Check out these fresh patio ideas to help inspire your design this summer. Image: Distinguished Pools

Summer is finally here, which means it’s time to think about your backyard entertaining options. Your exterior space doesn’t have to be boring. With just a little bit of effort, this area can become your favorite spot in the entire home.

If you need a little inspiration to help you get started, you’re in luck. From pools to outdoor kitchens, we have 14 fresh patio ideas to help inspire your design. By the end of the list, you’ll likely find one that strikes your fancy.

1. Work with your pool

If you have a pool, consider creating a showstopper by incorporating it into your patio design. Image: Pasquale Design Associates, Inc.

2. Make sure there’s plenty of room for dining

Don’t forget a dining table for hosting dinner parties. Image: Chelsea Construction Corporation

3. Think about adding a TV

Adding a TV to the patio makes the space perfect for watching the big game. Image: Alisberg Parker

4. Bring some shade with a pergola

If you want a middle ground between indoor and outdoor living, think about adding a pergola. Image: Yardscapes Northwest

5. Don’t forget lighting

It’s important to pay attention to lighting while you’re planning your patio design. Image: Creative Environments

6. Create an outdoor kitchen

Go big or go home by including a whole outdoor kitchen in your patio setup. Image: Ettore Masonry Inc.

7. If nothing else, include a grill

Make sure you have a grill so that you’re not stuck in the kitchen preparing a meal while guests socialize outside. Image: Maverick Landscaping

8. Add some warmth with a fireplace

Including a fireplace will help extend the life of your patio well into the cooler fall weather. Image: Fredman Design Group

9. Extend the life of your patio with a fire pit

Building your patio around a fire pit creates the perfect spot to roast s’mores or sit and talk the night away. Image: Sycamore Design

10. Keep cool with a fan

Ceiling fans are a must for those who like to keep cool all year round. Image: Affordable Shade Patio Covers

11. Break it up into different seating areas

Think about adding several distinct seating areas so that you can easily entertain large groups. Image: Patina Home Design

12. Pay attention to your chair arrangements

Try arranging chairs in a circle to facilitate long evenings filled with conversation. Image: The Moellman Group

13. Use benches for maximum seating

Consider comfy benches like these to maximize the amount of seating your patio has to offer. Make sure to include plenty of pillows to keep it comfortable. Image: Dale Alcock Homes

14. Don’t forget the bar

A patio bar gives your guests a built-in place to congregate and saves you from having to run back and forth with drink orders. Image: Georgio Home

Incorporating even one of these patio ideas into your outdoor space will keep your summer gatherings fresh and inviting. Are you inspired by anything on this list? Let us know in the comments!