How to Make the Most of Your PatioJune 15, 2014
So few of us are lucky enough to have a patio area where we can sunbathe and host backyard BBQ’s in the Summer months, and those of us that are lucky enough will more often than not neglect it. A patio can really be the focal point of your garden though, especially if you have patio doors installed in your kitchen or living room that look out on to it. Patios of course come in all shapes and sizes, but no matter how small or how large the area, there is always somethingthat can be done with it.
Here we’ve collated a number of top, cost effective ideas that could help transform your dilapidated patio area into a beautiful outdoor location where you can entertain guests, relax and host one hell of a Summer party! There’s no need to start from scratch and spend a fortune – generally all that’s required is a little decoration.
Whilst cleaning might not be the most fun or creative activity, clearing out your patio can have a monumentally transformative effect. Be sure to clear any dead plants that might have accumulated and if your patio is paved with slabs, pick the weeds from between the cracks. Replace any broken stepping stones and then clean all flat areas with a wet sponge before blasting the entire area with a hose (or power spray for an extra deep clean) and letting it dry.
Your patio furniture will more than likely take up the majority of the patio itself, so it’s important you purchase furniture that is not only comfortable, but suits the general aesthetic of the area and the garden in general. You’ll definitely want a table is space allows, and at least 6 chairs. You’ll also want a couple of ‘lounging’ chairs. Go with the collapsible kind as they will be far easier to store and hurry indoors if there’s a sudden downpour.
In terms of the ‘theme’ of the furniture, there are many different styles to choose from. Moroccan (elaborately decorated pillows, trellis patterns etc) and Tropical (wicker chairs and tiki torches) are quite popular at the moment but you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and figure out exactly what works for you. If you’re looking for something a little more ’boutique’, options include everything from chair swings to ornate, Victorian canopies. You could even bring a touch of the indoors out by creating a ‘staging area’ for your BBQ!
There has been a growing trend in solar lighting of late and with good reason. Not only are solar lights a perfect fit for the patio logistically (as they spend all day underneath the sun, gathering power), but they are free to run and give off a more relaxed, attractive ‘glow’ than conventional bulb and LED lights. There are numerous options you could go for here. Embed some lighting in the decking itself for example, or maybe hang some lanterns from the trees? You could even go a little more ‘high-brow’ and install a ‘Fire Pit’ that could act as not only lighting and a source of heat, but also an alternative cooker!
Adding greenery is the perfect way to make the transition between the patio and garden itself, it is an outdoor space after all. Try implementing plants and flowers that match the style of your furniture. For example if you’ve gone with a ‘tropical’ look with your furniture, maybe try a few small palm trees. The adventurous foodies could even try growing some vegetables in a segregated vegetable garden area, alternatively a small chilli plant will perk up any patio! Even if the greenery on your patio boils down to little more than a few potted flowers though, it’s important to have at least some organic beauty on display.
To finish off your patio, think of anything you might have missed. Try brightening up your furniture with a few pillows and cushions, but make sure there are plenty of protective covers on hand to keep them free from the elements. There are also water features and more quirky accessories such as garden gnomes (an acquired but fun taste) and rock gardens, which could really add an element of individuality to the patio.