In these challenging times, many people are feeling the pressure of being stuck at home. You can make the most of the experience with a few upgrades to your outdoor living spaces, and transform your backyard into a staycation-worthy retreat. Here’s our tips for creating patios perfect for staying home in Dublin OH.


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Before you start designing a patio renovation, first consider what it would take to get you and your family to use and enjoy the space more. What’s missing, that you wish you had? Does the layout work for traffic flow and the activities that are taking place? Does your patio lack shelter? Is it too exposed, and too noisy to be a cozy retreat? Does it need a focal point that magnetically draws everyone to it (like an outdoor kitchen or fireplace)? Is the lighting up to the job, or does the fun have to end when the sun goes down?


Once you’ve decided on your patio’s must-haves in terms of “doing” and “being,” consider the design. Just because people are together, it doesn’t mean they want to do the same things at the same time; having outdoor “rooms” or clearly defined zones, will let people enjoy the space in their own way.


Do you need a complete patio overhaul with a new layout and new pavers, or would an addition give you the space you need? A well-designed patio doesn’t have to be huge. However, there has to be some definition when it comes to activities. 


There are two ways to approach this. One is to designate specific areas to various activities in an open-design patio (placing the cooking and dining area against one side, or in one corner, to avoid getting in the way of people trying to relax). 


The other approach is to add on to your patio. This addition could be the perfect spot for a fire pit or dining area. This approach can open up the main patio space for various activities and segregate more active pursuits like games from areas designed for dining or relaxation. 


If your patio is already spacious and you want to keep the existing pavers, you could create outdoor “rooms” using seat walls, masonry planters, arbors, or even a permanent shade structure like a pergola. 


Shelter is important and it will encourage you to use your patio more. No more dashing indoors because of a sudden shower, or going from comfortable to broiling as the afternoon sun heats things up. A pergola will shield you from the sun and keep you cool as hot air rises up through the open roof. However, it won’t protect you from rain so if you enjoy being outdoors (but not soaked) on a rainy day, consider a gazebo or pavilion.


Make your backyard feel like a true retreat by adding privacy. It’s no fun to relax in a fishbowl! Living walls give you the most natural visual separation but these take time to grow in unless you invest in mature plants; wood privacy fences are a great option and they can be dressed up with hanging planters to soften the look and add a vertical dimension. 


Special features are what really takes a patio from ordinary to staycation-worthy. A fire feature brings people together. Water adds a much-needed element of tranquility whether it’s a chic water wall, a fountain, a boulder-lined waterfall or a pond.  


Finally, outdoor lighting puts the finishing touches on your new space, creating a safe and welcoming patio, and bringing attention to special features like a cool old tree or a masonry fireplace.


Related: Making a Paver Patio as Safe as Possible in Dublin, OH