According to the Harvard Health Letter, spending time outdoors is proven to be good for one’s overall physical and emotional health. (And if Harvard says it, you’d better believe it!) So along with all those resolutions for the new year you’ve likely already forgot about, try adding this one: spend more time using your outdoor living space.
A few clever additions to your existing space will make your outdoor patio a cozy place that begs your family to use it – and will encourage both friends and family to have more interest in ‘settling in’ outdoors.
Patio Functionality Year-Round
Eliminate the ever-popular temperature excuse – “It’s too cold/hot to go outside” – by making your patio a functional outdoor living space throughout the year.
Unless you live in a temperate year-round climate zone (and we can say that Colorado Springs is quite the opposite), then cold winters and blazingly hot summers will probably limit your patio time – but you can make a few significant changes to stretch out the outdoor season as much as possible.
It’s likely that your existing patio’s aesthetics are designed accordingly for your climate.
- If it’s often sunny, take advantage of your roof: install ceiling fans or use cooling mist-sprayers to make summertime use more enjoyable.
- Live in a cooler region? Outdoor heaters, fire pits, and outdoor fireplace installations can comfortably extend patio use into the fall and even throughout the winter – and they’ll also add to the ambiance of your outdoor space.
Create an Attractive, High-Tech Entertainment Zone
Modern technology allows us to use electronics almost anywhere – including in the great (but decidedly un-wired) outdoors! Weatherproof televisions, wireless cable, and portable devices galore let you take some of the activities, that might otherwise keep you glued to the couch, outdoors. Take your outdoor patio high-tech and see how quickly your abode becomes the place to go after school, the place to watch the biggest sporting events, and – well, you get the picture.
Consider incorporating drop-down side panels to your existing patio for an extra layer of protection from wind and inclement weather for undisturbed enjoyment.
Foster Al Fresco Dining and Lounging with a Gathering Place
One of the easiest ways to spend more time outside is to take your meals al fresco. Plus, people love outdoor parties!
- Make a small investment in resilient, comfortable outdoor furniture so that you’ll be excited to spend time using it.
- Evaluate your current layout and determine whether a few comfortable chaise lounges, chairs for two, or a romantic porch swing would work well for your home.
- And of course, incorporate a table or two that’s easy to clean for spontaneous al fresco dining or planned dinner and cocktail parties.
If you want to take outdoor entertaining to the next level, you might even want to install an outdoor kitchen. Or just invest in a feature-loaded grill – some models boast ovens, refrigerators, sinks, and full-feature bars!
Spruce Up Landscaping
Your patio should serve as a seamless passageway from your home’s interior to its yard space. If your herb garden has been neglected or you just want to create a focal point in your flat and grassy yard, it’s time to do something about it.
Take a road trip to your local nursery or gardening center for some inspirational ideas on how you can spruce up your landscaping. The experts you find there will likely have some clever ideas to share with you, and many nurseries also offer professional hardscaping and landscaping services that do the grunt work for you.