Your Wisconsin backyard is your personal escape, but is it everything you want? If you’re like most families, you want to enjoy every evening after work right at home. In fact, a 2016 AIA survey found that 69 percent of architecture firms were seeing increased investment in outdoor living spaces from their customers.
With the right touches, like gorgeous furniture, kitchens, water features and more, your outdoor space can become a haven from daily life. Here are some ideas to inspire your own unique patio space:
Today’s manufacturing techniques have opened up new possibilities for outdoor furnishings. Not only have choices for upholstery expanded, but so have options for furniture itself. One upcoming trend is for patio chairs and sofas to have mixed materials, combining steel with wood, for example. Another wave is a return to wicker-look furniture, combining retro styles with updated quality. Synthetic styles like resin wicker can provide the same fashion as traditional wicker, but is longer-lasting and weather resistant. Formed concrete is another popular choice for strong, durable outdoor furniture with modern style. Traditional wood patio tables and chairs continue to be popular, as is wrought iron, another classic look.
When it comes to color, the usual neutral tones of beige and gray are still out in force, but so are updated looks in a splash of options ranging from calm to fiery. Pantone’s color of the year, “Greenery,” is a great choice for a fresh, but not overpowering look. Learn more about home color trends for 2017.
Lighting Sets the Mood
Outdoor space featuring unique lighting.
When it starts to get dark, patio lighting can help create a magical environment for your outdoor space. Some ideas for adding light to your area include hanging string lights off of an arbor or trees.
Installing LED or fiber optic lighting underneath furniture or your deck creates a sleek effect that your neighbors will envy, and cordless or battery-powered lamps are an easy way to provide extra light to areas where you need it most. If you want to go green, solar is a great option for powering different lighting options including patio lights, post lights along pathways to step lighting, and spot lighting for water features and ponds.
Cooking Areas Are A Focal Point
Outdoor cooking space set-up.
Just as your kitchen is a gathering place inside, an outdoor kitchen can be the standout feature for your patio. Instead of a stand-alone grill, add countertops and a small refrigerator to make space for food preparation and beverage storage, creating a more complete look. An island or bar can serve as an extra area for your family or guests to gather while food is cooking. Some homes even have luxuries like pizza ovens and full bars.
Amenities for Increased Comfort
In the summer, bugs and lack of breeze can be a problem in some areas of Wisconsin. If either are an issue in your backyard, try a large outdoor fan to keep mosquitos and other bugs away while providing refreshing air circulation at the same time. Wind screens are also a great way to block the wind and bugs from ruining your patio experience. Many consider a water feature for increasing the beauty of your outdoor space and helping create a serene environment.
Entertain With Outdoor Activities
To keep your family and guests entertained outside, set up a few outdoor games with appeal for all ages – from giant games of chess to classics like horseshoes and croquet. Hot tubs can be used year-round if placed on the right part of your patio and protected from the elements. Of course, nothing beats a pool for enjoyment during warm months, and that alone may make your backyard “party central” during summer. Keep the outdoor fun going with music. Options abound for spreading your tunes across the backyard, with speakers that are wireless or wired, hidden and disguised as part of your landscaping, or out in the open.
Add Gathering Points And Warmth
There are many ways to make your outdoor space truly enjoyable during cool evenings or variable weather. One traditional idea is an outdoor fire pit or fireplace, which come in lots of different styles from simple iron pits to elaborate setups with built-in seating. To heat a larger area or provide more even warmth around the perimeter of your space, infrared or stand-up propane-powered patio heaters work well. Even better, standing heaters can add style and not just function.
Example of a patio space that features a grand entrance.
Hinged or French-Style Patio Doors
Hinged doors are highly customizable. Depending on your space, choose from two doors that swing open from the middle, one swinging door with a second fixed door or just a single hinged door. And, hinged patio doors are not just for traditional home designs anymore. Pella’s new Architecht Series® Contemporary line offers doors in sleek finishes with minimalist hardware and modern grill patterns. If safety is a concern, Pella’s multipoint locking system secures the door at the top, middle, and bottom-helping give you piece of mind.
Multi-Slide Patio Doors
Multi slide patio door example.
If you’re trying to maximize views of your backyard escape from inside, a multi-slide door may be the right patio door for you. With plenty of combinations to choose from, multi-slide doors can open from one side or in the middle. Tracks can be straight, meet at a 90-degree angle or curved adding design flexibility. Truly integrate your indoor and outdoor spaces by combining up to 10 panels creating a wall of windows and a wide open scenic view. Pella’s Scenescape Patio Doors’ unique lift-and-slide function lifts panels off the track with a turn of a handle allowing the panels to easily roll open or closed.
Sliding Patio Doors
Sliding patio doors are a common patio door type because they offer a wide variety of materials and price points. In addition, they are space savers, allowing you to place furniture and plants nearby. Multiple screen options, including Pella’s self-closing InView® or Rolscreen® retractable screens, allow you to enjoy warm Wisconsin summer breezes. Sliding patio doors come in single, double and triple panes to fit your budget and energy efficiency needs, depending on where your patio door is located.
Patio door featuring window treatments.
Accessorize With Hardware, Grilles And Window Treatments
Not only can you customize the materials and colors of your patio doors, but you can take it a step further with hardware and grill options that reflect your personal style.
If you’re concerned about finding the right window treatments for your doors, Pella offers snap-in between-the-glass shades that control light while providing privacy and convenience when it comes to cleaning and operating your door. With Pella’s exclusive Insynctive® Technology, you can open and close blinds and shades with the touch of the button and monitor the status of your door to see if it’s secure.
There’s no time like the present to start planning your unique Wisconsin patio space. With all of the tips here and your own style and imagination, you can truly make your backyard your family’s getaway for relaxation and fun this year.
Let our consultants help you select the perfect door for your patio project. Contact us to schedule a consultation, visit our showrooms in Appleton, Brookfield, Green Bay, and Madison, or call us at 800-242-1008.