Recreate the tropics in your own back yard with a patio bar

Between juggling work and home, we all have to deal with stress. Experts tell us to find ways to reduce stress and relax more. There's no better way to do that than to create a retreat in your backyard. Choose a tropical theme and with just a little planning, shopping and installation, your patio bar will be ready for company.

Look around. Where do you want to put your patio bar furniture? You want the furniture close enough to the house that you can carry supplies to the patio and far away from hot tubs or swimming pools so that your guests don't get splashed. You also need a level place for the furniture, such as a wooden deck or cement patio. Now's the time to clean that area. Sweep and power wash the surfaces. Make any repairs and re-stain or paint the wood, if needed. Remove weeds that are creeping their way near or over the patio or deck.  

Wet or dry bar?

Do you want to have running water? A refrigerator and icemaker? Taps for adult beverages? If you said yes to these questions, then you want a wet bar. You'll need to work with a plumber and electrician to get water and electricity to the area if you don't have the DIY skills. So keep that in mind when deciding your budget. Wet bars are more expensive, but it is a selling point if you ever decide to move. A wet bar is a great choice if you entertain frequently or host large groups. It's convenient to have running water and a refrigerator outside so you don't have to make one trip after another indoors throughout the party.

Choices, choices

Based on where you live, purchase plants that will thrive and add to the tropical look. If you are going to plant a lot of flora or a large tree, such as a palm tree, you might want to do that before you prepare the patio area because of the mess. Find something low maintenance or you'll defeat the purpose of creating a patio space where you can relax and reduce stress.

What colors do you think of when you think of the tropics? Some think of neutrals and earth tones, such as various shades of green and brown. Others think about the bright colors of tropical birds and flowers, such as orange and yellow. Maybe you like something that's more middle-of-the-road. In that case, go for shades of greens and browns with bright accents.

You'll need to purchase a bar, patio bar stools and cushions. You may also want to consider buying other bar-height patio furniture to fill out the space. To save money, consider a set. For example, East Point has a five-piece set featuring a glass-top bar with shelves for storage and four bar chairs. It also has a tropical Cabana feel. Since it'll be outdoors, look for fabric with UV protection and frames that are coated to protect the furniture from the elements. Set up a patio bar and head outdoors to relax with your friends.

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