With the summer in full swing, it’s important to maximize your outdoor area. Patios, courtyards, and balconies may have limited or unique spaces, but that doesn’t have to limit the opportunities for using every valuable inch. From multipurpose furniture that solves space issues to retractable canopy systems that solve heat issues, here are five creative ways to make your patio more inviting this summer.
Fit Your Furniture
Comfortable seating and functional tables are a must for patios and balconies, but they need to work for the space. Commercial properties with larger expanses of space to fill can use big, oversized pieces, but smaller areas should take a different approach. Consider multipurpose pieces – such as ottomans that double as seats or gas firepits that have table space. If the design calls for lower tables, like coffee tables, make sure they’re sturdy enough for guests to perch on the sides.
Be Creative with Placement
Play with different layouts in your smaller spaces to see what works best but mind the path guests will use to enter and exit the space. If they have to climb over each other, your space will be less inviting.
For large spaces, creative placement becomes a key for keeping guests flowing through the area. Guests gravitate towards seating areas, groupings of tables, and decorative features (like water fountains or fireplaces). A well-designed layout will prevent all the guests from being packed into one small space. Afraid guests won’t see the furniture groupings in the far corners? Use brightly colored pillows and accents to catch their attention.
Help Them Be Cool
If guests can’t find a shady spot to hide from the heat, they’ll be hesitant to opt for the patio or balcony. The challenge? Getting far-reaching shade without losing the warming morning rays or the twinkle of the stars at night. Retractable structures and shades solve that exact dilemma. Extend the shade at a push of a button when the sun gets hot but retract it when you don’t need it!
If rain showers or mosquitos are concerns, retractable structures are the answers. For large spaces and small ones alike, it’s all about choosing the right retractable structure for your needs and your patio.
Be Warm to Your Guests
If you hear “it’s too cool outside, I think” more often than you’d like, it may be time to consider heating options. From free-standing propane heaters to gas firepits to soft & cozy blankets, keeping your guests comfortable is a must. For those properties in cooler climates, you may consider pairing an infrared heating system with your retractable structures to trap some of the heat and more efficiently warm the space.
Light the Mood
Lighting is arguably the most important way to set the mood of a space. Cool and bright lighting will keep people alert, while warm and soft lighting will let them relax. Your lighting design depends on your brand personality and goals for your patio. From candlelight to strings of café lights to LED lighting, your options are vast. Pro tip: if you choose a dimly lit setting for your restaurant patio, consider using menu covers with built in flashlights. Guests will appreciate your help in avoiding the embarrassing cell phone flashlight.
Are Retractable Canopy Systems Right for Your Commercial Property?
At Retractable Structures (a division of Eide Industries, Inc.), we specialize in designing, manufacturing, and engineering commercial retractable structures and awnings. With almost 80 years of extensive design, construction, metal fabrication, industrial sewing, and installation experience, we are proud to offer the highest quality custom and pre-engineered products possible, made right here in the U.S.