The patio is a sun trap – or it should be – but is there something that is stopping you from enjoying this space? Take a look at six small changes you can make, starting and finishing the project on the same day!
#1 Spruce up the pavers
This patio edit can be applied to any patio material, to be honest, but especially concrete.
All that rain, wind, sleet, snow, ice and sun have left their mark on the patio. From puddles drying green to stains and other detritus becoming ingrained, the best patio edit can be to give it a good scrub.
From a hands and knees job – scrubbing brush, a bucket of warm water and detergent and plenty of elbow grease – to using a jet washer, lifting the grime off the patio surface will give it an instant facelift.
Better still, do it on a breezy day and it’ll be dry by tea time, perfect for a spot of al fresco dining.
#2 Spruce up the patio furniture
Garden furniture can suffer the same fate as the patio surface. At the mercy of the weather, it can soon look tired and jaded.
Giving it a brush and a clean is the first step but then giving it a new lease of life with new soft furnishings changes its looks completely.
Rattan garden furniture is tough and durable but welcomes a little ‘extra’ to enhance its already stylish looks. Add an extra cushion or two to seating, and a throw, perfect for wrapping up in on a cooler summer’s evening.
#3 Buy a rug
Outdoor rugs vary in size and price with some starting as low as £50 for the smaller sizes and rising to over £100.
Having said that, they are a worthwhile investment as they will last several seasons. Available in a range of patterns and colours, there is sure to be a stylish outdoor rug that takes your fancy.
Can ordinary households rugs be used? Some people do use ‘normal’ old household rugs but bear in mind that when it rains, it may take the water-soaked rug a long time to dry.
#4 Add lighting
With so many variations of lighting to choose from, you won’t know where to start.
Opt for solar lights and you won’t end up with a whopping electricity bill.
- Single ‘light bulb’ for accents – you will no doubt have seen these but these individual lights have their own solar panel on the top that charges the smaller battery sealed inside. Mimicking the traditional lightbulb shape, there are many finishes, colours and styles from those daubed in thick glitter for extra sparkle and clear bulbs. Either way, they add pretty detailing on the patio.
- LED ‘rope’ lights – many of the LED lights on the market are sealed and suitable for use in the garden but always check. These light strings or ropes will need to be plugged in so make sure you have a safe electrical point to do so. Some systems come complete with their own remote control too or use the app on your smartphone to change light sequence, colours and to turn on and off. Start from £25 upwards depending on the kit you opt for.
- Solar lights – simple yet effective, use solar lights around the patio to add ambience and glamour. Expect to pay £6 upwards for quality lights that last longer than a few weeks.
#5 Edge the patio
Hard landscaping trends for the garden in 2018 use two or three different hard materials so bring your patio bang up to date by cutting a small recess or moat around the edges of the patio and filling with decorative stones.
The colour is your own choice but use smaller stones as the base and then use slightly larger pebbles in a slightly different colour for contrast.
#6 Add a sail sunshade
If the patio is in full sun without shade, sitting in the sun can see you roasted within minutes.
Adding shade can be easily done by using a garden parasol but why not add a more permanent structure – one that will last the summer but take down when the chillier autumn days come – with a shade sail?
Pricier than a parasol, you ‘plant’ the four poles and then attach the sail using small pieces of rope. Shorten and lengthen the connecting ropes to create a sail of different shape, perfect for keeping the sun off your patio. Available from high street and online retailers.
Which of these six ideas will you try?
A leading retailer, Rattan Direct are online suppliers of stylish rattan garden furniture, from sofas to dining sets, all perfect for the patio.