Stepping up your Patio
Summertime means spending sunny afternoons in the backyard grilling, playing games or relaxing with a good book and a cold beverage. Whether entertaining friends and family or flying solo, why not step up your patio with some special features this season to make it even more amazing? Try any of these patio ideas to transform your outdoor space into a true summer oasis.
Create a Hanging Garden
Abundant sunshine and rain showers are the ideal combo to beautify your patio with a vertical hanging garden. A leaning ladder packs a lot of greenery into a compact, easy-to-move design. Trailing plants like geraniums, ivy, and even strawberries look especially lovely draped over the steps. Stacking crates into a customized, multilevel design allows you to mix and match shade- and sun-loving plants. You can also build a wall-style hanging garden using cedar posts, hex wire and terra cotta pots that allows airflow for enjoying the summer breeze.
Install a Misting System
When the heat index skyrockets, maximizing your patio time means finding ways to stay cool. There’s nothing like a refreshing mist on your skin for an instant reprieve from the summer heat and humidity. Installing a mister can reduce your patio temperature by about 20 degrees, which makes a huge impact. Many pre-packaged misting kits can outfit patios of any size and come with simple instructions that are easy to follow for the average DIYer. As a bonus, your misting system can help water your plants, keeping your patio lush and green.
Cover your Patio
Successful summertime entertaining is all about shade. Patio covers also make your outdoor space usable rain or shine. Free-standing patio umbrellas can move around and come in many sizes, colors and patterns for a fun design pop. A retractable awning is another flexible option that you can extend to cool down or fold away to catch some rays. For a permanent statement with function and style, give your patio some much-needed shade with a pergola. Decorate it with creeping vines or hanging plants, or string twinkling lights for summer nights. You can even equip it with a fan or hang curtains for instant privacy and a bug blocker.
Add an Outdoor Bar
Hot days are best with a cold beverage in hand. Many outdoor bars are free-standing structures made with repurposed materials, such as pallets, barrels, antique doors and vintage dressers. Larger options include a modified shed, kids playhouse or pre-constructed tiki hut. The basic elements you’ll need are a high countertop, shelves or drawers to stock spirits and barware, and accompanying seating. You can expand the concept into a makeshift outdoor kitchen by incorporating a grill or outdoor pizza oven into the design. Or keep it simple and versatile by rolling a stocked bar cart onto the patio for cocktail hour.