The days are getting longer, and the temperature is rising; it’s almost summer! After six months of being stuck indoors, the summer months seem to motivate people and spark creativity. They also want to enjoy their yard as much as possible before the snow flies again.
There are several ways to make your deck or patio a little oasis of paradise in your life. Of course, some changes cost more than others, but there are always DIY options or cost-effective alternatives that you can use. Either way, be sure that you’ve appropriately budgeted for this, especially if you’re having a new home built.
At Active Homes, summer is one of our favourite seasons, so we’ve come up with a list of ideas you can use to make your outdoor space more relaxing.
The tinkling laughter of moving water can be a very soothing sound. So while we can’t all have beachside houses or live near a babbling brook, we can bring a bit of that to our deck or patio.
Another possibility, especially if you’re looking for something unique and distinctive, is to build a water feature yourself. Many DIY sites can give you instructions for making your own water feature. Sometimes they use materials that you probably already have at home.
One downfall of living in an urban area is having neighbours so close. In some cases, there are only a few feet in between each deck, resulting in little privacy. But there can be an easy solution if you’ve got a green thumb: plants.
Container plants would be the best bet for a deck unless you have a lower patio and can have a flower bed next to your space. Just remember that your deck may only be able to support a certain amount of weight, so you have to be careful how many plants you have.
Popular container plants include Elephant Ears, Bamboo, Horsetail, and Elderberry. While you’re at it, don’t forget Lemon Grass. Not only with this plant offers you a privacy screen, and it will also help keep the mosquitos at bay.
A privacy wall might be a better option for those of us who don’t have a green thumb. These can be fun additions to your deck that allow you to express your creativity while still gaining some much needed personal space.
You’ll want your space to be comfortable, too. Outdoor furniture can help with hosting barbecues or having a cool one in the evening on the deck. In either case, you’ll likely at least want somewhere to sit.
There are thousands of patio furniture sets to choose from. What’s important is that it suits you, fits on your deck, and is welcoming for others.
When choosing your furniture, it’s recommended to consider it much like your living room, only outdoors. This means using interior design guidelines to help make your space flow. For example, find a colour theme and stick to it, or a specific style like an old ranch house theme.
Once you’ve decided what you want, it will be easy to choose the furniture you want.
With the right lighting in your outdoor space, you can create a lovely ambience. There are many different ways to do it, and it should probably match your overall theme.
For example, if you have a country-style deck, you might consider large wooden lanterns like this one to provide lighting for your patio. Or, if you want a whimsical feel, you may choose to go with fairy lights. Other possibilities include candles in deep hurricane holders, paper lanterns, or solar lights.
Remember, depending on the materials used for the lights, it may not always be appropriate to be left outside during some weather patterns. For example, paper lamps might not do as well if rained on and blown around.
Even though we all want to enjoy our deck in the summer, we also want to enjoy the spring and autumn seasons if we can. However, in our climate, cool days are not just a possibility; they are likely.
By adding a propane fireplace to your deck, you can heat the space, so it’s comfortable to sit outside even in late September. Candles will also add some heat, though not as much as a fireplace will.
It’s also possible to find tabletop gel fireplaces as well. These decorative pieces would work well on a patio table or a nearby stand.
Adding pieces of décor to your space can help brighten it up. This could include things like unique end tables or planters.
Accent pillows are also commonly used on furniture, as are statues, rugs, and unique light fixtures. The décor is only limited by your imagination and budget. The rest is up to you.
During the hot summer months, you might require some sort of shade for your deck. This way, you can sit outdoors and enjoy it any time of the day, rather than wait for specific time where the sun is in a different location.
There are several ways to enjoy the shade on your deck. One option is a permanent solution that can prove beneficial in the winter, you might consider covering your deck. This will give you shade in the summer and prevent the snow from landing on your deck in the winter.
If you’re building a home, it’s worth speaking to the builder about any deck upgrades you can get. It’s also possible to have a deck cover made with the house, so you don’t have to worry about installing it after the fact.
Photo credits: https://stock.adobe.com/ca/