Cool evenings around a fire? All of your friends will say count us in–dress up the area with a wide array of plants in window boxes that help define the space, in addition to low laying landscape beds with lots of perennial color.
I'm going to pin this and put it on my "honey do" list. A pergola offers sun protection without blocking breezes, while its open sides frame the view and establish a sense of enclosure. This pergola was custom-made, but DIYers can build one from a kit.