Spring is already here and as summer is coming you are looking forward to the time when you are going to spend most of your free time outside – in the garden, around the pool or on the patio. This, however, means that you have to take care of your outdoor recreational area. No matter if you are planning to build a new patio from the scratch or just renovate and refresh your existing one, here are some smart ideas that can inspire you.
Patio or porch – what is the difference
Have you ever wondered what the difference between patio and porch is? There are a few main features that differentiate these outdoor spaces. The main one is that a porch is part of your house and leads to one of the entrances (either front or back), while the patio is not part of your home's structure and can be located anywhere. Generally the porch is in front of the house, while the patio is on the back or next to it but this is not a strict rule. In the majority of the cases the porch is covered and often screened in and it follows the elevation of the house, meaning that you might have to climb a few steps to enter a porch. The patio, on the other hand, can be either covered or not and is paved with tiles, brick, concrete or gravel as a separation from the surrounding grass or soil. Both porches and patios feature different types of furniture and many patios are preferred place for outdoor dining and are even equipped with an outdoor kitchen.
In a nutshell it can be wrapped up that a porch usually comes with the original construction of the house, while a patio can be added at any point later.
Several steps leading to a front porch, clearly belonging to a group of cats.
Rocking chairs on a front porch.
Domestic items stored on a back porch.
Patio, covered with natural stone tiles, wooden furniture and beautiful view.
Covered patio, featuring an outdoor kitchen.
Backyard patio with a chicken coop.
The Best Patio Tiles
If you are planning to build or redecorate your patio, we strongly recommend that you start by choosing the best flooring. You can opt for different types of paving – tiles, concrete, bricks, wood or gravel, depending on the size and purpose of your patio and the rest of your exterior design. One of the smartest solutions is to choose natural stone tiles for your outdoor patio since they are very durable and resilient and blend well with the rest of the exterior. There is a variety of natural stone that you can pick up from for your design. Some of the most popular solutions include grey granite tiles since this stone is the hardest and least porous of all and can withstand adverse weather conditions. If grey is not your favourite shade you can opt for other colour as granite comes in variety of nuances. Another good suggestion for an outdoor project are slate tiles as they are extremely water-resistant and easy to maintain. Besides no two tiles are alike and this creates nice outlook of any flooring. Limestone and travertine tiles are also suitable for patio decking, however these stones are a bit softer compared to the others. Last but not least marble is also an excellent solution for a patio. Be careful, however, and choose honed surfaces since it is quite slippery, which can be dangerous in wet weather. Bear in mind that all natural stone tiles that are used outdoors should be properly sealed in order to last longer.
Varieties of patio furniture
There are three main factors that you should consider when choosing your patio furniture – that it is beautiful, comfortable and long-lasting. Cheap plastic furniture, of course, can always be a temporary decision but we suggest that you consider these three materials when decorating your patio – iron, aluminum and wicker.
1. Iron furniture comes in different shapes and designs and will last several decades if properly kept. It might be a bit expensive but the investment is worth it since it is solid, stylish and can match any idea you have. You can opt simply for a table with couple of chairs or unleash your imagination. The one downside of iron furniture is that it rusts easily therefore it is advisable to cover it when not in use and even keep it inside (if possible) during the winter months. It is a very good idea to treat it with water resistant paste wax which will prevent the iron from rusting.
Wrought iron chair and table.
Patio with iron furniture and a small garden next to it.
2. Aluminum furniture is yet another excellent decision for decorating your patio. It is durable and resists rust and comes in many designs and colours - from neutral grey to white. The material has come a long way since its application as pool furniture in the 1970s and is now a modern and sophisticated decoration for any outdoor project.
Cast iron aluminum furniture.
White aluminum furniture for decorating a patio.
3. Wicker furniture is the eternal classic for outdoor use. It is easy to maintain and quite resilient. Wicker is available in numerous colours and designs and the furniture made of it is so light that it can be easily rearranged or moved inside during bad weather.
Wicker dining table with chairs.
Lighter wicker furniture.
White wicker rocking chair and a set of coffee tables.
You can, of course, opt for wooden furniture or items made of natural stone if this will add up better with the overall idea of your home, garden and patio.
A small patio with simple furniture and decoration.
Once you are ready with the overall idea of your patio it is time to have fun adding up a few touches and highlights here and there. You can choose cushions in different colours that you can change depending on the weather, the guests you are welcoming or simply to match your mood. Some candles or flowers in hand-decorated pots can also be a beautiful addition to your outdoor oasis. The limit is only your imagination!