Summer is finally here. Throughout New Hampshire, many homeowners are wondering if their patio is sufficient for their needs. From growing families that need more space to hang out and entertain to couples who love to host large parties for family and friends, it might be time for a patio makeover.
The first step when designing a patio is to decide where to put it. Many homeowners will assume the best location is straight off the back of the house. While it’s true that this is the most common place for it, we like to encourage them to consider other areas as well. What if that spot is too sunny or shady, or doesn’t offer a great view of the yard?
When choosing where to best place for a patio, we take into account all of these factors, as well as how the client intends to use the space. If they would like to sunbathe, a sunnier location will work fine; but if they want to entertain and cook, a spot with some high afternoon shade might be better. A modern patio design might look more like a series of connected rooms than a basketball court with tables.
A place for space. For people who entertain, it’s important to design a patio that will accommodate their guests. We remind our customers that most people have a “3 foot rule” when it comes to personal space. If they tend to host large gatherings with a dozen or more guests, a smaller patio will not be sufficient. In our years of designing patios, the biggest mistakes we see is a patio built too small for what it is going to be used for.
Generally, there are four patio types designed for the style of the user.
Bistro: This is a small and intimate space that’s great for just one or two people. Only about 6 or 7 feet in diameter; there is room for a small bistro table and two chairs.
Sundeck patios: This patio style is typically elevated, in a full sun location and close to the pool. It must be large enough to house chaise lounges, which are usually around 2 by 6 feet long.
Living Room: Inspired by tropical island getaways, the notion of an outdoor living patio design style has become popular even here in the chilly northeast. These could be partially covered with pergolas or roof and incorporate a fireplace or sound system. The furniture in this room is often a mixture of comfy chaise lounges and cushioned chairs, and make contain a few small drink tables.
Outdoor Dining: This ideal shape for this patio is a circular space because of the nature of the movement involved. If you’ve seen sidewalk cafes or outdoor dining areas, you’ll notice round tables that are four feet in diameter. Round tables help the wait staff to move more efficiently between tables. A patio designer usually allows for about 12 to 14 feet diameter per table. This gives ample space for circulation and provides some separation between conversations.
Here at Trimmers Landscaping, we pride ourselves on our outside-the-box approach to patio design. Whenever possible we like to create patio designs with diversity in mind. In order to make sure you have a good plan that meets all your needs, call our design department for a free consultation.