5 Ways to Extend the Use of Your Patio

By Colorado Living, Owning a Home

Stephanie Smith, regional marketing representative of LawnStarter Denver, offers tips and advice to get the most out of your home’s outdoor space year-round!

5 Ways to Extend the Use of Your Patio

You know what they say about Colorado: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes. That’s, of course, an exaggeration, but the weather is unpredictable. In the spring, Colorado homeowners see snow flurries, snowstorms, thunderstorms and hail. Then those really pleasant 60-degree days will come along. Summer is full of warm, sunny days, but the nights can get quite chilly.

Fall days range from 50-60 degrees with nights of 20-30 degrees. But winter weather isn’t always freezing. Temperatures have been known to get up into the 70s in December. On average over the course of a year, 70% of Denver’s days are sunny, making it obvious as to why this part of Colorado loves outdoor living.

If you are one of the many residents who live to be outdoors, update your patio so that you can use it year-round. Here are five ways for you to extend the use of your outdoor living space:

Heater

Propane Heater Outdoor Porch Patio
Source: Alan Wu / Flickr

There’s an outdoor heater for every budget—from less than $100 to well over $1,000—and whatever style suits your décor: standing, tabletop, hanging, and wall-mounted. Propane is the most common fuel used. Electric heaters cost less to buy and less to operate than propane heaters. For conservation-minded Coloradans, there are the solar-powered heaters that cost nothing to run.

Fire Pit

Fire pits give more than heat. Flickering flames and crackles provide ambiance that unites us around a circle of fire. You can even toast marshmallows!

Just like heaters, there are fire pits for every budget and every décor. You can simply dig a hole and line it with bricks for a DIY fire pit. Retailers who sell home improvement or lawn and garden supplies have copper bowls that start at $50. At the other end of cost spectrum is a permanent fire pit, designed and installed by professionals.

Blankets

Patio Outdoor Blankets
Source: Didriks / Flickr

Keep the blankets inside the house and bring them out when you need them, or use blankets to decorate your patio all the time. You have an almost endless supply of materials, including different colors and patterns to choose from. Acrylic yarns are soft yet safe for extended use outdoors. Chenille is durable and fade resistant. Mohair is heavier and warmer.

My favorite blankets are the Moroccan wedding blankets, handcrafted from cotton and Lurex in highly decorative designs. Glittering metal discs are woven into the material along the length of the blanket. It is a distinctly exotic look and sound–the discs make lovely music.

Enclosures

Once you have your heat source, you need to keep the heat contained and stave off the cold with an enclosure. Two options for enclosing your patio are curtains or structures

Curtains

If you have a roof over your patio, you can hang curtains made from beautiful all-weather materials that amp up the design of your patio. They add color and eye appeal as they float in the breeze and a certain mystique and romantic look when they are closed. Curtains also keep out the elements, like wind and rain. If the sun is unmerciful in the summer, your curtained patio provides cooling relief.

Structures

In place of or in conjunction with curtains, you can add a vine-covered pergola or trellis, a privacy screen, and a retractable awning to your patio. This can help block some wind and create an enclosed space, making it feel like an actual room.

Lights

Patio Outdoor Torch Lights Fire
Source: Nan Palmero / Flickr

Lighting your patio is another way to tap into your inner artist, as well as extend the use of your patio. There are so many choices, including strings of globe lights, fairy lights, and candles in mason jars. Hang lights around the perimeter of the patio, from trees in your yard, or on a pergola, trellis or fence.

Tiki torches provide light and warmth while bringing the atmosphere of faraway places to your outdoor space. You can wrap deck railings with LED mini lights or create a shimmering backdrop by hanging the lights in a cascade. Illuminate walkways with rope lights or hang patio lights on shepherd hooks along a path.

By adding light, heat, and decor to your outdoor space, you can extend the use of your patio year round.


Stephanie Smith is the regional marketing representative of LawnStarter Denver, an online and mobile platform that connects homeowners with lawn care professionals for care-free and efficient services!