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5 Things to keep in mind while designing an outdoor patio

One of the best ways to expand your livable space at home is to expand to the outdoors. When plans to renovate your guest bedroom or redecorate your kitchen may not make as much sense but a new outdoor living space may be what you need. Here are a few tips to help you get started with your new outdoor patio.

1. Be Realistic

The best way to begin is to have a solid game plan, design and budget. Consider more of the most-haves and designate space accordingly. Do you plan to entertain? Do you have a pool, or want a pool? Are you looking for privacy? If you are constrained by space, budget or both, try to create an outdoor space that you will actually use. Try not to be distracted by the fancy, shiny designs, but instead get designs that makes your house look bigger.

2. Plan For Real Life

While the pictures you saw in the DIY blog you saw evoke a fairy tale, ask yourself, will you get the same use out of it and is this what you really want. If you have kids, consider a play area for them, especially if your friends or neighbors have kids as well. That brick patio may not be a good landing for a four year old landing head first down the slide.

If you plan to entertain and include a dinning space, be sure to plan for logistics. If you will be creating an outdoor kitchen or cooking area, be sure to consider safety by locating grills away from where guest will be. If you want to dine outside, but will be using the kitchen inside the house, consider having a clear, well lit walkway for you to use when the first dinner party happens.

3. Do Not Fear Postseason

Depending on where you live, you might have to shut down the outdoor patio when the cold season hits, but i'm here to tell you that you should not give up so easily! a properly placed fire pit/ and or space heaters can help keep the warmth year round. Worried about snow? Radiant heating elements can be built into your patio floors to automatically melt the snow.

4. Have Fun With Colors and Style

Your outdoor patio can be whatever you want, in fact, should be a reflection of your style. Bright colored couches can really liven up a patio, and if you live in an urban setting, a few potted plants can help for that real life feeling.

Lighting is another thing you can have fun with. Maybe you always loves tiki torches, or perhaps you envisioned a magical awning of stringed lights. Do not overlook lights as being an important design or function of your outdoor patio. If lighting becomes a problem, there are tons of great solar options that are both easy to use and will not add to your electric bill.

5. Finally Choose Your Furniture

The furniture you select will have a major effect on your patio on how you actually use it. First, consider your environment. If you live in a wild tunnel, you might want to avoid light weight furniture, unless you mind chasing your furniture down the street. Alternatively, if your summers reach 100 degrees or higher, wicker or wooden furniture would be your best bet, as those iron seats tend to get really hot. If you live in Phoenix and you absolutely have to have those iron seats, do so and consider adding an umbrella to keep shade. You'll be happy you did.

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