Our Canadian summers are short so we are always looking to enjoy every moment we can on our patios. I like to call my patio our summer livingroom, as it is an extension of our home, where we have our mornings together. We use it as our conversation area with either each other, the kids or friends. So it was important that it operates as such. Zones are always a important feature of mine when designing any space. We are couch and chair people so that was more important then having a dining table out there. The larger sectional mimics the living room sectional in the right next to it, so it really does add a nice flow from the inside out. Chair options are always great to add but it is also a great way to add in different textures, colours or looks in the space. So mix it up try not to be so matchy when bringing in your furniture options.
The propane fireplace was a great addition as it acts as a coffee table but when needed we have a beautiful low flame fireplace for those chiller nights. We hide the propane tank behind the sofa so it is hidden from the design, keeping everything looking cleaner and neat. I searched hard and long for a slender and higher options so that it was at the perfect height for drinks/food or stretching your legs out on. So be aware on how the height before purchasing yours.
I wanted to be different when it came to the umbrella set up. I could have gone with a large armed umbrella in the corner, however with the fireplace and sun distribution I wanted something different. I added two half or also named café umbrellas, creating shade/privacy as well as creating different zones when it came to the sitting set up. Which makes the space seem larger that way. What you don't see in the image on the other wall is our BBQ set up with a bar height sofa table for food prep and stools for extra sitting options which also adds to the different zone look.
Lighting is so important in any design, so I added patio string lights around the perimeter of the patio on a automatic timer. The atmosphere is absolutely perfect with a nice warm hue throughout the evening. By adding them around the whole perimeter if also make the space feel bigger as their are no dark zones and every inch is visible to enjoy. Lighting can make spaces seem larger or can help hide areas you don't want to be seen with the lack of light.
Plants are what really brings this space together, however I didn't want anything to fusy. I love me some Ferns!! As they are perfect when it comes to low maintenance but has great coverage and colour with a more minimal look to them. Also succulents are great low maintenance options. I found an old wood salad bowl that I sealed and drilled draining holes in and then added a mix of succulents for a stunning and easy center piece. I didn't want to add a lot of colour to the patio design so I made sure I went with all green plants for a more subtle and calmer look. Keep in mind the plant colours when you are purchasing them, if you want colour make sure to tie those colours in with your décor as well so that it seems purposeful and creates a better flow.
Pillows, we all know, I love my pillows! Mixing up the patterns, size and colours looks stunning but is also brings the inside out. I went with similar patterns/colours that I have on the main floor so that it was an extension of the interiors. I find pillows are so important in making an outdoor space feel cozy plus creates a more inside homey feel to it. When we forget about the pillows or include cheaper small outdoor pillows the space loses that indoor feel. I went with a mix of sizes and outdoor fabrics. I used my Alcornhome.com inners as they are fully washable and mild resistant. But the best part is they have a downlike feel to them. So they are easier to style with the famous chop in them and are far more comfier when curling up or leaning against on, creating a more luxurious feel when you are out relaxing or lounging.
When it comes to designing's your outdoor space it really is all about the details. Plus make sure all your colours flow. If you have a wood deck make sure your are working with the wood colour when it comes to choose your accent colours. This makes the design seem purposed instead of having an elephant in the room feel. If you can change colours, paint them to your colour style, paint goes along way, otherwise work with what you have for a consistence and stunning look. Having your colour tones flow will make your space feel better but will also give that designer look to the space. Also keep it simple, when we start to over add or clutter to the space that is when it starts to becoming overwhelming and messy looking. Less is more when it comes to creating the magazine worthy look every single day.
Happy Patio Season!!