A beautiful space is wasted if you can’t enjoy it. Adding an attractive cover to your backyard patio can be a smart investment to ensure that you, your family, and your guests can enjoy the space no matter what the elements throw at it. No one wants to sit in the scorching sun, so anything that creates shade is a win when it comes to patio design. What’s more, a shady spot makes relaxation truly possible. Just like you have a reading nook indoors, why not create a small nook outdoors. Building or adding a structure that increases the shade factor will also protect furniture, as the sun’s rays often bleach wood and disintegrate plastic. Plus, no one wants to sit in a hot tub under the hot sun.
Designers know this, of course, and have shade solutions for any budget and space—from expansive overhangs to shade sails to whimsical outdoor umbrellas that would make Slim Aarons jealous. Adding a gazebo, domed ceiling, timber or prefabricated covering are other ideas that stretch the imagination. For a more Old World feel, choose a pergola, trellis or trellis to create a structure for cascading plants – such as wisteria, vines or climbing roses – to hold.
Covered patios offer homeowners the opportunity to play around with materials and textures. Bamboo structures give your space a tropical vibe, but if you add some black paint, you have a modern twist. Adding outdoor fabric and curtains can make an area feel more contained and secluded, creating an outdoor extension of your indoor living space. Some designers even use outdoor fabric on the ceiling to create an almost palatial aesthetic. This design can also offer protection from natural elements such as rain and wind, meaning you don’t have to rush inside when a few drops fall on your coziness.
A covered patio can often provide a surface on which to mount creature comforts such as a ceiling fan. Fans are also a great way to keep pesky bugs, such as mosquitoes and flies away. The hum of the fan’s white noise can drown out disturbances such as traffic, lawnmowers and loud neighbors. A covered patio often allows for a wider variety of lighting options. Most designers agree that good lighting is essential for any space. Opting for lighting that doesn’t require wiring makes it tenant-friendly, and it’s not something that should be overlooked outside. Use the patio cover as an opportunity to try something dramatic like a chandelier or a series of pendant lights that can act as a focal point. Simple string lights add a little whimsy and a touch of festivity.
Covered areas help protect outdoor furniture such as couches, chairs, coffee tables and other pieces in your living area from rain and other natural elements—and in turn, mold and mildew. This allows you to add more beautiful seating options, and gives you the opportunity to explore the best outdoor furniture stores and purchase accessories that complement the backyard landscape.
For those looking to save on makeover expenses, look no further than large outdoor umbrellas. They are a budget-friendly solution that doesn’t require a huge investment, and actually give you more flexibility since these patio covers are portable. From a design perspective, you have plenty of outdoor umbrella options to suit every style—fringe, tassels, canvas, even weatherproof lace—to dress up your patio space. Plus, unlike interior design, the sky is literally the limit when brainstorming covered patio design ideas. So dream big.