Guest Blogger #351, Entry #929, January 30, 2012
As unique as your personality is, so are designs and decorations for your outdoor patio. Are you a bird enthusiast who likes one side of the patio lined with bird feeders and flowers to attract hummers? Perhaps you want the focus to be a family patio with a fire pit to roast marshmallows. Most important to a premier chef is a stainless steel grill that does charcoal and propane, plus a matching storage cabinet to stash the extras. Be creative as you decorate these three distinct patio types: the traditional brick patio that is adjacent to your home, a patio deck and a nontraditional fishpond and gazebo combo.
Traditional Brick Patio
If you choose a brick patio, include a central fire pit, a three-foot high privacy brick wall and special rope lighting. The flooring itself is of patio brick, either uniformly or irregularly sized, depending on the look desired. The reddish brick retaining wall is stacked, layered and offset, which makes it ideal for placing a couple of sections of window box planters on top. These planters, filled with vines that trail, soften the look of the brick. Intersperse the vines with yellow and violet pansies and pink and purple petunias. Color the outside of the retaining wall with shrubs and hostas. Place fuchsias in freestanding hanging baskets. These red trumpet type blossoms along with red beebalm entice the most timid of the hummingbirds. A fountain to one side, glass block lighting on the top of the walls in the corners, and wrought iron furniture with similar style outdoor umbrellas gives your patio an elegant look.
Perhaps you prefer a deck, made of wood or composite decking, complete with railing and benches. You’ll never have to paint the composite decking; just wash it off! Build benches all around the sides of the deck, not just for people to sit on, but also for storage of barbeque accessories, cushions, or outdoor game equipment. While the stainless steel grill and cabinet sit to one side, the redwood patio furniture with cushions takes center stage. If a large group of friends gather, place the additional plastic chairs on the lawn. Put marigolds or short zinnias in planters by the sides of the benches and on top of the railings. For your evening glow, use torches, rope lighting or lanterns.
Be a little nontraditional and follow a brick pathway from the house, out and around a fishpond and over to a gazebo. Dot the pebble pathway and surrounding landscape with holly bushes, day lilies and small ornamental trees. Circle the pond of bright orange, black and white coy fish with green plants. Continue the patterned brick way up to a screened-in gazebo. Decorate the gazebo with bright annuals on the outside and attractive wicker furniture on the inside. Paint some simple wooden Adirondack chairs and put them here and there along the pathway. These particular chairs go with any casual patio setting and seem to invite family fun. They can be painted in stripes, flowers, polka dots, cut-up summer fruits and even red, white and blue.
Kelly writes for Patio Shoppers, focusing on patio design using outdoor furnishings.
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