Maybe you’ve just moved into your new home and you’ve got a patio of your very own for the first time, or maybe you’ve had one for a while and just didn’t know what to do with it. Patios are magnificently flexible spaces, if not a little boring by themselves. Think of your patio as a three-dimensional canvas that you can literally create anything on that you’d like. From tiki hot tub paradise to casual outdoor dining space, patios are only limited by your imagination. Here are some things to think about when you’re trying to dress yours up!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Patios are great, but nighttime patio lighting is often lackluster. For patios near the house, many people rely on a single bulb hanging near the back door, and those floating on the lawn may have no lighting whatsoever! It’s understandable, since there was once a time when your only outdoor lighting options were hardwired, and that was tricky with a cement slab.
But today’s patios have so many more options. Not only are solar lights affordable and reliable, they’re also amazingly diverse. Want a bit of a beach party mood? Add a whole collection of solar-powered string lights with round bulbs. Looking for something more romantic and period? Victorian-themed solar wall sconces can evoke a real mood. Add poles to elevate your lighting for even more flexibility in placement.
Fun in the Shade
Sure, the sun is awesome, but have you tried the shade? The shade is great, especially on a sunny day when the entire world is just a little too hot and a little too bright. Shades can also protect dining areas from debris that might fall from nearby trees, making dining outdoors a true pleasure.
Shade sails are easy to install, come in lots of fun colors, and lend a super modern look to all kinds of spaces. If you want something a little more serious and a lot more fancy, aluminum pergolas with shade systems can be attached to your patio or home permanently. These often have shades that can be opened or closed to let the sun in – or not – as your heart desires. Some even come with curtains to create a more private space.
Roll Out the Carpet
Outdoor rugs are increasingly diverse and must-have patio items to accompany outdoor living furniture and tables. These rugs can be heavy duty, with similar quality to rugs you might choose to have inside your house. A huge range of patterns and colors can help you create the atmosphere you’ve been dreaming of.
Using an outdoor rug can help keep your patio looking cleaner, as well as define specific spaces if your patio is larger and has a few different activity areas. You might color-coordinate one under your patio dining set (set beneath your new pergola, of course), and add another to the set of patio furniture near the hot tub to encourage people to stop and have a chat.
Add a Touch of Green
Of course, your patio is almost certainly already near plants, but there’s a whole different mood that comes with potted plants on a patio. You can tell so much about a space by how potted plants are chosen and the kinds of pots they’re in. Sleek and modern areas might benefit from simple, upright foliage plants in tall, narrow pots. More traditional spaces could go full cottagecore with some old wash tubs overflowing with your favorite annuals.