Lazy afternoons and hot summer nights at home are best spent hanging out on a shady patio. But is your outdoor living space looking a bit tired and uninspired? Did Winter do a number on your patio? I’ve got 8 simple steps to help you makeover your patio and get it ready for a hot Summer.
The Festive Season break is looming. Will you be hosting braais or Christmas get-togethers? Do you need patio furniture to accommodate your guests? Time to transform your patio into a space worthy of Summer memories.
Giving your patio an upgrade will also get your family outdoors more often. You’ll be drawn to read your book on your new sun-lounger. Kids will cut screen time if there is a shady and comfy living space to play in outside. You’ll be proud to entertain in your new space.
STEP 1: Clear Out & Clean Up
Get everything off your patio for a good deep clean. Give yourself a clean slate to work with. If you can, use a power washer/high-pressure hose on the flooring to really get rid of dirt. Decide which of your existing furnishings to reuse, then give them a good scrub.
If there’s a plant bed border to the patio, check it too. Dig out any intruding weeds and dying plants. It all contributes to the aesthetic of the patio.
STEP 2: Makeover Your Patio With A Renovation
Does your patio need a major update or an uplift? If not, you can skip this step.
But if you do need an upgrade, which part needs the attention? A makeover will be kind of useless if your flooring is not up to scratch. It may be time to build, sand, tile, stain or add a lick of floor paint. Do whatever you need to do to uplift the base of the project. Your patio floor will draw the eyes as the ‘room’ is not enclosed by walls.
Building a deck is a great solution, especially if your property is on a slope. If you’re going to build a new deck, or refurbish an old one, make sure to use high-quality sealing products. It will save you maintenance efforts later on.
Do you have a shelter structure already in place, or is it time to build that new pergola you’ve been dreaming of? Shade is essential – no one wants to spend too long out under the African Sun without some relief. Installed shade sails are a good option if you have at least one wall to anchor to. If all else fails, put up a gazebo or some canvas umbrellas. Take advantage of existing beautiful big trees if you’re about to break ground on a new patio.
STEP 3: Hot Days & Cold Nights
Summer days in SA can be brutal.
Outdoor misting systems rigged up around your patio roof do a lot to cool you down on sweltering days. They have spray nozzles that emit a fine cooling mist. Misting systems are installed at a height around usually the perimeter of the patio area. You can hang it up on a gazebo or even attach it to a tree if that is your shade provider. The tree will also love the cooling water spray.
Think ahead to colder nights.
As you’re doing this makeover anyway, might as well add a heating element. Once you’ve set up your new magnificent patio, you’ll want to keep enjoying it right into Winter. Even Richard’s Bay gets the odd chilly night in July. A fire pit or an outdoor heater will keep you warm and cosy and let you get more enjoyment from your efforts.
STEP 4: Work Surface and Storage
Let’s be honest – a South African patio is bound to involve a braai. Where is your braai (grill) going to park? Is it built-in or freestanding? Either way, choose the spot and make sure it’s ready to burn some meat on. Add an outdoor console table, a workbench or a counter so that you have a surface handy for prep and serving.
Have you thought of storage space for your braai accessories and charcoal? A prep counter with a cabinet or shelf underneath will cover both prep and storage. You could also store the braai-making tools in a bench box, baskets, or in some sort of designated tote.
STEP 5: Add A Durable Accessory
An outdoor rug grounds the space and brings a cosy touch to your outdoor living area. It will make the patio more inviting and allow you to introduce colour, pattern and texture to the space. Make sure the size works with the floor area and the furniture placement. Don’t get one that’s too small for your seating area – use the same principles as with a lounge or dining table. And you’re going to want to put the rug down before you move the furniture back on to the patio.
These durable accessories withstand the outdoors in all weather. Outdoor rugs protect the surface areas that you most congregate around. If you drop your wors on the floor, a rug would save your concrete tiles from the inevitable grease mark. Rugs prevent slips on tiled floors and allow for a cosier spot for a child to play at your feet. Throw down an outdoor rug for a detail that gives your patio a wonderful personal touch. It’s a cost-effective addition that makes a big impact.
STEP 6: Makeover Your Patio Furniture For Fun And Function
What is the function of your patio? Will the patio be for alfresco dining under starlit skies? Or is it a small area for sunny breakfasts with your partner? Maybe it’s a place for the kids to chill or the gathering area for a lekker braai with all your nearest and dearest? If you have a large patio, you can allow for different zones. If it’s a tiny space, opt for a bistro table or a bench seat.
Whether it’s a lounge or dining set, top your new rug with your seating essentials. Use durable outdoor furniture that is comfortable and welcoming. Your patio must be inviting. If you have a pergola and a sense of whimsy, suspend a hanging chair or a swing bench. Or get one that comes with its own stand.
Factor in your climate and whether you have some sort of shelter over your patio.
STEP 7: A Lighting Makeover For Your Patio
With 13 years of Loadshedding, most of us have some sort of rechargeable lamp and plenty of candles. But put something special in to light up your outdoor living space. Don’t just go for function.
Amp up the ambience with a string of patio lights. Suspend lights artfully from your pergola or wrap them around some tree branches. You could line the edge of the patio floor with tiki-style torches. Or, better still, solar-powered garden bed lights.
Want something freestanding? How about a hurricane lantern for your table? The glass will protect the flame from breezes.
If the patio connects to the house and has outdoor wall lights, consider some new light fittings.
STEP 8: Finishing Touches
This is the most fun of all the steps. Remember to keep the style to your home’s aesthetic.
Dress the seating with some fun outdoor throw pillows. You can also use the indoor ones, but remember to put them inside when you’re not entertaining.
If your outdoor space is quite bland pick bold, bright colours. Garden a riot of floral colours? Try a neutral palette instead. Style your patio in the same way you would your living room. Mix and match colours and patterns for visual interest.
Outdoor curtains or canvas walls hanging from your roof structure add so much to a patio. How gorgeous does the curtained pergola in the image above look? Curtains will help with privacy and soften the look. And canvas walls block wind and keep warmth in on colder nights. They both add texture that softens the space and creates an inviting den.
If your patio connects to the house, you could put artwork or a mirror on the wall. It will create a focal point and enhance the vibe.
Don’t forget the pot plants. Even if your patio is in a garden, adding some potted plants will add to the feeling of your patio being an outdoor room. Plus, the style and colour of your pots add to the look.
Compliment your scheme with glassware, trays and crockery for final touches.
Of course, your budget will inform how far you may take this project. I hope you already have some sort of patio set up with some furniture to work with. If your budget allows, it could be time to upgrade to a brand-new outdoor lounge or dining set. But if you’re low on cash start with a good clean. Adding potted plants and rearranging your patio furniture are easy and affordable fixes.
Now you have a strategy to revitalise your patio. Better get to work. The Holidays are right around the corner.
Need help with the look? I do aesthetic concept boards that help you keep on track. They’re really helpful when you shop for new patio furniture and accessories. Contact me here about your project.
Like this post? Pin it!