Perfect Your Patio for San Diegan Summer
Posted in Outdoor spaces on May 22, 2018
We know that it may feel like Spring just sprung, but sweet summertime is quickly approaching! For us lucky San Diegans, sunshine is typically a year-round luxury but there’s something unique about June, July and August – longer days and warmer nights that seem to simply scream for outdoor entertaining! There’s no better place for the perfect summer party than your home’s patio. Before you fire up that grill and round up your friends, you may want to prep your patio for a summer of get togethers, ensuring you and your family can enjoy all that your outdoor space has to offer. We’ll show you how to not only freshen up your patio but upgrade it for optimal enjoyment, all summer long.
Before you pile on your patio usage, check in! Survey the space for any areas that may be in need of attention – whether you find a cracked foundation or loose board in your outdoor space, you can tend to any potential issues right away, ensuring you’re all set for smoothing sailing in the summer months.
Don’t be afraid to reach for the broom, pressure hose or power washer! You may not have shown your patio prime TLC lately but a good thorough cleaning will leave your space glistening and guest ready!
Concrete Patios: If your outdoor space is completely concrete, consider sweeping off the patio before hosing it down with a nozzled garden hose or pressure washer! Using a bristle brush can help you tackle tough stains, and a degreaser can remove oily spots near your grill! Avoid a wire brush to ensure you aren’t left with any stains or scratches on your concrete surface! If the concrete needs a little extra love, reach for the Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid!
Natural Stone Patios: If your outdoor space is made of natural stone or flagstone, your cleaning process is fairly similar. You’ll also want to start with hosing off the patio, scrubbing any stains with a dishwashing liquid. Should you find any dark brown or black spots on your patio in particularly shady or damp areas, consider scrubbing them with a solution of water and bleach. Additionally, if your flagstone patio calls for a bit more attention, you may want to opt for power washing with a solution of 10 percent bleach in water to break up any stains, bacteria, or dark spots!
Manufactured Paving Stones: This low-maintenance option makes patio clean up a breeze! Simply blast off any surface debris with a garden hose, and you’re ready to welcome summer!
Hit the Lights!
Never underestimate the power of outdoor lighting. A simple strip or two of outdoor string lights can elevate your outdoor space to feel like pure magic. There is something about that glow coupled with a warm, hazy, summer night that has our hearts a flutter! Often referred to market or festival lights, these versatile strands of sparkle come in LED or incandescent varieties that when hung suspended over a space such as an outdoor patio, cast a gorgeous glow. Don’t just take our word for it, install these outdoor patio lights this weekend and watch your space transform before your eyes. The added illumination and ambiance will elevate your entire patio!
Aesthetic: Most string light patterns will work beautifully in your patio, so choosing this first step is purely up to aesthetics. Do you want your strings to drape and dangle, or do you want them taught? Some prefer the lights hung in a straight line for optimal lighting while others want the romantic, draped effect.
Length: Before the installation process can begin, you’ll want to estimate the length needed, as well as identify your anchors. We recommend measuring the space you’d like to illuminate, taking into consideration the reach for an electrical source. When you’re measuring, kind in mind that if you’ve decided on the draped look, part of what makes string lights so stunning is the natural curve and weight created, so consider adding 2-6 feet of length to account for that.
Anchors: You will want to use anchor points such as a fence, tree, rooftop, or even some strategically placed wooden posts to ‘anchor’ your strands of lights. If your patio space doesn’t offer such anchors, consider creating your own by cementing posts or poles into planter boxes or flower pots: voila! A hanging surface with added charm that can help define the space!
- If you aren’t ready to add full string lights to your patio or space, consider draping them across some plants, wrapping a tree, or even piling them into a glass vase for that gorgeous glowing effect!
No doubt that the summer months in San Diego are some of the most beautiful around, but that strong sun can turn up the heat on your patio space. You can provide cooling shade to your patio space that will upgrade the aesthetic and keep your guests comfortable
- Shade Sail: These versatile patio covers offer shade and UV protection which can be crucial (and cooling) in these upcoming summer months. They’re made from knitted polyethylene fabric and offer a great solution to those sun-conscious San Diegans looking to enjoy their patio all summer long. They often come in square or triangle shapes, a great variety of color and sizing, and can be installed on any structure or pole. Installing a shade sail is a low-cost (and minimal effort required!) way to turn your patio into a cooler outdoor space.
- Quality Patio Umbrella: Get the most of your outdoor space with a high-quality patio umbrella, perfect for providing relief on those hot summer days. Before selecting the ideal umbrella for your space, take into consider how much room you have for a fully extended umbrella. You will want to decide if you want a crank or push umbrella – crank umbrellas are easy to raise and lower, while push umbrellas require a bit more effort to manually lock and adjust. Other factors that you’ll want to consider are ensuring your new patio umbrella is both UV and water-resistant, so you can count on it for many summers! When it comes to sizing, most canopies have a diameter of about 6 feet to 14 feet, so considering the space you’d like to be shaded, you’ve can offer welcome reprieve from that sun with this simple update! Don’t be afraid to make a statement with a pattern or pop of color, consider your patio umbrella to be like your living room rug – it can be a key piece that unifies the space.
- Patio-Dwelling Trees: The original shade throwers – trees! Even a 6-10 foot tree will provide the perfect amount of cooling for you and your guests. You’ll want to select a container with enough heft to stabilize the tree, and you can even consider adding a wheeled base for shade mobility! Wondering what trees to consider? Japanese maples or Sweet Shade trees are both wonderful options that will grow well in San Diego climate! While this option isn’t as instantaneous as the above two, putting a bit of effort into your patio landscaping could be a great investment of time should you plan on entertaining year round!
Add a Rug
Adding a rug to your patio can give an elongating effect, making the space feel like a warm, outdoor extension to your home. Often made of long-lasting materials that will hold up against traditional wear, tear, and staining, you can find an outdoor rug in just about any style under the sun.
- Consider the space of your patio and select a rug that will help define the space
- Generally, the rug should be at least 2 feet wider than your outdoor dining table
- Opt for a size large enough so that the front legs of all major pieces of patio furniture can be placed on the rug
When it comes to adding an outdoor rug to your patio, consider choosing brighter summer colors to add warmth and charm to your space!
Pillows for a Pop
If you’re looking for an easy and affordable way to give your patio a bit of a perk-up, consider buying new outdoor pillows pre-summer! You can find endless options of pillows, perfect for your patio. Be sure that they’re filled with poly-fiber and not feathers, that way they can withstand a bit more than their indoor cousins. Often found in sun and stain resistant fabric options, outdoor pillows can give your patio furniture an upgraded look, with minimal effort!
Add a Bar Cart
If your outdoor space doesn’t have a built-in bar, don’t let your dreams of summer entertaining sizzle out! Meet your new summer soulmate: the bar cart. Essentially, a portable bar on wheels, bar carts will make entertaining easier than ever – having a place where you and your guests can grab drinks, utensils, or whatever summer necessity you see fit!
- When styling a bar cart, consider stocking it based on your entertainment needs! Wheel your bar cart out for al-fresco dining, complete with utensils and water glasses or pour patio-side with a cart stocked with your favorite cocktail ingredients!
No Fly Zone
With all of the delights that summer brings, flys and mosquitos certainly aren’t on the list. These annoying, obnoxious and even harmful pests can put a damper on any outdoor evening, so let’s be proactive! There are plenty of insect repellents that can actually work beautifully within your patio space to ensure you and your guests can enjoy the space, in peace.
- Mosquito Repellent Lamps: Often used as an LED lamp, these bug repellents contain allethrin, a synthetic form of a natural insecticide. It will deter 98% of mosquitoes and flies, without any flame to worry about.
- Citronella Candles: This option is one that you are probably already familiar with, but did you know that there are actually dozens of options when it comes to ‘citronella’? Today, there are endless varieties of citronella-based candles or even tiki torches to keep pests away!
Clean Your Grill
Now, for the star of the show! The grill, summer’s most prized possession. Before we fire it up, let’s make sure everything is set up for success!
Gas Grill: You’ll want to start your grill cleaning with the exterior, using warm soapy water and a sponge. Dry with a clean rag, and use a non-lint terry cloth and glass cleaner to remove any smoke stains. If your gas grill is stainless steel, using a stainless-steel cleaner and a microfiber towel to avoid scratches. Now you’re ready to clean out the bars and grates! Brush them with a stainless-steel grill brush and wipe clean with a rag, making sure to clean out any debris. If you didn’t clean out the bottom tray after you finished grilling last, empty it out now. Once you’ve completed the cleaning process, close the lid and turn the grill on for high for 20 minutes. This ensures you’re burning off any debris that can cause food sticking.
Charcoal Grill: Again, you’ll want to start your grill cleaning with the exterior lid and bowl, with soapy water and a sponge. Any grease or smoke stains on the exterior can be tended to using a non-lint terry cloth and glass cleaner. Now let’s peek inside. If you see any ‘peeling’, that’s most likely carbonized grease. A stainless-steel grill brush will tackle this buildup without scratching. Follow that up with warm soapy water and a sponge, then rinse. You can use the stainless steel brush with warm, soapy water to clean out the cooking grate, as well. Remove all debris from the cooking grate and charcoal grate, using a small paint scraper if need be.
- Don’t forget to refill that propane tank!
Your beautiful patio is prepped, perfected, upgraded and ready to entertain your loved ones all summer long. Whether you decided to add a few special touches to elevate the area, or simply spruced up your existing space for a summer of patio parties, you are all set for a wonderful, San Diego summer.