With events canceled, vacations postponed and most gatherings on hold, it looks like we’ll be spending lots of time at home this summer.
But staying nearby doesn’t mean spending the day inside. If you’ve got an outdoor space, now is the perfect time for a family patio party.
We asked a local expert for tips on making your patio your own private getaway.
Clean it up
If your patio is looking a bit weathered, you’re probably overdue for a good deep clean.
“There’s a lot more maintenance than just throwing these things in and thinking they’ll be great forever,” said Curtis Minor, owner of Naturespaces Design in Canton.
First, make sure the patio is still level and doesn’t have any structural issues. If you spot anything strange, call in an expert for an assessment, Minor said.
Consider your space
Built-in fire pits and pizza ovens are popular additions to patios, but make sure to consider your space limitations before committing to a new structure.
“Make your patio a little bit bigger than what you actually think it needs to be,” Minor said.
If you’re space is limited, consider a portable fire pit that can be moved out of the way, rather than a permanent structure, Minor said.
Try a sitting wall
Consider adding a sitting wall to an existing patio, Minor suggested.
Walls are both decorative and practical and can include lighting, eliminating the need to drag out extra chairs when you have company.
Create an all-weather experience
Minor suggests adding a roof structure to an existing patio to give you a space you can enjoy in all types of weather.
A roof does more than protect from rain, it also offers some reprieve from the sun. And roofs can be installed with ceiling fans to give you a breather on a particularly sweltering afternoon.
Consider natural shade and barriers
If the setting sun drives you back inside, look into planting shade trees to block strong sunlight, Minor suggested.
It will take a few years to grow to the right height, but a shade tree is a natural long-term investment in the space.
Similarly, Minor recommends looking for natural barriers—trees and hedges—to give your backyard some privacy. Just make sure you’re planting with the future in mind and selecting trees that won’t grow too large.