You want to sit back and soak up some sun as soon as the warm weather arrives. Here are five easy steps for a patio that is ready to be enjoyed.
1. Clean it up.
Make sure that your outdoor entertaining space is swept and cleared of any old leaves, salt or dirt that might have accumulated over the winter months. Don't forget to clear away any debris that might be hiding in corners or behind the grill and other objects. Wipe down the patio furniture and take a look at any items you might have in storage. Is there anything that needs to be repaired or replaced?
A clean space will help you visualize any changes you need to make without distractions. If you're lucky there might not be much left to do once it is clean! Starting with a clean space and having a plan for your patio will streamline your process and prevent you from making unnecessary purchases.
2. Take a look at your patio furniture.
How is your patio furniture? Did it work well for you last year and is it still in good condition? Or is it nearly worn out? Sometimes the frames are in good condition but the experience is ruined by worn-out cushions. Replacing the cushions can give your current patio set a second life.
If it is time to think about new patio furniture, do you want something similar to what you had before or something entirely different and new? Since patios vary in their conditions and needs, make a plan for finding the right materials and style for your situation. Be sure to talk with a designer or to make ample time to research how different materials hold up to the elements in your particular climate. Preparing before you set out to make a purchase will help you to choose furniture that will last for years.
3. Consider the patio's functionality.
Spend time on your patio imagining how you want to use it! What sort of gatherings do you hope to have this year? Is your current patio configured to accommodate your guests? Do you move in it with grace and confidence while acting as host or hostess? Will it be as pleasant to relax in without guests there? Is there something you could add or remove to improve the way your space functions? An additional table-top for food preparation can let you spend more time outside the kitchen if you are cooking for guests. Do you need more shade to keep everyone comfortable? Would a sound system or water feature improve the audial experience on your patio? Would a heating element, such as a fireplace, allow you to extend the time you spend outdoors into the chilly evenings of spring and fall? Do you need more outdoor lighting? How does your patio space and landscaping mesh as a visual experience?
Consult with a designer or a friend when you are considering the functionality of your outdoor space. Some designers do not have experience with landscaping, so be sure to ask if that is a service you need. An extra set of eyes and a second opinion can help you see downsides to your plan or untapped possibilities in your space that you might miss on your own.
4. Update or add decorative objects.
Decorative objects are an easy way to spruce up an outdoor space and to help it reflect your unique style. Adding fountains, bird-baths, statues or sculptures can give a lawn or garden grace and sophistication. Adding lanterns, pots of flowers or candles can make your patio feel more inviting, personal and stylish. The possibilities are endless!
5. Add. . . COLOR!
Summer is a time of life and growth! Splashes of color in your patio space bring the abundant joy of summertime into the heart of your social gatherings. With colorful flowers, cushions, and pillows, you can provide a continuity of experience between garden and patio and give yourself a more natural, comfortable and luxurious experience. Cushions and pillows are also an easy way to bring some of the latest color and design trends outdoors.
For the most durable and weather-resistant cushions and pillows, we recommend that you speak with an Interior Designer about custom-made items. Yes, it sounds expensive but custom-made outdoor upholstery will be more likely to fit your furniture and to last through the years with proper care. It is truly your best-value option. We'll be writing an in-depth post soon about the reasons for choosing custom outdoor cushions for your patio furniture.
Here we have some lovely performance fabrics in various styles that would be so much fun for summer cushions or pillows:
We hope you're feeling a little more prepared for the task of sprucing up your patio and excited for the wonderful times that will follow!