Summer is growing nearer, and the time has come to prepare your back garden for the many balmy evenings to be spent on the patio. The sky is your limit when it comes to ways you can transform your outdoor space into an oasis you’ll be dying to show off and desperate not to leave. If you’re looking out your kitchen window thinking ‘there’s no way my tiny garden will do a patio justice’, think again. These tips and tricks will make any space the ideal outdoor living.
Deciding where to install your patio area is one of the hardest parts of the task. For this you really want to consider what it’s primary purpose will be. Do you envision yourself and your family being the only ones to use it, or will you be hosting all your friends? Do you plan to use it as a leisure area only or will you perhaps be adding a mesh back office chair and using it as an outdoor office? You should also take time to consider the way the sun impacts different sections of your garden. The ideal setup is to ensure you get morning or evening sun. If you can, you should avoid installing your new patio in an area directly in the midday sun – particularly if you live in one of our warmer climates.
Picking how big to make your space is arguably equally as important as deciding where to install it. Are you going to go with a traditional ground level space or an elevated decking? What kind of amenities do you plan to install? As with any exterior or interior design style, magazines and Instagram/Pintrest are your friends. Gather as much inspiration as you possibly can and put together a loose design idea in your head. This will help you make the big decision about how much of your back garden you’re going to allocate. Don’t be surprised if this takes you back a step as it will likely also impact your decisions on location – a bigger design may not fit in the area you were hoping to use.
Types of Materials
Concrete: tried and tested as one of the most durable and flexible materials in decking design. This option combines sand, water, cement, and gravel and allows for a variety of finishes – smooth/brushed, painted, patterned etc.
Brick: still a very popular material in construction as well as patios, brick is made by firing a mixture of clay and other materials in a kiln. A durable and stylish option this material is ideal to tie in with the design of your main structure. This can also be used to design a DIY firepit or BBQ
Tile: fashioned out of a terracotta/porcelain/quarry, tiles create an elegant and smooth finish for any patio area. This material should be noted as being generally less durable and potentially slippery when wet. Recommended for drier climates and in areas that will be used more occasionally.
Wood: Not commonly thought of as a patio material, wood can often be overlooked when designing. Another durable material that can provide a more natural finish. If well maintained with the right deck stain and deck sealer, this product can last for many years.
Many interior decorators have also ventured into designing outdoor areas and patio setups. In this process they have uncovered some great items to include for a stellar outdoor lounge area. You can pick and choose from each of them in order to completely personalise your creation.
BBQ: The humble BBQ goes without saying. Investing in a quality appliance will ensure your product lasts longer. Even if your garden is a little on the smaller side, having a BBQ will make those summer nights extra tasty.
Fire Pit: very popular, particularly in the southern states where evenings can be quite cool. Installing a fire pit is a great way to add a centre piece to your space and is great for nights with friends and family.
Hammock: heavily under rated, the hammock is an ideal addition to your patio space this summer. Lazy days spent swinging in the sun with your favourite book will have you feeling like you’re something out of a movie.
Lighting: installing fixtures such as fairy lights will completely change the vibes of your space, whilst also providing the lighting you’ll need to keep your later nights well lit. There are many different options on the market, all shapes, sizes and styles with many also powered by solar to cut out those pesky batteries.
Seating: obviously a big one, this should be thought about carefully. Having extra chairs that can be folded away for when it’s just you and your family but brought out when you have the neighbours over for a beer in the afternoon sun will ensure you’re never caught out. If you do decide to set up a workspace it’s important not to get caught up in picking from all the stylish office chairs Australia has to offer but also one that is weatherproof.
Décor and Design
After you’ve picked the area of your garden, decided on a size and style you’re going to install, your last step is to add the beautification. Another amazing opportunity to personalise your space. Here is the time to think of items such as throw rugs, cushions and other creature comforts. Take the opportunity to make your space into a little oasis.
Last but certainly not least comes time to think of what to plant – it is the garden after all. Get yourself down to bunnings or your local plant shop and find out what plants will thrive in your climate and levels of sunshine. You will want to steer clear of any plants that commonly cause allergies. If you’re not quite the green thumb you’d like to be, I’d recommend opting for plants and flowers that are relatively self-sufficient – particularly those of you living in our warmer climates. Many plants will require daily watering and if this isn’t something you can commit to, then don’t. Save yourself the heart ache.
And that’s it, kick back with a nice cold drink and admire the perfect summer spot.