Learn how Alex Evjen of AVE Styles updated her outdoor patio bar into a fab haven for hosting family and friends.
We use our grill and grill tools almost daily during the summer. Whether it’s hot dogs or carne asada, we love to enjoy the outdoors as much as we can by eating on the patio. Most of the time, we are in our bathing suits as we eat and watch the kids play, but on the occasional cool summer night you’ll find us hosting friends with beergaritas, chips, and guacamole. Surprisingly enough we have never sat down to our outdoor bar until recently because we didn’t have bar stools. We quickly remedied that thanks to Hayneedle’s great outdoor decor selection, and we spiced up the area with some color, too.
Seating and Shade for our Space
I found everything I wanted on Hayneedle’s website. I started with outdoor bar stools because they set the tone for what we were going to do next. I chose bar-height woven stools because they looked durable and the all-weather resin wicker would be cooler to sit on than metal. I also thought the plastic material would be more comfortable than wood, and I was right. From a design perspective, the woven style also brought some much needed texture to the hard surfaces of the area.
Shade is king during Arizona summers. A good outdoor patio umbrella is essential to comfort. There are so many colors and patterns to choose from, but this California umbrella with neutral colors and striped pattern is perfect for my needs. It adds some depth to the space, but it doesn’t overpower the bar area with color. It also blends in with our house color and neighboring homes.
Decor & Accents
To brighten things up and create more comfort, I chose some outdoor pillows to go along with the bar stools. Blue, teal, and green are great outdoor colors because they reflect a nature-inspired look.
I also found some towels and outdoor lanterns to coordinate with the pillows. They add more color and provide ambiance to the space. I especially love the solar powered lanterns that just require a flip of a switch. For the lanterns that require candles, I enjoy using citronella tea lights to keep the bugs away.
When I entertain I like to have flowers, but because the heat is so intense in Arizona, I find that that bright green plants are just as great. We fell in love with these vertical planters that give cover to some of the cinder block wall that we don’t care for. I planted lavender and rosemary for aroma plus miniature roses for some color, and the final look definitely makes the space. I also added small outdoor plants around the bar area that are easy to water with the hose.
Don’t Settle for Ordinary Serveware
Safety is important to keep in mind when you’re entertaining poolside. I purposely bought plastic outdoor plates and utensils. I couldn’t believe that these plates are plastic when I found them – they look ceramic and come in the most beautiful colors. I, of course, selected blue and white to keep with the color scheme. Quality plastic drinkware is a bit harder to find, so I thought these sturdy mason jar mugs would be easy to handle outside.
When we’re cooking, we love serving everything family-style and keeping things pretty simple. As long as I have a bunch of big cutting boards to lay out all of the taco or hamburger fixings, I am set. It saves us from dirtying a bunch of dishes, plus everyone can get up and access what they need at any time.
Thanks to Hayneedle, we are now well equipped to host in style with all of our outdoor patio & bar essentials. Be sure to shop their site for other great outdoor decor and entertaining styles.
-Alex Evjen, AVE Styles