Installing a patio, or customizing an existing one, is a rewarding step in actualizing the vision you have for your home. If you’re in the process of designing or remodeling your patio, take a look at these tricks from the pros to help you create your little piece of outdoor paradise for your NJ home.
Form and Function
Take some time to consider what the function of your patio will be. If regular, large gatherings are your thing, then a single, open space may be an option, but too many people choose this type of design as a default. Instead, dividing the space into smaller areas, easily accessible to one and other, will create more visual interest and draw people into your yard rather than screening it off as a backdrop. Even at larger gatherings, guests will naturally form smaller groups amongst themselves. Why not give your guests multiple spaces in which to gather?
Taking the function of a patio into account will also help you to decide on its optimal positioning. An outdoor cooking area, for example, works best when situated near the indoor kitchen, or at least in a position easily accessible to the house. Eating areas should be accessible to your cooking area or included as one so that socializing and cooking are not mutually exclusive, while an inviting garden patio in a secluded spot will help to draw people into your garden.
Dark and Light
Aesthetics aside, using dark or light colored pavers can evoke different practical benefits. Dark colored pavers including earthy reds and browns, will soak up the afternoon sun and retain the heat into the evening. This can be beneficial during cool fall evenings to provide additional heating, or on summer nights where being barefoot is preferable. Dogs and cats will also be grateful for being able to join the family for the evening get together and curl up on the warmth of pre-heated stone or concrete.
Light colored pavers serve the opposite purpose, reflecting light and heat and remaining relatively cool in direct sunlight. This makes them ideal for patio areas that will be used mostly during the heat of the day, particularly swimming area patios where family members, especially children, will be barefoot for most of the time. During the evening, lighter colored pavers, while not retaining heat, will make the space seem brighter and larger.
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If you’re planning to make use of your patio in the evening, an effective lighting plan is a must. Rather than relying on a single glaring source of light, try to layer your lighting to give your outdoor space a pleasing, gentle ambience. Functional lighting will be required for working areas such as above the grill and to light up countertops in your outdoor kitchen. Use downward facing lights for this to focus the beams onto your key areas without disturbing the more gentle ambient lighting. A fireplace or fire pit will bring soft, diffuse light perfect for creating a social atmosphere, but you can also use string lights or lanterns for this. Decorative lighting can be as simple as fairy lights woven into the branches of a nearby tree, or run along the support beams of your patio covering. More permanent decorative lighting can also be installed into fixtures such your outdoor bar, or be set up along the borders of the walkways connecting your NJ outdoor spaces.