Summer 2023 Outdoor Bar and Seating Trends

As any interior (or exterior) decorating enthusiast knows, design trends come and go with the passing of the seasons. But, there is one trend that may never go out of style: Outdoor living spaces! In fact, exterior spaces have become increasingly valuable in the last several years.

Not only are more people utilizing their outdoor spaces for everything from grilling to gardening, but most are also planning on investing in new outdoor furniture and accessories for their porches, patios, decks, pool areas, and backyards.

At the top of the list for many homeowners? Outdoor entertaining spaces. In light of this, outdoor bars are having a major moment. In fact, the Wall Street Journal recently hailed the backyard bar as “the most covetable way to entertain.”

If you’re ready to get in on this trend, you’re in the right place. Here are the top patio bar ideas for summer 2023.

Embrace the ADU

The gold standard of outdoor bars, standalone bars carve out backyard space for a freestanding bar that says, “It’s time to party!” They combine two of today’s hottest outdoor trends: backyard bars and ADUs.

This outdoor bar idea calls for a decent amount of square footage, and a decent budget to go along with it. However, if you plan to regularly cozy up to your new backyard bar, a standalone bar can be a smart and stylish addition to your outdoor space.

In addition to requiring a full bar and counter stools, this backyard bar area also includes other features you’d find in commercial spaces: ample seating including four-tops and cozy deep seating for lounging, game room furniture, a high-quality speaker system, and inviting decor to complete the theme. A few of our favorite accessories for freestanding outdoor bars include neon signage and dance floors.

Set the Scene

Think of walking into your favorite bar or restaurant. Chances are, a certain vibe immediately came to mind. When creating an outdoor bar of your own, consider drawing inspiration from this feeling and other entertainment and outdoor spaces that you love.

Maybe you’re drawn to come-as-you-are neighborhood spots where guests can relax and be themselves. Or maybe you prefer a more elegant environment that will make your guests feel like they’ve been transported to another time and place. A few of our favorite backyard bar themes include:

  • Resort retreat. Think all things upscale, luxurious, sleek, and spa-worthy, such as dramatic pendant lighting, refined (yet comfortable) bar furniture and deep seating, and high-end glassware.
  • Cozy comfort. Love the rustic look and feel of a traditional pub or bistro? Replicate this in your outdoor bar area with stone surfaces, wrought iron bistro tables and stools, and other sturdy and classic elements.
  • Island escape. Nothing says it’s time to party quite like an island oasis of your own. Suitable outdoor bar area decor might include rattan, bamboo, and other natural wood tones; patterned fabrics; lush greenery, hanging string lights, tropical decorative elements, and water features. While some people go full-on tiki bars, others take a more restrained approach with boho, coastal, and Mediterranean-inspired color palettes, decor, and accessories.

Depending on your style and taste, bar areas can be everything from speakeasy chic to modern minimalist. Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing a theme or design style for your outdoor bar area. Rather, following your bliss is the key to designing a joyful space where you and your guests will want to spend endless hours relaxing and enjoying each other’s company.

Make it Mobile

While a large or dedicated outdoor bar makes sense for people with a lot of space and for frequent entertainers, it may not be possible (or a priority) for other homeowners. That’s where more mobile solutions come in. Mobile bar carts and islands let you bring the perfect spot to you, then easily clear it away to make room for other outdoor activities.

An alternate option if you’re short on space (or funds), or if you’re not planning on hosting massive gatherings? Utilize an existing countertop (or install a small countertop slab), pair it with the stylish bar stools of your choice, and voilà: you’ve got an instant outdoor bar for two.

While this kind of bar space may be smaller in scale than a full outdoor bar, it can be equally big on style. Something as simple as embracing a pop of color or choosing a stylish cart and swivel bar stools can transform an otherwise ordinary element into an eye-catching design feature within your space.

Play to Your Strengths

When we think of outdoor bars, we often picture the typical outdoor space. However, this might not fit or suit your home, or your living style. For example, if you live in a more urban area and have limited backyard space, it may make sense to situate your bar in a different location, such as on a balcony or a rooftop to capture your views. Or maybe you’ve already got a pool area around which the majority of outdoor parties take place. In this case, a pool house cabana bar may make stylish sense.

Again, let your space – and your taste – lead the way when designing your space and selecting outdoor bar and bar stools.

Build the Bar of Your Dreams with Porch & Patio

Ready to transform your average outdoor area into the entertainment haven of your dreams? When it comes to sourcing trendy barstools for patio and outdoor bar area decor, there’s no better destination than Porch & Patio. For the latest outdoor living ideas and the best selection of summer barstool styles, visit Porch & Patio today.


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