Do you have a patio area in your garden? Maybe you use it as a place to enjoy your morning cuppa, an outdoor entertaining area, or somewhere that the the kids can play while you keep an eye on them from indoors. You probably use it for all of those things, and no doubt a few more too!
It may be a hardworking area, but with a bit of effort, a patio can also look really great and enhance your outdoor space. Treat it as an outdoor room, rather than just another part of the garden, and you can extend your living space without having to do any major renovation work.
If your patio is in need of some inspiration, here are some simple ways to give it a lift.
Get the lighting right
Adding some lighting to your patio area is a great way to extend the amount of time you can use it, as well as making the whole area much more atmospheric.
Wall lights are great for providing background lighting, while floor lights are brilliant for enhancing a particular feature, such as a specimen plant. Once you’ve got the permanent lighting sorted, add in some lanterns or fairy lights to really make the space come alive.
If being overlooked is stopping you using your patio, create some privacy fast with a screen made from natural materials such as bamboo, willow or reeds. Another option is to grow climbing plants up a trellis to create a living screen, this takes a little longer but can look magical.
Add in some plants
Container plants are perfect for patios; they’re a good way to introduce colour and texture, and they will also soften the effect of paving and walls. Aim for a mix of climbing and standard plants that offer year-round interest; you can also make a real statement with the actual containers too.
Go for the ultimate garden room
If you really want to make your patio area an extension of your house, adding in a glass veranda like those supplied by 123v is a brilliant way to create a ‘garden room’. A bespoke veranda can be custom-made to reflect the style of your house and fit your patio area perfectly. The patio will still benefit from just as much light, and you can enjoy your outdoor space whatever the weather. No more rained-off barbecues either!
Be clever with shade
We all love the sunshine, but if your patio is very exposed, some clever shade will allow you to enjoy the space when the temperatures soar. An angled parasol lets you control where the shade is, which is great for family mealtimes; I also love the ultra-modern sail shades, which are usually anchored to the house. Or you could go for a more permanent structure, with climbing plants creating a natural ‘roof’ on top of a pergola.
Hang a mirror
If your patio is quite small or enclosed, this is a great interiors trick that you can pinch. Hanging a mirror will really increase the feeling of light and space, and if you position it cleverly in relation to any lighting, it will enhance the atmosphere at night too.
Decorate the space
You wouldn’t leave a room in your house with bare walls and no personal touches, would you? Treat your patio like a room; add in some decoration, and you transform it from a functional space to somewhere with real character. Climbing plants, colourful pots, bunting, fairy lights and pretty lanterns are all brilliant, low-cost ways to give your patio personality.
Have I inspired you to make the most of your patio space? Let me know which ideas you think could work for you – and if you’ve got your own tips do share them!