In the Midwest, people look to make their homes cozier. Here in Phoenix, people typically look for ways to make theirs a little cooler.
Whether you’re tired of hermitting in your air conditioned condo, or long for something more private than Aderra’s pool or picnic area, your patio can become the perfect escape from the heat. And sometimes making your patio a little chiller is just what you need to help you, well, cool down.
Here are a few ways you can transform your balcony or patio into a fun and useful extension of your condo suite for those sizzling hot days and nights.
1. Cover Up
Getting fresh air is great, but getting too much sun, less so. For shade, you can’t go wrong with a classic umbrella, and there are plenty of unique designs and fabrics. That said, a pergola can offer something more sturdy and permanent. Better yet, they offer more coverage so you can spend all day on the patio without risking a burn.
2. Maximize Your Seating
One way to maximize your seating is to use a combination of benches and chairs. Chairs can be a great way to carve out seating from an unused corner, and while benches are bulkier and more awkward to place, they can accommodate more people while sacrificing less square footage. And seating can be used for more than just sitting, benches with storage cabinets underneath offer both function and comfort. Multi-use pieces, like benches that double as tables or seating, are a great way to maximize the limited space available on your patio.
3. Stay Cozy
Even Arizona has a few cool nights now and again. A good solution? Outdoor textiles. There’s a huge variety of weatherproof, cozy, and stylish blankets available online these days. Not only will a nice blanket add a practical coziness to your patio, it can also brighten it up and act as decoration. If you’d like to take your outdoor art to the next level while celebrating local culture, you can try adding a Navajo woven piece to your patio decor. But be sure to bring it inside when you’re not using it, to keep it in good shape.
4. The Art of Decoration
Art isn’t just for indoors! Get (or make) some unique art to decorate your space with the same attention you give your living room. If you’re the creative type, consider painting rocks to add small bursts of colors. Bright rugs or furniture are other ways to incorporate color into your patio scheme. Try to find lawn art that reflects your style, as small sculptures and figures can add a lot of character with minimal effort.
5. Growing the Decor
Just because your patio is small doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a garden. Something as small as a fairy garden can liven up your small space. If you have vertical walls or trellises on your patio, vines or hanging gardens can create a lush atmosphere in no time. Window boxes may seem old-fashioned, but if your windows look out onto your patio, you’ll reap the rewards of your planters whether you’re inside or out.
6. Light it Up
There’s no reason to head indoors when the sun goes down. Find out what lights suit your style best and make your lighting a personal statement. Either way, a little lighting can go a long way towards extending your time and fun outside.
Whether you’re building a patio from scratch or looking to liven up the one you have, a cool patio can be key to staying cool in the warm weather. In a place like Phoenix, you don’t have to look far for inspiration. There are local companies dedicated to patio furniture, outdoor landscaping products, and outdoor art. At the end of the day, a patio should be comfortable enough to count as square footage.