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Good, better, best: Outdoor entertaining solutions your patio needs

There’s still plenty of time left this summer to enjoy family gatherings and neighborhood barbecues on the patio before the cold winter months settle in. While all you really need to enjoy the outdoors is a comfortable chair and a good book, if you love to entertain, you likely need a little more functionality.

Whether you’re looking to spruce up your existing setup or completely remodel your space, there are a few solutions you’ll definitely need, like lights, heating lamps, and tables to hold snacks and drinks. Most importantly, however, your guests will need somewhere to sit. Sectionals, love seats, and lawn chairs give you plenty of space to entertain, and your guests will be comfortable all night through. Not sure what set to pick? We did our research and ranked them below: Here are our good, better, and best options for stylish outdoor seating.

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Good: Latitude Run Wicker/Rattan 8 Person Seating Group

  • Easy to rearrange
  • UV and rust-resistant
  • Made with powder-coated steel and handwoven PE rattan

This 7-piece wicker set is great for multi-use spaces. This set includes a large sectional that separates into three smaller sofas, a huge dining table, and three ottoman chairs. The pieces are all movable, so you can keep the couches together for family brunch, then separate and rearrange them so they’re face to face, perfect for double dates under the stars. This set is also UV and rust-resistant, so it can certainly handle the elements and last you and your family years to come.

Better: Christopher Knight Home Illona Acacia Wood Sofa Set with Square Fire Table

  • Seats up to 6
  • Weather-resistant
  • Features a contemporary look

For a large outdoor space, we recommend this Illona outdoor 6-seater acacia wood sofa set that comes complete with a fire pit and tank holder. The set includes a sectional-style couch that seat up to five people, one chair, a side table, and a fire pit, all with clean lines and a minimalist style that is simple yet striking. The square fire pit contributes to the contemporary look, and it’s large enough to warm up all your guests, even during the colder fall months. The set is now available in a shade of lime green or teal, so you have flexibility in picking a style that best suits your aesthetic.

Best: Sol 72 Outdoor Almyra 4 Person Seating Group

  • Available in two neutral colors
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Water-resistant

For a luxurious outdoor entertaining space that will be the talk of the neighborhood, check out this Almyra 6-piece rattan sectional set. This set, available in either charcoal or natural concrete, is ergonomically designed with sloped back cushions for maximum comfort and back support. The cushions have commercial-grade fabric so they protect against mold and mildew and are completely water-resistant. They are also removable, so you can quickly detach them from the wicker and wipe them clean after a spill. The whole set comes with a two-seater love seat with cupholders, two oversize chairs, and a huge 34″ x 34″ rectangular fire pit for cold nights.

While you’re shopping

While the furniture is the anchor of your space, don’t forget the small details. Consider adding a bright-colored outdoor rug, pillows, throw blankets, candles, and space heaters to keep things warm while your guests enjoy the outdoors. As you move into fall, replant your planters with fall-friendly options like mums to bring the colors of autumn into your backyard. It can also be quite buggy in the fall, so make sure you have copious amounts of bug spray and insect repellant candles or torches.

To round out the entertainment space, string lights across the fence or awning to deliver a softer light than the overhead porch lights can provide. If you plan to entertain for lengthy periods of time, consider investing in a mini-fridge so you can keep snacks and drinks handy. This way, your guests aren’t constantly moving in and out of the house for refreshments. If there’s still space in your budget after the remodel, we recommend adding an outdoor TV. While they can be expensive, they’re durable enough to survive the elements, and they bring game days and movie nights to the next level.

All of the entertainment spaces above are perfect for large gatherings and offer plenty of room for people to sit back and relax. Whether it’s a party with the whole family or an adults-only cocktail night, having plenty of rearrangeable outdoor seating is the key to a successful get-together. With the right decor and a little prep work to bring lights, drinks, and blankets outside, your celebration will certainly be a memorable one.

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Julie Scagell
Former Digital Trends Contributor
I am a freelance writer based in Minneapolis, MN. My passions include my dogs, talking about my dogs, and taking pictures of…
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