This summer in the Flathead Valley has been beautiful. Much like the rest of you, we love the three perfect months and are relishing in the upper 80 degree weather and blue skies, spending every second we can outside. We play hard around the lake and town during the day and relax on the patio in the cool evening weather at night with most often a good book and conversation. We love our patio and landscape design around our home and hope you do too. Should you need some advice or fresh new ideas, read on to make your own patio or porch your favorite summer time escape.
Color your Space – Choose a variety of colors for your patio furniture and design. Opt for neutral or bright, vibrant tile panels, cement or a rug for underfoot and aim to use oranges and brighter hues in your furniture pieces and cushions to help separate between the surrounding greenery and forest. The varying colors will be a focal point for the eye and will entice your guests to sit and relax. Besides furniture, bring in color to your patio design by planting flowers, hanging outside artwork, or by adding accentuating pieces like pillows and a patio throw. Also, if you have the space for an outdoor bar table, find fun printed glassware, trays, and pitchers to help liven up the atmosphere even more.
Decorative Accents – Much like the rest of your house, a patio area should be used as an expression of your personality. Decorate it like you would the rest of your home to make it a more comfortable environment for yourself. Incorporate the use of a unique over-the-table lantern, outdoor citronella candles and candlesticks, a patterned outdoor rug, pedestal tables and outdoor garden stakes that spark your interest. We also enjoy the glow of overhead string lighting in the early evening and perfectly shaped patio greenery that requires little to no maintenance (refer to New Growth Designs). Whatever eclectic accent pieces you find, they are sure to make your space feel more like you and help entice you to spend your evenings outside.
Patio Furniture – While the tried and true plastic patio furniture sets work in a pinch, there is nothing more relaxing than a comfortable lounger or outdoor sofa to rest on with a glass of wine in the summer evenings. Create an outdoor space of luxury with full patio sets from the likes of Lee Industries or Tropitone. Hang a swing or a hammock off to the side of the patio for a relaxing oasis and make sure to incorporate accent tables for the outdoor necessities like candles, books, and drink space. Splurge on the furniture. Quality is key in outdoor furniture. The more relaxing furniture you can find, the more likely you are to use it.
Fire Pits – We all know that the reason we love camping so much is because of the campfire and s’mores (okay, we also love the wilderness aspect, fishing ,exploring and camping games played at night… but we really love the melted chocolate). So, why not put a fire pit in your own backyard? Why not make s’mores and hear the sound of a crackling fire for your nightly summer time escape? Dig a hole and build an in ground pit surrounded by boulders from the woods for an inexpensive option or lay a concrete pad and place a store bought pit above the ground. In previous design projects, we’ve built in custom stone fire pits and outdoor fire places to enhance the patio mood. Surround your fire pit with comfortable patio chairs or our personal favorite, custom wood benches for a more rustic and woodsy vibe. Whatever you choose to do, a fire pit in the backyard or on the patio is a great entertainment piece and a surefire way for guests to enjoy their time at your house.
Improvise your Space – Don’t have a covered patio or porch? No problem. Find a shaded area in your yard and clear out the grass to makeshift a patio. Lay down bark, river rock, or sand before placing a dining table to make an inviting eatery. Or, if you need to add some shade, use furniture with overhead canopies like this one from Lee Industries. The outdoor sofa will entice you to lay your head down for a quick afternoon nap or help you relax at night with a good book. What we love even more is that it is a different idea then the typical patio furniture. Another idea we adore is the use of draperies and curtains on patios and porches to line and separate the space into sectionals. We say “yes please” to privacy while we read and love the idea of being able to have a more “formal” dining area outside.