6 Unique Additions for a Better Outdoor Patio

Often, we equate the summer season for being outside by using our patio as the place to entertain. Just by adding a few amenities, like a retractable awning, fan, and more, could help your patio become a year-round hang-out spot for yourself, friends, and family. These design ideas can transform your backyard patio space into the most popular part of the house.

Stone Tile

Lay your patio base using stone tile. Leave enough space between each tile to plant a ground cover such as moss if in a shaded area, or mother of thyme if the area gets sun. The mother of thyme will tolerate being stepped on while releasing a delightful mild aroma. Use matching tile to build permanent benches and the border for a fire pit. Slate is a stone often used but there is a wide selection available if you prefer more color in your tile. Some stones have a natural sparkle just to add a magical touch.

Overhead Fans

If building a cover to provide shade over your patio area, remember to add ceiling fans. Even on the hottest days, having moving air as you sit outside makes the experience refreshing. Ceiling fans often come light kits. If you don’t want to attract bugs, but want light, try using yellow spectrum LED light bulbs for a soft glow that will add ambiance to your evening. For an added touch, have Tiki torches around the perimeter of your sitting area (instead of using the overhead light) burning citronella laced fuel to ward off insects. 

A Kitchen

When cooking is your thing, the obvious next step is to build a complete outdoor kitchen in your patio area. Include a stone baking oven an open fire pit area, as well as a grill/smoker. Be sure you select kitchen appliances that are approved for outdoor use. Design the kitchen with covers that will protect the area from the weather. Create a dining area that compliments the kitchen designed with an open space that makes serving the food a breeze yet does not impede going back and forth between the two areas. An adjoining bar can double as a cooking counter as well as for dining if space is an issue.

Garden Bed Border

Creating raised garden beds around the border of your sunken patio area will give you the opportunity to make good use of limited space. Plant the beds with seasonal edibles and herbs. Include plants such as marigolds and lavender for pest control that also provide visual appeal. Remember to allow for proper drainage with enough depth in your beds for healthy root growth. If you are not wanting to plant herbs and vegetables, use the beds for bulb plants that may flower briefly but will provide greenery for most of the season. Another suggestion is planting annual flowering species will allow for a colorful focal point seasonally.

Water Features

There is nothing more soothing than the sound of trickling water. Inset a coy pond surrounding it with a border of natural rocks, ferns, and aquatic plants. Design the serene area for meditation by adding a raised waterfall above one side of the pond. The waterfall will add an attractive visual element to the area plus aerate the water to cut down on pond maintenance. You may want to set aside an area for doing Yoga or Tai Chi close to your pond allowing the sound of water to assist you with the fluidity of movement.

Conversation Pit

Having some permanent seating makes being outside very convenient to entertain. By adding a fireplace to one side of the pit, you are ready for a cozy day or evening of sharing. The fire will take the chill out of the air while doubling as a focal point. If you like to recycle or repurpose, use recycled bricks, tiles, or stones for the exterior of the fireplace. Build end tables at each corner of the pit for ease of placing drinks or food. You can change the look by adding pillows of various fabrics to the seating.

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