While much of the country is sweltering through a record heat wave, the last thing that's on anyone's mind is throwing an outdoor party - unless there's a pool or sprinkler involved. However, once the heat subsides, you will be itching to throw a backyard barbecue or any number of summer gatherings. There are many ways to ensure that your patio or deck space is ready to handle the rest of the season, so pick up some of these items to ensure that you will be ready for the end of summer and completely prepared next year.
First and foremost, you should take a look at your patio furniture and decide if it needs an upgrade. A glass-top patio table is always a wise choice since they are easy to clean and hold a wide range of aesthetic benefits. Investing in some patio chairs that have removable cushions is another thing to consider. Leaving cushions out in the rain can cause mildew to build up and will shorten the lifespan of your investment. You can avoid this whole hassle by bringing the cushions inside after you've enjoyed your time outside to ensure that your patio furniture will last for years to come.
When shopping for a patio table, be sure to find a product that has an umbrella stand built into the center of the table. Not only will this offer shade during a hot day, but it will also provide an additional area to add streamers, decorative lighting or anything else you'd like to include. Many of these products have a large hand crank that can make opening and closing the umbrella a breeze. Always be sure to remove the umbrella before a storm hits, or risk losing it to the wind.
Bug prevention is another top consideration that has been the death null for many summer parties. It's simply not enjoyable to be sitting outside while constantly having to swing at flies around your legs. However, there are some ingenious products that can help you avoid these pests. First off, if you're using a large incandescent spotlight, you're essentially inviting the bugs to come over and bite at your extremities. Insects are attracted to the ultraviolet light of incandescent bulbs, so if you make the switch to an energy-efficient LED fixture, they will not be attracted to any of the lights on your deck. While these lights are a bit more expensive, they can help decrease your utility bills and keep your environment bug-free.
While LED lights can be an excellent way to illuminate your patio space, they can also help you create a dynamic layout for decorating. LED rope lights are much like standard rope lights, but they use the energy-efficient fixtures that won't attract bugs. In addition, these products are encased in PVC pipe which will protect them from the elements and keep them functioning, even if one of your guests happen to bump into one. If you're looking for an innovative party centerpiece idea, you can take these fixtures, tie them at the ends and place them in a vase with some fresh cut flowers. Make sure that the lights splay outwards, which will give you an innovative and visually impressive centerpiece for a serving table or main seating area. Another idea is to use your glass-top patio table to your advantage - use some duct tape and attach these lights on the underside of your table. This will provide a charming aura that will illuminate everything on your table and give your party a one-of-kind accent that your friends will talk about for years to come.
If you don't think you can splurge on some new LED lights, there are some more cost-effective means of protecting your guests from bugs. Citronella candles are the old standards, and they come in a variety of colors, scents and styles that can instantly create a protective area around your guests. Always be sure to place a few of them under the table to protect your guests' legs from the onslaught of these pesky critters. As an added bonus, these products can lend some charming ambiance to your outdoor area, and it will encourage your guests to stay outside long into the evening.
A bug zapper is another option that will direct the bugs' attention to something else while you enjoy time with your friends. Be sure to place this device on the opposite end of your patio area to ensure that the insects don't wander into your sitting area. These satisfying devices will take care of your bug problem while you and your friends are enjoying time with one another.
Now that the bugs and your seating are taken care of, you can concentrate on what you will be feeding your hungry guests. If you don't already have one, investing in a grill is the easiest way to whip up a large batch of food and give everything a delectable smoky flavor. You have two primary options - a gas grill and a charcoal grill. There are many differences between the formats, but they each bring some unique benefits to the table.
Gas grills have convenience going for them, as simply filling up a propane tank and lighting a spark will create a flame in no time. They come in a wide range of colors and styles, and they have an exciting array of features that can be included if you spend the extra money. Options such as side burners, rotisserie spits and many other features can tip the scales in the favor of gas grills. The ability to simply flick a switch during any season is what sets a gas grill apart from its competitors.
On the other hand, a charcoal grill will get you in touch with a much simpler time when fires were built by hand before the food was slowly roasted to perfection. While this doesn't nearly have the utility of a gas grill, it will make your food taste so much better, and it will trap the internal juices in meats, veggies or anything else you'd like to throw on the grill. While a charcoal option will work wonders to help your food taste better, there are some simple steps you can take to make it even better.
Instead of using lighter fluid, invest in an electric fire starter. This functions by placing it directly on the grill and stacking the charcoal on top of it. After being plugged in for about 15 minutes, your fire will be ready and raring to go. This will avoid your food having the slight taste of lighter fluid and will instead impart a smokey flavor that's perfect for chicken, steaks, burgers and chops. Charcoal grills also require regular maintenance - emptying the coal trap and frequently cleaning off the grill surface will ensure that your food won't be tainted by an overabundance of old food and ash. By taking these proactive steps, a charcoal grill can be a wonderful option for your upcoming summer gatherings.
Last but not least, having an effective way of disposing of all of your waste in a sustainable manner is the best way to put a finishing touch on your summer gathering. Instead of using paper plates, plastic knives and forks, use some biodegradable plates and your standard metal utensils. Another option is to encourage all of your guests to dispose of their spent food waste in a compost bin, recyclables in a blue bin and random household trash in a separate container. This will make cleanup much easier and lessen your party's impact on the environment.
An outdoor gathering requires plenty of care and preparation, but by investing in some of these products and keeping track of where your waste ends up, everything should go smoothly. By preparing for every situation, providing plenty of seating and making sure that your food is as delicious as possible, you will be able to throw one of the hottest celebrations of the summer.
While you may be ready and raring to go out and splurge on some of these fine products, sometimes heading off to the department store or the big box store isn't the best course of action. By shopping online and using discounted promotional codes, you can take a significant chunk out of your expenses at checkout. Of course, the only way to take advantage of these deals is by going online, so be sure to look for Target Promotional Codes online. By imputing these codes at checkout, you can save on home and garden products, decorative lighting, grill accessories and everything you'll need to throw the outdoor gathering of the year.
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