly. Happily, converting your backyard into an al fresco living and dining room for several months during the year can be a simple and affordable endeavour.

Begin by thinking about how you will be using your outdoor space: will you be planning casual get-togethers or more elaborate dinner parties? Will you be entertaining poolside, or simply retreating to your backyard for some zen time on your own? Or will you be doing it all? Your decision will guide you on what type of furniture to select. These days, the selection of outdoor furnishings runs far and wide — from dining tables and end tables to bistro tables and coffee tables, and sectionals and chaises to loungers, loveseats and ottomans — not to mention fire pits, heating lamps, serving carts and more. In addition, they’re all available in a plethora of styles, fabrics and finishes.

Treat your backyard space as “different rooms”
Open air living can take many forms, so start by creating different activity zones within your space. Use large planters, trees, lighting and visual space to define each of your “rooms” and then start thinking about furnishing. For example, a conversation area for cocktails and appetizers before dinner could use armed couches or loveseats, chairs, side tables and a coffee table. If you’re lounging poolside, consider small side tables and chaises on wheels to follow the moving sun. For dining areas, a table, chairs and umbrella are de rigueur – locate these close to your outdoor kitchen or grill. (Watching the “chef” prepare adds a delicious layer of anticipation and entertainment to any gathering.) Other pieces to consider: propane and natural gas heaters and electric heaters enable entertaining to continue long after the sun has gone down. And of course, there’s no better way to cap off an evening than around a fire pit with friends and s’mores!

Made in the shade
Be sure to include shade to provide relief from the sun. Not all yards are blessed with the natural shelter of mature trees, so a gorgeous cantilevered umbrella is a must. Today’s umbrellas are available in a palette of colours to match/contrast against seat cushions and allow you to express your signature style.

Selecting your set
Today’s patio sets are constructed in a wide array of materials, including cast aluminum, wicker, woods such as cedar and teak, and even stylish synthetic, durable and weatherproof patio materials. Sunbrella fabrics help colours last longer; higher end quick drying foam make cushions usable more quickly after a downpour. While your decision will reflect your personal style, be sure to consider your storage options as well. If storage is limited, you’ll want to choose a durable material such as cast aluminum that weathers winter well. And consider purchasing a storage box; these offer water tight protection for your cushions.

Ready to get started? Peruse the impressive selection of patio furniture and accessories at any of the Barbecue World locations: 3310 Langstaff Road East of the 400 in Vaughan, 1650 Victoria Road E, south of the 401 in Whitby and 655 Kanata Rd in Kanata. Or browse and ideate any time at