With summer fast approaching, many of us are eager to finally get outside and enjoy the warm weather. One of the best ways to soak up some sun is by simply heading out to the patio to barbecue with friends, spend time with family, or simply get in touch with nature. You can turn your garden into an integral part of your home by designing a patio that seamlessly connects the indoors with the outdoors, creating an outdoor living space that you can enjoy year-round with your loved ones.
Provide Some Shade
A little bit of shade can go a long way during hot, sunny days. You can include umbrellas in your porch design both for shade and to add a tropical, almost resort feel to your garden. You can choose from a variety of shapes and styles of patio umbrella to match your decor, and you can even find offset umbrellas that allow you to adjust the angle for maximum protection from sun, rain, snow, or other weather.
Umbrellas are a great solution for small patios and rental spaces, but other options offer a more permanent addition to your garden. Retractable awnings, pergolas, and arbors are all popular patio fixtures that are not only attractive but also sturdy. They hold up over time, offering your family privacy, shade, and shelter year after year.
Keep Yourself Warm
During winter months, heating elements can make your patio comfortable for you and your guests. You have to choose the right size and type of fixture for your patio in order to heat the area efficiently. A small heating element such as a portable tabletop space heater, for example, won’t heat a large patio as well as a standing or wall-mounted heater. You can choose from heaters that run on three types of energy sources:
- Electric: Heaters that run on electricity are environmentally friendly and often easy to use, but they tend not to give off enough heat to warm up large areas.
- Propane: Propane fixtures give off a great deal of heat, but they can be costly to operate and aren’t very eco-friendly.
- Gas: Gas heaters are easy to use, eco-friendly, and are able to heat a large area. To run a gas space heater, though, your house must have access to a natural gas outlet.
Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits also provide warmth while also offering a place to sit and socialize. You can even cook marshmallows for s’mores with the family on cold nights after dinner. You can find fire pits that use wood, propane, gel fuel and natural gas.
Seating is perhaps one of the most important elements in good patio design. It provides an area where you and your guests can relax, chat, and dine together. A combination of sofas, loveseats, and armchairs give you and your guests a variety of seating options so that you can accommodate groups of all sizes. Furniture should be made of weather resistant material such as metal, plastic, or treated wood.
If you want to add a unique twist to your patio, try including hammocks along with traditional chairs and coffee tables. You can also add floor cushions for casual seating, or create your own chic and affordable furniture using pallets. Add some padding to transform a pallet into a couch, or place one on the ground to use as a coffee table.