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It’s definitely the season to be outdoors – the sun is shining, and that Vitamin D is just calling your name. But are you feeling like your backyard patio area is a little lackluster? Perhaps not the inviting oasis you want it to be? If your patio isn’t as comfortable, stylish, or functional as you’d wish it to be, then perhaps it’s time to consider giving it a makeover. Here are a few tips to make your outdoor space a lovely extension of your home.
Lay the Foundation
If you already have a patio in place then you’re ahead of the game, but if not, you have quite a few options to choose from when it comes to design. Start by determining the size you’ll need to accommodate your friends and family and then use a can of spray paint to map it out. Once you know the square footage of your patio space, you can price out the options. Some of the best materials for installing a patio are concrete, flagstone, traditional brick, or tile. It’s best to clear out all grass and weeds and make the space as level as possible prior to installation.
Bring the Inside Outside
Your patio is essentially an extension of your home and should flow with the same design and aesthetics as your interior. You want to choose furniture that is sturdy but also comfortable. If you plan to use the patio area as a dining space, consider a large farm table with comfortable chairs. If you want to use the space as an outdoor living area, choose a comfortable, weather-durable couch with cushions, and add a coffee table as well as some end tables. Once you have your key pieces in place, accessorize with items that represent your style and personality.
Add Some Shade
Having a beautiful patio is great, but if it’s in full sunlight, it may not be utilized as often as you would like. Adding some shade will allow you to use the space whenever you like. There are a few options for creating a shady oasis such as a shade sail, umbrellas, pergolas, or lattice. It all depends on the amount of work you want to do and the amount of money you want to spend. Shade sails can be made easily with a triangular-cut piece of weather resistant material with eyelets on each corner. Umbrellas come in all shapes and sizes and can be free standing. Lastly, curtains can be draped over and the type of material ranges from wood to copper piping. Whatever you choose, be sure the materials are weather resistant or weather treated.
Add Some Greenery
Nothing brightens up a patio more than an array of plants and flowers planted in pots of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Add some color and height to your outdoor space with potted trees, shrubs, flowers, herbs, and vegetables. When deciding on what you should plant, take into consideration the amount of sunlight or shade you have in the space. A plant that needs shade will not thrive in a sunny area and vice versa. Some good plants for full sun are basil, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, roses, mums, lavender, and lilies. Those that do well in pots and prefer shade are hydrangeas (part sun to shade), impatiens, ferns, fuchsia, begonias, and clematis.
Add Some Amenities
Why not add some amenities to your patio so you can enjoy it both during the day and into the evening? Strings of lights add a lovely and warm ambiance to your patio once the sun goes down, as do candles. You may want to build a bar near the BBQ area for an enjoyable conversation with the cook. Add a fire pit for roasting marshmallows or telling ghost stories, or add an outdoor television so you can have a movie night on the patio.
Giving your patio a makeover not only gives you additional living space, it also increases the value of your home and the value of the time spent outdoors. Let us know your creative patio decor ideas.