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Are you getting the most out of your patio? You would be surprised at how much of a difference a few upgrades can make. You can turn your patio into a cozy outside living space if you rethink how you furnish this space, add some lighting or heating, or find a way to make this space more private. Let’s look at a few patio ideas to help you get the most out of this space!
1. Furnishing Your Patio
The right furniture can turn your patio into a space where you enjoy spending time. Ask yourself what the primary purpose of this space will be so you can choose functional furniture. Some homeowners use this space to create the equivalent of an outdoor living room for lounging and entertaining guests, while others primarily use their patio as a dining space.
The key to furnishing and decorating this space is to have a focal point. You can look for a piece of furniture that will instantly draw the eye, or use a blank space on the wall of your home to paint an eye-catching design.
You can then arrange your furniture around this focal point, for instance to create a lounging or dining nook. If you have a small patio, use a colorful area rug as your focal point. You can place a table in the center and arrange your chairs or benches around it.
If you are on a budget, you might be wondering when to buy patio furniture. Most stores have sales towards the end of the summer since these products typically go in storage during the winter. You can also find some outdoor furniture on sale early in the spring as stores need to make room for new collections.
You don’t need to buy new furniture for your outdoor space. If you have some old furniture you don’t use anymore, repurpose it with a fresh coat of paint and a waterproofing treatment. Make sure you also waterproof any cushion that will be left outside.
If you are thinking about adding decor items to this space, keep in mind that these items will go through more wear and tear since they will be exposed to rain and wind. Try finding some items made from ceramic or metal so they will last longer.
2. Turning Your Patio Into A Small Garden
If you have a small yard and don’t want to use your patio for dining, this could be the perfect space for a small garden. Gardening on your patio is very relaxing and can be a good alternative to doing yard work if your mobility is somewhat limited since you can easily keep plants on shelves, use hanging planters, or build a vegetal wall.
Here are a few ideas to explore if you would like to add plants to your patio:
- Place some large rectangular planters on the edge of your patio to create a visual break between this space and your garden. Flowers would add a touch of color, but small shrubs or bushes would add some privacy to your patio.
- Hanging flowers would be ideal for a small outdoor space. If you have a table, add a single potted plant in the middle to create a motif.
- If you have the room, build some shelves against a wall. Your patio could be the perfect spot to grow some plants that need shade.
- If you have an old stepladder you don’t use anymore, paint it and turn it into a small shelving system for some potted plants. This is the perfect way to add some plants to a small porch or patio.
Try to have at least a couple of potted plants in this space to ease the transition between your garden and the inside of your home!
3. Upgrade Your Outdoor Space With Heating And Lighting
Heating and lighting might not be the first things that come to mind when you think about remodeling your outdoor space. However, adding a few fixtures can make a porch or patio a lot more enjoyable.
Exploring Your Heating Options
Patio heaters allow you to enjoy your outdoor nook late at night. You will find yourself eating your dinner outdoors once the summer is over if you have a proper heating source.
The ideal heater depends on the size of the area you want to keep warm. A small propane heater placed on an accent table would be enough for a dining nook. A wall mounted electric heater might be a better option for a small seating area since you could install it directly above a bench.
You will find a heating capacity indicated in BTUs (British Thermal Units) when shopping for a heater. This rating actually corresponds to the hourly BTU output of the heater. As a rule of thumb, you should use appliances with at least 20 BTU per square foot.
For instance, if you have a 16 by 18’ patio, the area you need to warm up measures 288 square feet. You would need to shop for a heater with a rating of at least 5,760 BTU.
A heater with adjustable settings would be ideal so you can reduce your energy consumption when there is no need to have your outdoor heater on full blast.
Adding Some Light Fixtures
The right patio lighting fixture can really set a mood for this space. Proper lighting is crucial if you want to turn a bench into a comfortable reading nook or just want to enjoy dinner outside.
Here are a few things to consider when installing light fixtures on your patio:
- If you have landscape lighting, think about installing similar light fixtures on your patio or at least finding something in a style that will match your landscape lighting.
- Adding light fixtures to a small patio can make the area seem too busy. Think about installing a post light a few feet away from your patio. This will light up the entire area and really add some charm so your outdoor space.
- String lights instantly create a festive atmosphere. The downside is that these fixtures might not provide enough lighting for a reading or dining nook.
- You can always add a small accent table with a lamp.
- An outdoor pendant light will provide you with more light than a simple wall fixture, and you will be able to install it right above your dining table.
If you live in a warm and humid area, installing a fan on your patio is also worth considering!
4. Don’t Forget Storage And Privacy
Your patio is the perfect place to store all your gardening tools and your children’s toys. You should also think about ways to make this space more private so you can relax without worrying about your neighbors.
A bench or table that doubles as storage would be the perfect addition to your patio, but there are other options to explore:
- You can repurpose an old cabinet into outdoor furniture by using a waterproofing spray.
- You can easily turn a simple storage cube into a small accent table for a lamp or another fixture.
- If you have an elevated outdoor space, think about building a hidden storage space under the stairs.
- Shelves would be the option that makes the most sense if you don’t have much space.
- A storage cube mounted on wheels would be perfect if you occasionally need more room on your patio, for instance when you entertain some guests.
The key to adding storage space to your patio is to look for options that will be easy to access. Turning a storage cube into a table wouldn’t be convenient if you plan on using this table to eat dinner.
Making Your Patio More Private
If your neighbors have a house that overlooks your outdoor space, you will find that it is much easier to enjoy your patio once you make this space a little more private. There are different options to explore:
- You can attach an awning above your patio to get shade and privacy. Building a wood cover is worth considering if you want something more durable.
- Plant some hollyhocks, Camellias, sunflowers, or even some bamboo around your porch or patio.
- If you have a covered patio, think about hanging some drapes from the cover. This is will provide you with privacy, help reduce outside noises as well and keep insects out in the summer.
- You can close off your patio with privacy walls, partitions, screens, or even repurposed shutters.
You will be more likely to spend time outside if you have a private space. Be mindful not to completely cut off your patio from your garden or to make a small patio feel even smaller by installing an oversized privacy wall.
You can easily transform your patio into a very comfortable spot where you will enjoy relaxing or having dinner with your family. Ask yourself what you want to use this space for before deciding how you will transform your porch or patio. Look for fixtures that will improve your experience when you spend time on your patio without taking up too much space!