Garden furniture Landscape design

5 Ways To Enhance The Look of Your Patio

By Robert Baker of
Photo: Rhys Ludlow, Pixabay

Is your patio looking tired and dated? Before you invite over your friends and neighbors, make it shine with these 5 easy enhancements.

#1. Clean up your act

Set aside any outdoor furniture or other movable objects to examine the condition of your patio. If it’s more than a few years old, it probably needs a little TLC. 

Weeds are a common problem, sprouting between paving stones or cracks in the cement. Use a rusty old screwdriver to dig them out. If you have a few small weeds and don’t want to damage the remaining mortar, mix 2 parts boiling water to 1 part salt to create a simple and natural weed killer you can apply to the infestation.

Clean any remaining holes thoroughly then fill them with a mix of 3 parts sand to 1 part cement bonded with a little water. Tamp down the mix with a trowel. 

Stains soaked into concrete patios can be unsightly but applying concrete acid stain can revitalize your patio’s surface by staining the whole area in a single color with unique swirly patterns. A pressure washer is a great investment not only for washing your car but also for deep cleaning your patio surface. An afternoon with a pressure washer can leave your patio looking as good as new.

#2. Furnish your floor

After your patio has been cleared of weeds and cleaned, you can put your furniture back. However, are you happy with what you see? The furniture on your patio determines what it looks like, so you want furnishings that are both aesthetically pleasing and practical for your purposes. 

Recently there have been many innovations in outdoor furniture that mean you can truly transform your patio into an outdoor living room by choosing patio furniture you love that looks as good as anything in your living room. Wicker, rattan, or plastic patio armchairs and couches are a must for relaxing outdoors. 

With an outdoor table and chairs, you can create an al fresco dining experience at home. And with Bluetooth speakers designed for outdoor use, you can host fantastic parties in your backyard. If you enjoy your me-time and like to curl up with a good book, why not invest in a hammock. You don’t need a pair of trees to hang a modern hammock since many come with a frame.

#3. If it’s hot in the kitchen…

Some people enjoy staying out on their patios so much that they’ve moved their kitchens outside. With so many companies now manufacturing high-quality catering equipment designed to withstand the elements, there’s nothing you can’t buy to make your outdoor kitchen just as good as your indoor one. 

Patio kitchens are especially great if you want to entertain outdoors because it means you won’t have to keep going in and out of your house to serve the food to your guests. In summer, your kitchen won’t get too hot, and you can appreciate the fresh air and flowers outside while you cook. 

If you want to keep things simple and affordable, you can just purchase a portable barbecue for your patio. Fully equipped outdoor kitchens are a major investment and can cost more than a traditional indoor kitchen. 

#4. Put a lid on it

If you want a little protection from the sun on your patio, consider having an expert install a garden awning. With modern designs, you can roll your awning out during the midday heat and roll it back in again when you want to catch some rays. These are especially useful if you want to host dinner parties outdoors when other factors, such as bird droppings or wind, might disturb your eating experience.

Alternatively, shade sails have recently grown in popularity. They offer the advantages that you don’t have to attach them to a wall, and they are more affordable than awnings. However, their disadvantages are that you require 4 fixed points to tie them, such as handy trees, and they’re not so easy to deploy or to put away.

Some people like to install a pergola over their patio to add a little shade. However, this is a relatively expensive option, especially if you’re planning to get someone else to build it. 

#5. Go potty

Your patio is in the garden, so why not celebrate that with a fine selection of flowerpots? When choosing flowerpots, be like McDonald’s and go large. Big plant pots make a statement and stand out on your patio. They also provide the kind of space you require for impressive feature plants, such as miniature cherry blossom trees.

There is such a wide range of flowerpots available today that you can choose designs to suit any taste. You can color coordinate them to your patio furniture or opt for plain Italian terracotta pots that blend into the background and leave the flowers they contain to add color to your day. 

Garden writer and blogger, author of 65 gardening books, lecturer and communicator, the Laidback Gardener, Larry Hodgson, passed away in October 2022. Known for his great generosity, his thoroughness and his sense of humor, he reached several generations of amateur and professional gardeners over his 40-year career. Thanks to his son, Mathieu Hodgson, and a team of contributors, will continue its mission of demystifying gardening and making it more accessible to all.

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