Warm weather is right around the corner! As spring approaches, the sun may begin to peek out from behind the dreary clouds of cold. Something about a sunny day makes being outdoors so irresistible - but where? It might not be practical to take a quick stroll around the neighborhood or drive to the nearest park.
A patio is like your own little outdoor oasis right in your backyard - and whether it be by small tweaks or an entire outdoor patio renovation, a refresh can help you feel even better about it. So if your outdoor space is in dire need of a refresh this spring, here are five ways you can give it a little spruce just in time for the season.
Create some shade
While the warm weather is excellent, and it’s great to feel the sun's warmth, getting a sunburn isn’t everyone’s idea of having a great time outdoors - especially since sunburns can be dangerous.
Creating a shady spot in the backyard is a great way to enjoy the weather or keep an eye on kids and pets while protecting your skin and keeping yourself cool.
Pergolas are beautiful patio shade options built from columns and roof beams. Pergolas can come in many different styles and materials. Some pergolas have a shade canopy stretched beneath the pergola beams, providing maximum shade protection and some minor protection from elements such as rain.
A pergola is typically freestanding or open on all sides, but it can be attached to the sides of homes or have a lattice structure attached to one side. Pergolas are a great shade option for garden lovers, as climbing plants and flowers can wrap around the pergola's columns, giving it life and color.
Awnings are a simple way to add pizzazz to an existing porch or patio. There are many different kinds of awnings, including retractable and permanent options. Some awnings even allow you to change their pitch, providing endless customization for aesthetics and function.
Awnings primarily operate as sun covers, although they also offer limited protection against rain and insects. If it’s not too cold and windy, a patio surrounded by an awning still makes a beautiful place to curl up and read a book or drink tea on a spring morning. However, if you’re looking for something more protected from the elements, totally screening in the porch is another way to blend the outdoors and indoors.
If you’re looking to really bring outdoors in, you might also consider converting part or all of your outdoor space into a three-season room. This type of outdoor patio renovation uses screens and awnings to create a ‘room’ that is partially outside. It makes your space ready to enjoy at any time for ¾ of the year - usually spring, summer, and fall, but no one’s stopping you from enjoying a temperate winter in yours too. A three-season room protects you and your family from the elements, making it the best space for watching spring showers.
There are many different types of screens to choose from, with tons of styles to suit your tastes. Even the most basic screens can still provide protection from bugs, sun, dust and debris, and prying eyes.
If you’re not ready for a total three-season conversion, maybe motorized retractable screens are more your thing. Retractable screens are perfect for a proper indoor/outdoor patio renovation solution, creating a screened-in living space that protects against bugs, debris, and sun. When not in use, the screens roll up, and you have unobstructed outdoor access. Roll-up screens can be motorized or manually operated, creating options for customization.
Add a touch of green
It may seem cliche, but adding a few plants to your outdoor porch area will breathe new life into the entire space. Small plants on end tables or coffee tables, tall standing plants to live in a corner, or even a hanging plant from an awning can refresh and renew how you feel about your porch - and spring is the perfect time to do so!
Choose plants that will thrive where you live. Consider the climate, what direction your porch faces, and how much time you’ll be able to dedicate to tending to these plants. If you can expect hours of direct sunlight, try to find plants that can handle the heat. If you’re plagued by cold weather, there’s still a variety of foliage that will be just as pleased in lower temps as warm ones.
If you don’t want to commit to a plant full time, even a vase full of your favorite flowers can help you celebrate spring and refresh the vibe of your patio.
It’s not just good for aesthetics, though. Plants can help calm anxiety, purify the air, spark creativity, and more!
Prepare for the summer heat with solar shades.
Solar shades are a great way of protecting your space from the heat of the sun while still keeping your home somewhat open to the view. A solar screen is different from a porch screen because it is meant to block out the sun more opaquely. Removable or roll-down solar screens allow people to let the sun in at their discretion quickly and easily, but permanent exterior solar screens are also an option.
Solar screens let in the breeze while reducing heat and glare from the sun, as well as protecting against bugs. This might encourage you to leave the air conditioning off or use fans less, making it an energy-efficient solution to reduce your home's temperature. Solar screens can reduce heat gain on windows by up to 15 degrees! That’s a dramatic impact- especially when discussing the difference between 87 and 72 degrees.
Solar shades can also be motorized or manually operated - rolling down when needed and rolling up when you’d prefer to let all of the sun in.
Change up your linens
If you’re still sitting in the same patio furniture you were sitting on six years ago, maybe it’s time to update those chairs and sofas. While a total re-upholstering could breathe new life into your patio, changing the linens on your porch doesn’t need to be much of an undertaking.
Find new throw pillows or blankets to add some comfort to the space. A rug can change the entire aesthetic of your porch too, depending on what style suits you best. These small changes can make a big difference.
Play with light
As spring continues, you might be inclined to spend more time outdoors. When the sun sets, good lighting will help keep the party alive. String lights can create stylish, whimsical ambiance to your porch, and make a party feel anywhere from extra classy to fun and magical, depending on the style of lights. A standing lamp will illuminate your space fully, and comes in countless styles and colors to help fit right in with your decor.
After all, lighting can impact mood and productivity, so managing your outdoor lighting this spring is a must.
Giving your patio new life with a refresh
Patios and porches are a great way to blend the outdoors and the indoors, especially in the warmer months of spring and summer. An outdoor patio renovation can be big or small. Enclosing an open patio by screening it in or simply by including a few pillows can add an astonishing amount of function. You might be surprised by how much it changes your experience this spring!
Covered porches can be great places to grow kitchen herb gardens, hang out with friends, and have safe spaces for family members and pets that can’t be unsupervised outdoors. So if you’re looking for ways to spend more time outdoors this spring - consider giving your patio a refresh and making it a space you want to spend time in!