Your garden is just as much a part of your home as any other room, and yet, many of us spend the majority of our free time indoors. By putting some thought into your patio design, you can extend the boundaries of your home beyond its walls to create a cozy outdoor living space. With the right inspiration and a little bit of dedication, you can turn a simple patio into a place to host get-togethers, spend time with loved ones, or simply relax and enjoy your garden.
Umbrellas and Awnings
A little bit of shade around your patio can help to keep you and your guests cool and sheltered from sun, rain, and other weather as you relax outside. You can easily create a resort feel in your backyard by adding umbrellas to your patio. There are a variety of umbrella styles to choose from, including patio umbrellas with sturdy aluminum poles and market umbrellas featuring attractive and durable wooden frames. You can also find umbrellas with centered poles, or models with a pole that’s fixed to the side to improve accessibility.
Retractable awnings offer even more shade than patio umbrellas, and they can be drawn back at will to let more light onto your porch. You can also install wooden pergolas or arbors, which are sturdier than both umbrellas and awnings. Growing vines over your arbor can help you to achieve a natural, rustic style for your patio.
When it starts to get cold outside at night, you may be less inclined to go outside and enjoy your patio. Heating fixtures allow you to make full use of your garden year-round, even in the middle of winter. You can choose between electric, propane, and natural gas heaters depending on your individual needs.
While electric fixtures are a convenient and eco-friendly option, they tend not to give off as much heat. Propane heaters are an option with a high heat output, but they can be costly to operate and produce a large carbon footprint. If you have access to natural gas outlets, gas fixtures are considered to be eco-friendly while also offering an impressive heat output. If you want to keep things more traditional, you can even go for a wood burning heater, but while these may have a rustic appeal, they also require careful maintenance.
Furniture and Decor
A place to sit and relax is a must-have for any outdoor living area. There are countless styles of patio furniture available on the market, and you can find pieces in all sorts of different sizes, shapes, and colors. Wood, metal or plastic furniture that is weather resistant can last you and your family for years, even in harsh weather conditions. Look for furniture sets to match your patio design, or mix and match to create a chic bohemian feel. You don’t have to stick to chairs and sofas, either- you can include floor cushions, hammocks, and porch swings to offer your guests some more interesting seating options.
If you’re designing your patio on a tight budget, pallets can function as furniture that’s just as trendy as the name brands, but without the price tag. You can top pallets with cushions to make a seating area, or use them as a coffee table. You can also load pallets with potted plants to make your porch feel like a continuation of your garden and complete the transition between indoor and outdoor living space.