Chi/Complements Home Interiors

Summer is short and oh-so-sweet in Central Oregon. We like to make the most of these warm, luscious days and evenings. Barbecuing, entertaining friends on the patio, a game of corn-hole, sitting by the fire pit, these are the things that make long summer nights so special. Creating a patio to take advantage of your space is not difficult, but it does take planning.

It can help to hire a landscape designer to measure your yard and patio to draw it to scale. Then, thoughtfully play with different layouts adding all the elements you want to include — table, chairs, sofa, barbecue and fire pit — so that your space will accommodate what you have in mind. How many people will you be entertaining? Do you want an outdoor sofa and coffee table, or would a fire pit with built-in seating suffice for lounging with your friends?

If you’re adding a fire pit with natural gas, make sure to consult a licensed plumber about what kind of piping is needed and any permits that may be required.

If you’re adding an outdoor kitchen with a sink, refrigerator and ice maker, be sure to check on where your water source is. An outdoor kitchen will also need electrical outlets and a permit to install them.

Finally, think about lighting. Will it be permanent and dramatically illuminate parts of your landscaping and patio, discretely illuminate a private seating area, or be temporary like twinkle lights?

These are the practical considerations of patio design. The fun comes in when you add your style in choosing furniture, lighting fixtures, colors and finishing touches.

Usually not a short-term project, it can take months to come up with the perfect plan. Be patient so you can reap the rewards of your outdoor living space!