The patio should be an extension of your home, a place to entertain friends and family, relax, get some fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. But too often, we don’t take advantage of this space because it’s not protected from the elements, or isn’t comfortable and inviting enough. But that can so easily be fixed! Here are a few practical tips on how to revolutionise your patio from a white elephant into your home’s best feature.
1. Add some furniture to your patio
If you’re not spending any time on your patio, it could be that you don’t have the right furniture out there – or you don’t have any furniture! Considering this is the best place to unwind, you might want to start researching some quality outdoor furniture options on the market – just remember that you get what you pay for. There is a wide variety of metal, wood and wicker furniture that you can choose from, but it has to be well-crafted and suited to all weather conditions. You don’t want to constantly be moving the furniture because of rain, or placing it under covers. This will get tedious, and you might not always get to it in time.
Your hard-wearing furniture can either be suited to al fresco dining or more for lounging about. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing multi-purpose patio furniture, allowing you to adjust it to suit the day’s needs. Ottomans and garden stools can be brought onto the patio as extra seating, and a cosy hanging chair is a great option for reading or napping. In terms of colour scheme, you can either continue the interior motif, or choose something completely different for its own patio character – and a few throw pillows are a great way to bring this in.
2. Hang some curtains or plants around your patio
The Australian summers get hot, but this shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying this outdoor living space! You can look into hanging some fade-resistant curtains around your patio with UV protection. This will protect you and your family from the harsh rays while cooling down the area, even on the sunniest of days. As well as being fade-resistant, you might want to look at water-resistant curtains – these not only provide great protection on wet days, they create a sense of luxury!
You can make the patio feel even cosier by hanging some plants around this outdoor space, bringing in some vibrancy and colour. When choosing patio plants – as with patio furniture – you want to go for something that is low maintenance. Chat with gardening experts as the plants you choose will depend largely on your area of residence and the amount of sun or shade on the patio. However, some good ones to consider are orchids, cordylines, frangipani as well as succulents. You can even go for something attractive and useful such as a herb garden.
3. Place some rugs on the floor
It might just be a case of your patio area needing a bit of dressing up. Why not ‘tie the room together’ by placing a rug on the patio floor? Unlike indoor rugs, you’re going to need to search for an outdoor, hardwearing rug that can withstand UV rays and rain without fading and becoming tatty. However, it needs to be soft and textured enough to encourage outdoor relaxation.
One of the best all-weather rug materials is polypropylene which is stain-resistant, fade-resistant and easy to clean. It’s also natural-feeling, but remember to keep it away from any fire pits as it’s highly flammable. Nylon is another option for high-traffic areas as it won’t fade or stain. Then there’s jute and sisal which are your natural fibre options so they’re eco-friendly – but not as long-lasting.
4. Set up a grill or fire pit for cooking
What are the outdoors for if not a barbeque? Grills are a great way to enjoy the summer afternoons in the sun but you might also want to consider the popular fire pit option. This is ideal for the cooler months, allowing you to enjoy the patio throughout the year. There are really so many fire pit options to consider, whether for cooking or ambience, but you’ll first want to consider which fuel you’ll be using. Wood is the most popular choice of fuel, but there is also propane and gas burning. Just remember safety first, so it must be a design that has high fire-proof containment. Material options include ceramic, stone, copper, cement, brick or stainless steel.
5. Add some lighting to make it feel more inviting at night
Another way to bring warmth to your patio area is by adding some great lighting. There are a variety of styles that will bring in the glow without overwhelming the area with too much light. String lights are not only easy to hang, but they also create an incredible ambience. Available in various shapes, sizes and styles, you can achieve the look you need with the correct string light selection. These can even be solar-powered to reduce your electricity bill.
Festoon lights can be strung up either around the patio, along the fences or between trees for a laidback feel, while fairy lights provide a more romantic ambience. Candles, too, are a great patio lighting alternative, but you can choose LED tealights if you’re worried about fire hazards. Trendy rattan lanterns can also be erected for a more coastal feel.
You can even look at installing outdoor wall lighting but you’ll need to ensure it’s low-voltage, accent lighting rather than anything too harsh. Wall sconces also work well for outdoor spaces. These have an open-bottom design that illuminates downwards with the option of either flush-mounted against the wall or semi-flush-mounted attached to an arm.
6. Play music or have a conversation area to make it feel more like home
Finally, set up a sound system around your patio so that you can use this as an entertainment area for barbeques, cocktails, or even dance parties! This is also ideal if you just want some mellow tunes at the end of the day. If you have sufficient space, you can set up a conversation area on the patio as well for private chats or even at-home meetings. This is done simply with the right patio furniture and a fire pit to provide a great focal point for the conversation area.
Get started with the right patio by contacting industry specialists, Advanced Decking & Patios today!