Often neglected through the winter months, your patio may well be crying out for attention. But don’t worry, you don’t need to go buying pressure washers or rigging up automatic irrigation systems to make the most of your outdoor space. Resist the need to gen up on repointing and laying brick paving in that Big Book of DIY that gathers dust most of the year.
Our simple patio ideas have little effort needed, which is a blessing while we are trying to keep the kids entertained. Have a sweep up, by all means, but then just have a little go at two or three of these ideas and you’ll soon be using your patio as if it’s a newly discovered room in your house.
1. Dust off the Garden Seating
2. Prepare the Barbecue
If you haven’t already got the barbecue out to enjoy the heatwaves of June, now is the time. Patios are ideal for outdoor cooking because of their hard stone surfaces, clean the grill with a wire brush and you are ready to go! Fast, clean alfresco cooking for all of the family and guests.
3. Create an inviting area to eat
Add a table cloth, buy some bright, fun plates and cups or add a creative centre piece.Look how a bright floral table cloth can transform any garden furniture. Give it a good iron and lay it over your garden table, weighted down with vases of flowers freshly cut from your garden if you have any – or go the florist or faux option if you don’t. Choose cotton or linen for entertaining or an oilcloth or wipeable PVC for the everyday family time.
4. Soften a bench with throws & cushions
Turn your garden into an outdoor living room and your bench into a sofa by bringing out quilts, blankets and scatter cushions galore. The kids will love the idea of bringing the indoors, outdoors and will stay outside longer if they have a comfortable resting place. If you’re going to spend any time sitting, it’s great to have the added comfort – giving you even longer to enjoy the view of your immaculately maintained garden.
5. Get all tied up
Turn an awning into a gazebo by hanging up curtain panels. Go for tie-top designs that are easy to attach and a pretty garden-inspired fabric like this modern blue floral. Brilliant for outdoor occasions and screening eating areas from sun and wind – your guests will love you. PS, we know strictly speaking this is a garden, but the idea would definitely work well on a patio, too.
6. Consider lighting the mood
Lighting is usually a neglected part of patios and gardens, but if you want to enjoy the outdoors late into the evening, it’s worth investing some thought. Strategically placed lights will create a wonderful atmosphere as they bounce light off plants. There are lots of options, from ground-level lighting to larger street-lamp stakes that can be easily inserted into oversized plant pots. Alternatively consider various shapes and sized lanterns to add light with ease.
7. Create a taste of the exotic
Get that Moroccan bazaar feel by introducing rugs underfoot and awnings overhead. Cushions and rugs in myriad patterns and colours create a gloriously comfortable place to relax. Colourful glassware is a simple decorative addition, while hanging lanterns brings in an exotic note. Letting you dream of a far off land while not even stepping over the front door.
8. Plant a pot or two
A key rule of patios is have pots – lots of pots. This is particularly important if you have a small space with neither lawn nor flowerbeds that would normally allow you to plant up elsewhere. For an eclectic feel, go for a nice mix – evergreen shrubs, grasses, flowering annuals and bedding – and, where you can, choose those that don’t mind getting a little dry, such as lavender. Fragrance is another thing to consider with pots. A delicious waft of scent is a fabulous feature of any seating area.
Brightening up your patio needn’t be hard work and some of these easy patio ideas will take just a few minutes to do. We hope you and all of the family have a fun summer in the fresh outdoors.