8 Tips For Getting Your Patio Ready for Summer

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Hello patio season! You might be more than ready to hit the backyard with friends and enjoy some patio time but the question is whether your patio is ready for you. After 5 or 6 months of accumulating all of winter’s offerings it might not be in ideal shape. The best way to tackle a job like this is to know exactly what needs to be done, create a list and schedule a day. When you’re organized you can have the job completed in just a single afternoon. So let’s go.

 

1/ Survey & Clean

SOURCE: Me & Mr Jones

 

Before we can get to the decorating we need a space that’s been cleaned and repaired (if necessary). If you live somewhere where winter storms are the norm you’ll likely find branches, leaves and other debris lying around. Start by making sure those are all cleared away and then look to see if anything has been damaged. If so, you’ll want to fix that before going any further. 

Look for loose floor boards and railings as well as making sure any wood is smooth and splinter free. After you’ve passed the safety inspection let’s clean. If you have a pressure washer that’s the easiest and fastest way to deep clean your patio. 

Don’t forget about fencing or walls that surround your patio. Those can collect dirt and debris over the winter as well. You want your whole space to sparkle and cobwebs don’t add to the ambience we’re going for. Lastly, don’t forget about the exterior door. It likely has accumulated a ton of dirt as well over the winter months. Need to find a paint colour for your exterior door? Read this post.

 

2/ Trim & Prune

SOURCE: The Lily Pad Cottage

Look around at trees and bushes that surround your patio. Do they need to be trimmed back? Look for branches that have died and remove them so they don’t come falling down while you’re enjoying the patio. This is the best time of year to tackle the trimming because for most of us we can see the branches before they start to bloom. If there are bushes that have grown too big and are encroaching on your patio, trim them all back for a neat and tidy look.

 

3/ Hang Lights

SOURCE: Pottery Barn 

The easiest time to hang your outdoor lights is now, before you’ve brought out the furniture. This is particularly true if you’re hanging lights and draping them across the length of the patio.

If you need to purchase new, outdoor lighting is plentiful in spring but it doesn’t last long so don’t delay. Great lighting helps extend the amount of time you can spend outside. You don’t want to be forced back indoors at night because you don’t have enough light.

 

4/ Clean Your Patio Furniture

SOURCE: Studio McGee

Even when our patio furniture has been safely stored it can become dirty over the winter. Now is the time to give it a good cleaning. Consider what type of furniture you own before you start to pull out your cleaning materials.

If it’s made of a composite material you’ll be able to use a regular dish soap. Give it a good scrub and then spray it down. It’s ready to go! Wood furniture can require a bit more maintenance. Use a metal brush to scrub away dirt and also small splinters of wood. Once that’s clean you may need to reapply a wood conditioner or sealer but check with your manufacturer to see what they specify.

 

4/ Add an Outdoor Rug

SOURCE: Sunset

One of the ways you can instantly elevate your patio is by adding a rug. There’s often so much wood or concrete in a backyard and a rug helps the space to feel more like an extension of your home. 

There aren’t as many ways to add colour and texture to the outdoor spaces. Rugs are wonderful for this and they also feel great underfoot when you’re going barefoot.

5/ Clean the BBQ

SOURCE: DecorPad

It’s likely you haven’t used your bbq since last fall so now there’s a few months of dirt that has accumulated. Use a wire bbq brush to clean the grill but don’t forget about the exterior. You want to use dish soap and water to clean the entire outside along with the storage areas of your bbq. 

And make sure you dig out your cooking utensils so you know where they are when you’re ready for the first grill of the season.

 

6/ Furniture Layout

SOURCE: Love Grows Wild

Now for the fun part, designing your patio space. Our patios offer a lot more flexibility in how we arrange furniture since we’re not dealing with walls and walkways to the same degree. Of course, you never want to block any walkways but have fun and play with the seating arrangement before settling on what’s best.

Be sure that there is a coffee table as well as several small side tables. When we don’t offer enough tables people end up putting their food and drinks on the ground which can be an accident waiting to happen. 

 

7/ Bring the Shade

SOURCE: Cher House

You’ll want at least part of your patio to be shaded so you can use it during the hottest part of the day. Use an umbrella and if it’s not big enough to cover the entire seating area then you’ll want to create a plan. 

Maybe you just include a small seating area off to the side with a couple of chairs and a table. This can be where you go to escape the heat during the day. If you entertain mostly in the evening you won’t need to worry about shading the larger area. 

 

8/ Layer in the Plants & Decor

SOURCE: Monika Hibbs

Before we get to the decor let’s add in the plants. This is a layer that will help to create a structure on your patio. Add large planters with tall greenery to the perimeter of the space. Next you’ll have the smaller floor planters snuggled into your seating area. Lastly, add in the small pots of flowers or herbs to table tops.

The decor and small items are really what makes your patio come to life. If you’re buying new decor items, think about what you want to create in your space. I like to create a fun, more lively feeling on the patio than I might on the inside of my home. Choose bright and saturated colours. That’s because neutral colours can be diluted outside with all the sunshine. I suggest going a bit more bold with your colours outside but you don’t need to go crazy. Try to select between 1 and 3 colours and then use them on repeat.

If you have the space it can be helpful to add a serving or bar station right next to the seating and dining spaces. It’s really helpful when you don’t want to overload the coffee table with drinks and food items. It keeps things close at hand without crowding the main areas.

Now you’re ready to go and create your own checklist, gather your supplies and carve out the time. Your patio season awaits you.

 

If you have a project coming up that you’d like to discuss, reach out to me. I’d love to chat with you about how I can help.

 

If you know your design style but you struggle with which paint to use, take a look at my Made-For-You paint palettes. They take the guesswork out and give you the confidence to get started.

 

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