Don’t you love a good barbecue? Or those warm nights curled up next to someone you love, a glass of wine in hand as you listen to the crickets chirp and watch the stars appear in the sky. That time has come when spring creeps into the air–daylight lasts a little longer, robins gather in the yard, and you feel the itch to be outside.
There’s no better feeling than to celebrate the return of warm temperatures by settling out on your patio with family and friends or just taking some time for yourself to sit in the sun and quietly read a book.
To maximize those feelings of comfort and pleasure, you may want to take a look at your patio space and consider some changes that can transform a beautiful day out into the perfect patio experience.
A Patio Space That Suits You
Not every patio is the same, and not every person has the same needs for enjoying an outdoor space. As you consider a revamp of your patio, you will need to consider size, use, design strategy, and your budget. But some basic strategies can help you with any project, large or small.
The size of your space will, of course, dictate the choices you make concerning types and styles of furniture, use, and many people you can accommodate. There are, however, other considerations of space that create a more inviting and attractive patio area.
As you survey your space, ask yourself what features can be used to your benefit. Old worn brick, for example, can be painted in vibrant colors to brighten your patio. Another trick is to create a matrix for climbing plants to grow vertically up the surface to add green appeal. If there are areas in view that are less appealing, try building small fences or putting up latticework to obscure the view and to add a sense of intimacy.
If your porch isn’t already covered, you might consider adding an awning or adding a pergola to create shade for the height of the day. You can even install weather-resistant curtains for additional shade and privacy.
Other small touches lend charm to your outdoor setting, such as adding rugs to define the space, adding a water feature to create the calming sound of flowing water, or placing a conversation piece on a wall as the focal point of your patio.
Plants breathe life into the most dilapidated spaces, and you can add pop to your patio with a little greenery. To save yourself time and hassle, make choices that reduce your maintenance time.
Choose robust drought-resistant plants that can stand up to harsh atmospheres and will survive with less attention. Sedums, for example, are drought-proof and stand up to both sunny or shady environments. Hearty chartreuse flowers can add color to your setting or if you need something that can withstand extremes of temperature, a little myrtle spurge can withstand ranges from 100 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Carefree trees and shrubs, such as dwarf globe spruce or blooming ninebark, not only add color but also create a sense of enclosure that enhances intimacy. They can also be used in large pots as a more subtle means of blocking unattractive views.
For an added sensory delight, plant herbs in planters or a variety of pots and let those delicious smells waft over your guests as you snip a bit for cooking delectables on the grill. The added benefit is that several herbs have been proven to ward off pests, such as mosquitos, wasps, and spiders.
The size of your space may dictate the types of furniture you use, but even in the smallest space, you can still find opportunities to enjoy time with others. Folding tables and chairs can be an ideal way to multipurpose a small patio.
Medium-sized spaces allow for more permanent fixtures such as outdoor sofas and chairs. Choose materials that stand up to weather and are resistant to sun-fading. Add a beautiful Topalit table in a wood or stone finish that will not only add charm to your next gathering but will also offer durability.
Larger spaces allow for creating zones. You can artfully place a daybed, end tables, and lamps for a perfect lounging space while delineating a dining area with a rug, or potted plants as separators. And for the full outside dining experience, consider investing in an outdoor kitchen accented by a long Colorado-style Topalit table. If cooking is not your thing, you can install a bar and finish the appearance with a colorful metal bar-height dining set.
Don’t be afraid to repurpose those pieces of furniture you were considering getting rid of, either. A coating of weather-proof exterior paint and hardware that can stand up to the elements can make for an attractive focal point on any patio.
The final touch for any patio space, that one that creates ambiance and functionality, is the lighting you choose. Depending on the design and use of your patio, there are a variety of light options available to you.
For those with covered areas, you can purchase beautiful overhead lighting, including for fans or centerpieces over tables. The LED light has come a long way and is not only the most energy-efficient option but also is long-lasting and comes in several color choices.
If your porch isn’t covered, you might consider wall sconces or outdoor lamps for end tables. You can even purchase LED candles that create the same romantic ambiance without the fire hazard or potential to blow out.
String lights are a great way to create a festive atmosphere when entertaining and, if you use LEDs, you can find options for changing colors and for dimming the lights depending on your needs.
Just remember as you choose lights to check that fixtures and bulbs are rated for outdoor use.
Let The Good Times Roll
Transform that patio you’ve been ignoring all winter into a beautiful extension of your home. The time has come to entertain guests, have that romantic moonlit evening, or just to curl up and have a nap as the breeze lulls you to sleep.