When it comes to entertaining guests, it’s not always enough to have a great island in your kitchen, or a sweet home theater. Sometimes, people want to relax and get some fresh air. The best way to do that without loading up the wagon and heading to the park? Have a great patio. But not all patios are created equal. Here are my six tips on making your patio experience remarkable.

  1. Greenery Add some little trees or flowers to give dimension and color to the space. Grass or turf, or an ivy wall can add texture as well! Give your guests something to look at, smell and feel while they relax.

  2. Fire Pit A fire pit sets a central point for seating and for conversation, it makes s’mores and hot dogs possible, and it’s perfect for making spring and autumn nights warm and cozy without having to go inside. You can keep it simple and buy a pre-made fire pit, or go all in with cinder blocks and stones and whatnot. Either way, it will take your patio to the next level.

  3. Grill If you've got company in the summer, and you’re not grilling… you better have some way to cook using your new fire pit. The point is, it’s hard to go wrong with a great burger, hot dog or bratwurst.

  4. Lighting If you do it right, your time out on the patio will go on into the night. Make sure your guests are safe by adding some lights in the area so nobody trips and gets hurt. Some path lights leading down the sidewalk, or some trendy string lights hung overhead ought to do the trick. You also get points for being prepared!

  5. Seating You really shouldn’t have to send that group text saying your party is BYOC (bring your own chair). You can start with some classic lawn chairs, or you can really bring it with some cushioned patio chairs. Either way, your guests will be glad they didn’t have to sit on the pavement or stand for five hours.

  6. People All the cool stuff you buy or build is better enjoyed with friends and family. Even if your patio or deck is a work in progress, the best kind of friends make memories no matter how hip or luxurious the surroundings. So invite your crew over and share an evening together out on the patio.

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