Tips on Creating a Unique Outdoor Space
July 6, 2020
As summer approaches, I often find myself thinking of all the ways I can be outside and take advantage of the beautiful weather. Being from the Pacific Northwest we usually only get 2-3 months of everyday sunshine.
When designing a space it’s important to consider all the obstacles you may run into especially with outdoor spaces. The beauty of the outdoor design is it varies depending on what country you go to, and most especially the climate. I am personally a fan of many of the outdoor patio spaces you see in Australia and California; however, its good to be mindful of whether some of those elements will work where you live.
Weather – The materials and furniture you use are going to be important if you are budgeting or looking for long-term durability. There’s nothing worse than investing in design elements one summer only to find when the next summer rolls around, your patio has taken a beating from the Fall & Winter months. Let me get more detailed…
Wood – If you’re planning to use a lot of wood in your patio design whether for the deck or creating a privacy wall you will want to consider which type of wood is good for your climate and how much maintenance it will require. A good thing to remember is the lighter the wood or paint colour the more upkeep it will require to keep it looking fresh.
Patio Furniture – It can be challenging to find durable and funky patio furniture, in the past if you wanted something really unique you had to spend $$$ for it. If you’re on a budget you can always consider reupholstering old patio cushions with new more durable fabric. I think Article is a good place to find cost-effective and funky outdoor pieces (keep your eyes peeled for sales!). When you have a lot of decorative objects or cushions as part of your patio design you want to again focus on durability and how often you are willing to cover all your outdoor pieces when the weather takes a turn.
Roof/Patio Shields – It might not be the worst idea, esepcially if it rains where you live to build a cover over your patio or invest in a retractable awning.
Lighting – Does the area you want to build your patio get enough light? Too much light? This will also play a role when it comes to the type of plants or foliage you may want as well.
Tiles – Tiles can be a fun element to add to your patio design; however, it’s important to measure and determine how many tiles you will need as it can get quite costly. Some types of tiles or outdoor floor design might require maintenance such as power washing, especially if you live in a more moist rainy climate.
Lighting – If you want to enjoy your patio in the evening you will definitely want to consider installing lighting. You may already have some outdoor lights installed with your house design but you can always look at places like Wayfair for more ideas such as outdoor string lights.
Tiles incorporated into this patio design. Here is the link to the Tile Company.
Wicker has always been a go-to for patio design, nowadays you can find it in more modern colours and shapes!
I gotta be straight up with you all, this is a Hotel design. There are a few things I wanted to point out with this design, the climate and upkeep (which usually hotels have) will play a huge role in the long-term durability of this type of furniture.
I personally wouldn’t suggest putting velvet seated cushions outside (especially in this colour) because the sunlight will cause the colour to fade quickly and it’s not the best material for moisture. Also, keep in mind, Rattan (such as this table) is better for warmer climates as moist rainy climates will cause the material to degrade much quicker.
Want more patios ideas? Check out my Outdoor Design Board.
photos from top to bottom: Chaise Lounge Chairs (advise source!), White Patio Design from Maing Nice in the Midwest, Tiled Patio from Emily Henderson, Wicker Patio Design from Livvy Land, Velvet and Rattan design from the Hoxton Hotel Paris