The long hours of daylight and the early morning sun. Cooling off in the lake mist. The smells of sunscreen and freshly mown lawns. Yes, it sure is easy to be a Canadian in summer.
For most of Canada, the summer months mean spending as many minutes as possible outdoors before winter returns for another hockey season. And for home owners, the best way to make the most of this warm window of time is to set up the perfect patio space.
Give yourself a head start with these backyard inspirations. The following list of outdoor furniture will help transform your backyard ideas into a real-life relaxation destination.
Veg Out or Visit: Outdoor Seating
By far the most important part of a good patio set is having comfortable seating. But patio seats aren’t meant for just a minute or two; they need to remain cozy for hours at a time.
For that reason, the best lounging furniture is often generously padded with moisture-resistant foam, fibre patting and UV-resistant polyester fabric.
Want to soak up a few summer rays while reading a magazine? Loungers give you a poolside experience and can be moved with ease to find the best spot in the sun or shade.
These are patio sets that let you play around with the pieces to find the best arrangement for your backyard. If you like to mix up your look a lot, then you’ll love a modular patio set. Combine two corner chairs to make a loveseat, or add on the matching ottoman and convert your loveseat into a sectional.
For many, the real appeal of outdoor furniture is the chance to sit around and visit with friends and family. Conversation sets are outdoor furniture packages with two chairs, a loveseat and a coffee table. But really, anything that invites a relaxed afternoon discussion outdoors would do.
Go Under Covers: Umbrellas and Gazebos
What do you do when the sun gets too hot or the sky starts dripping like a leaky tap?
The inventors of the parasol had the right idea. A patio umbrella with a tilting feature lets the shade follow you around all afternoon, protecting you from heat stroke and harsh UV rays. You don’t even need a table. Just use a base to hold the umbrella in place and you’ve got instant shade when you need it around your lounge chair or dining area.
But if you have more ambitious plans for your backyard oasis, don’t overlook the gazebo. These freestanding structures preserve the cool summer breeze while providing you with a shady spot to set up an outdoor meal. If you want to dress up the inside to be worthy of a travelling sultan, complete the look with an outdoor rug and patio seating.
Turn up the Heat: Fire Tables
Patio season isn’t all about lounging in 30-degree heat. Sometimes the best moments are spent on chilly fall nights, sharing a blanket with a loved one and looking up at the stars.
If you want the fire pit experience without the noxious smoke, smelly clothes and hole dug into your backyard, then a fire table is your perfect solution. While fire pits use wood, fire tables use propane to create heat, which rises from a bowl of lava rocks in the form of a beautiful flame. Municipalities with open fire restrictions may consider these a suitable alternative, too. Not only do fire tables keep you cozy while creating an intimate ambiance, but they can be moved around the backyard to wherever they’re most desired.
Bring the Feast Outdoors: Patio Dining
Pitchers of mojitos, steaks fresh off the grill, trays of clubhouse appetizers – what good is outdoor lounging if you can’t whet your appetite?
Whether you’re looking for an intimate meal for two, four or six, an outdoor dining table is the way to go. Just remember these two tips to get the most out of your outdoor meal:
- Set up citronella candles to ward off bugs.
- Dont linger – The outdoor breeze might cool your food down faster.
Sometimes you just need a place to put down your glass, or reach for some chips and dip between stories. Coffee tables go great with outdoor patio sets. Sometimes an ottoman can be a suitable substitution, giving you an extra seat or spot to rest your feet or place trays of food.
Of course, no venture into the great outdoors is quite complete without the king of outdoor accessories: the barbecue. Propane, charcoal or natural gas, don’t forget your novelty apron while grilling your hot dogs and kebabs.
Protect Your Investment: Patio Set Covers
No one gets energized at the thought of a big chore. So you might feel less inclined to race back into patio mode if the first thing waiting for you after winter was a major cleanup. Caked-on dirt, snow mould and water spots – who needs it? Not to mention snow and frozen conditions slowly wearing down the colour and fabric quality.
That’s why the perfect patio accessory is one that minimizes work and maximizes relaxation: a patio cover.
For around $60, you can get a weatherproofed, PVC-coated cover to protect your patio set. When the warm weather returns, pop it off and wipe what minimal dust is left on the furniture frame. And it works just as well for covering everything up while you’re away for the holidays or expecting a summer storm. So consider a patio cover as a worthwhile investment to get an extra year or two out of your existing set.
Not everyone has the benefit of escaping outdoors during the hot summer months. When that’s the case, a portable air conditioner can be your best friend. Unlike a recirculated air fan, a portable air conditioner can cool (or heat) up to 700 square feet, as well as act as a dehumidifier.
No matter how you decide to cool off, The Brick wants to help you get the most of Canada’s summer season!