A (small) Patio Retreat

By Nancy Kaller on Sep 01, 2021 at 09:14 PM in Articles
A (small) Patio Retreat

A (small) Patio Retreat

One of the perks of living in California is our weather. Whether it’s daytime or nighttime, your patio is a wonderful place to relax, read a book and simply chillax and recharge your batteries.

Here are some tips to create your space that is comfortable and functional and have your little outdoor oasis. Remember your space doesn’t have to be large to call it your own.  

Determine your wants and needs. What are you looking to do in your space? Will you want to enjoy eating, gardening, lounging with friends & family, cooking smores in a fire, or listening to the sound of a fountain? There are a lot of different functions that can be incorporated into your patio, so think long and hard as to what is most important to you and your space. Remember, it doesn’t have to be done all at once but do think about your space and how you will lay it out just as you do in your indoor living space.

When you start your project, start with the largest item first & work around that, or as in a smaller space, start with the center object first. For example, will the table be in the center, or the fire pit or fire table? Then the fun begins with shopping for furniture. Will it be lounge chairs, patio chairs, or perhaps a toadstool mushroom or two? Be sure and research the material that will stand up well in different forms of weather & that fits your needs & style. Here are a few different durable furniture frames to consider:  

  • Wrought Iron or Aluminum
  • Cast Aluminum or Wrought Aluminum
  • Wood
  • Stainless steel
  • Woven Wicker (Woven)


If you decided to go with fabric, be sure that it is quick-drying, UV, and stain-resistant. 

A fire pit or fire table? If a fire is something you are considering, a fire table tends to be more of an architectural piece, and you don’t need a gas line, you can use a propane canister. A fire pit is usually filled with sand, gravel, lava rocks, or even bricks, and wood is burned. Both a fire pit or a fire table use materials designed for the outside elements and if either table isn’t large enough, consider a portable cover so when not using the fire element, you can use it as a table for eating or playing games. Either fire element you decide on, you are sure to enjoy the heat it lets off, and don’t forget the smores!

Flowers and plants are a wonderful way to brighten up your space and can help cover up areas you don’t want to be seen, for example, electric cords, plugs, a hose, etc. Plants are usually less work to care for than flowers are. If you haven’t discovered succulents yet, you will be amazed at their striking forms, unusual colors, simplicity of care and they strive in sunny areas and require very little maintenance. Don’t forget about hanging plants too, just be sure they are out of the areas where you might bump your head on them.  

Water features or fountains come in many different sizes, designs, weights, and shapes. If your patio is square, consider having a multi-tiered fountain, or a wall fountain, or one that fits in the corner. The fountain could let off a bit of a splash so consider this when deciding on its location and don’t forget to add plants nearby so they benefit from the water droplets. Consider fiberglass fountains as they are strong, lighter in weight, and can look just like rocks. Imagine a 3-tier waterfall fountain with built-in LED lights and the stars sparkling above. 

Add your touch. Consider some outdoor lighting in the way of string lighting, battery-operated candles, a lighted tree, or solar-powered lights, any of these offer a beautiful nighttime glow. What about a nice umbrella or sunshade positioned just right over your area to offer shade and cover from the rain? One last thing, don’t forget about a Bluetooth device or WIFI extender for some ambient music. 

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This article is not intended to be exhaustive or a substitute for qualified legal advice. Laws and statutes are always subject to change and may vary by county or city. You are responsible for performing your research and complying with all laws applicable to your unique situation.

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