Few things are more enjoyable than spending time in a beautifully arranged outdoor space, surrounded by friends and family as you enjoy some delicious barbecue and revel in the cool breezes, warm sun, and fresh air. (Just be sure to bring along some bug repellent!) Do you want your patio to be that kind of great place? Well, it can be!

As long as you’ve got the desire and the funds to have a lovely little place in your backyard, perfect for relaxing and entertaining guests, we’re telling you to go for it! If you’re unsure where to start or if you’ve bought some outdoor furniture and don’t know exactly what to do with it, we’re here for you with our list of great tips and the things to know about arranging patio furniture.

Below are the six patio furniture arrangement ideas for your home:

Idea #1: Build a great outdoor deck

If your patio’s ‘floor’ is cracking or crumbling, you should probably get that replaced before you start arranging a great outdoor space. After all, if you’re going to all the trouble of creating such a beautiful spot, you want everything to be as close to perfect as possible, right? Or what if you’d really like an outdoor space but you don’t actually have a patio or a deck? Well, you need to get on that!

Even a small deck can become an awesome spot to hang out after a long day’s work. Call in the professional deck builders and get your perfect deck put in!

Idea #2: Figure out what you’ll use your patio for

Understanding the purpose of your deck will lead to some great patio furniture arrangement ideas. Are you planning to use your patio/deck for eating? Reading and relaxing? Entertaining a few friends? A place to watch nature? Whatever the reason(s) you have for using your outdoor space, it’s a good idea to have that firmly in your mind before you start designing and decorating. The purpose of the space will inform what you include–and what you leave out–in your decor.

After all, if you’re going to use your patio mainly as a place to eat barbecue and then go for a swim in the pool, you may not want to invest in a hammock. But if you’re planning to spend long, lazy afternoons out there working on your tan or reading a book, a hammock could be perfect.

Idea #3: Know what direction the seating should face

What’s going to be the focus of your outdoor space? Again, this goes back to knowing the purpose for your patio or deck. Do you plan to just sit and watch the sun rise or set? Then make sure that the furniture is turned so that you’ll have the best possible view. Maybe the purpose of the space is eating and enjoying conversation with friends and family. Then position all or most of the seating in a large circle or rectangle–perhaps with a table or coffee table in the center to place plates, drinks, and so on.

Idea #4: Let size dictate style

If you have a large, sprawling deck or patio, you can probably get away with having heavier, bulkier furniture that won’t need to be moved a lot and that won’t look clunky and crowded in the large space. But if your outdoor space is small, it’s a good idea to invest in outdoor furniture that’s slimmer and lighter (while not sacrificing quality or stability, of course). You don’t want to stub your toe on some heavy couch or table when you’re moving around in a smaller space. Additionally, heavy pieces can overpower a small patio, taking away from the aesthetic charm of the space.

Idea #5: Allow for traffic in your outdoor spot

This furniture arranging tip goes well with the one above. You don’t want to overcrowd your patio, especially if there’s going to be a lot of foot traffic and so on in the patio (such as going into and out of the house to bring back plates, condiments, etc.). As you place your furniture around your patio, take some experimental walks around the space so that you can see if the arrangement you’ve come up with is good and sensible for leaving to use the washroom, getting up to throw away garbage, running over to the pool, etc.

Idea #6: Arrange (and buy) furniture with the weather in mind

Is the area where you live pretty windy? Then make sure you purchase outdoor furniture that’s solid and won’t move easily. Do you live in a climate that’s quite hot and sunny during the summer months (or pretty much year-round)? Then make sure that you arrange your furniture so that it’s under adequate shade, such as a spreading tree near your deck or patio (or invest in some sun umbrellas). Basically, you want to arrange your furniture with your comfort, and your guests’ comfort in mind.