Summer time in North Carolina’s Outer Banks is the best time of year for sun and fun! Barbecue set-ups, patios, decks, pools, or perfectly landscaped yards make outdoor living so much more enjoyable. Whether your summer entertainment includes a casual get-together, pool party, graduation party, romantic outdoor wedding, elegant dinner soiree, or maybe you just want a little quiet time all your own, here are some tips on how to create a fun and comfortable beach-town entertaining space at your year-round or vacation home:

Comfy furniture: One of the joys of outdoor living is that most events are more relaxed, which means the furniture can be more comfy, too. According to Country Living, this season is all about retro-inspired style, natural materials, and cool colors. Décor can be as simple as:

  • Basic patio chic featuring wicker or rattan in modern colors with a few plush throw pillows in vibrant prints or patterns.
  • Bring the indoors outside with area rugs, ottomans, and mosaic side tables. Think of a casual den, but with a much better view!
  • Color palettes include soft blues, ivory, bisque, and caramel, with a splash of color added to achieve an eye-popping effect.

Love everything about your patio except for the fact that it looks a little too loved?  Give your space a fresh pick-me-up with some simple, low-cost touches:

  • People love to curl up with a good pillow.  Choose colorful ones in a variety of shapes and sizes. Maybe you love your old pillows but they’ve been around the block a few times – that’s okay, give them a much-needed facelift by recovering them with a fun, whimsical pattern.
  • This applies to your chair and couch cushions too!  You’d be amazed at how this simple change can make it look like you have a brand-new piece of furniture!  Easily brighten up your space and make it look like new when you bring in a fun, summery pattern.
  • For those who want a little more privacy on the patio, to create a room all your own, try adding curtains to your patio – this subtle change can completely transform an okay patio into a cozy hot spot – don’t be afraid to go bold with colors and patterns!







Need a little shade?  Add a canopy or umbrella to provide a shaded area to keep cool and out of the sun on those hot summer days.  Add some pop to the patio by choosing a color or style that change the dynamic of your space.  Make it fun!  There are many choices available to accommodate a variety of budgets.  Make them last even longer by bringing them in during the winter months.

Lovely lighting: Don’t harsh the evening’s mellow with overly dramatic lighting. Low and subtle is the key to simulating romantic moonlight, but it still has to be practical enough for safety purposes. LEDs or energy-efficient, light-emitting diodes, in a variety of color choices, will be big this year. Carefully curated lighting will allow you to enjoy your OBX surroundings deep into the night. Place a few lights under patio umbrellas, use core-drilled lights to keep pathways well-lit, or string distinctive bistro lights overhead to add a unique touch to any event.

Looking for something a little simpler to set the mood for evening entertaining?  Try grapevine balls or string Christmas lights around the perimeter to give a sweet evening glow to your serene spot.  Need something fast? Try party lights or candles in fun shapes, colors and sizes.  Mix it up!

Heat things up: Gather around the fire pit with family and friends for eating s’mores, singing, star-gazing, listening to the waves, or just talking. Fire pits can create a warm focal point with seating arranged in a cozy circle. Check out these hot backyard fire pit ideas from HGTV.

Take a look around your yard, think about the best views you have, and start building your seating areas with that in mind. If you’ve got a pool, don’t just make it a hole in the ground with concrete around it. Plant some lush foliage to add to the tropical feel, make room for a poolside bar, or cozy up in some shady seating areas.

If you need more ideas for how to make your Outer Banks outdoor living area more comfortable this summer, consult with a local professional who can help you get exactly what you need.