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Backyard Patio Retreat

Since we have been stuck in the house for several months due to the COVID-19 crisis, everyone is now running outside to enjoy the warm weather.  But some of you may not be happy with how your outdoor porches look.  As the crisis continues, we will want to enjoy our backyard while being required to “Safer in Place”. Houzz website states that there are 6 trends they are seeing online: Pergolas, Outdoor Kitchens, Fire Pits, Outdoor Fireplaces and Courtyards.  So maybe this is the time to spruce up your backyard retreat.


Pergolas are stand-alone coverings outdoors—a roof over the patio. This open structure makes a stone patio feel more defined as an outdoor room. The glow from the lights hung overhead make it a wonderful place for an evening dinner.  Pergolas are constructed of many types of materials.  Metal, pre-treated wood, even a sail can provide shade and define the space. It can be a dreamy space under a pergola with wispy curtains, hanging lights, candles and comfortable furniture and make it a romantic backyard.  A simple shade sail provides privacy from the neighbors and shelter from the sun.  An unused patch of grass can become a shaded dining area that leads to an outdoor lounge. A stand-alone pergola with a substantial roof can help define the space in your yard along with providing shelter from the sun and rain.

Do you have a balcony or porch which is too small or lacks an overhang for shelter?  Maybe this is the time to remedy that issue.  Pergolas and roof extensions can create an urban oasis by treating the space as a room.

Too Hot and Too Small Roof Extension and a Privacy Wall

Wide Porch but Roof Extension

No Roof Extension for Shade


You probably have a lonely grill in your backyard, but you have dreamed about having a full outdoor kitchen.  The outdoor kitchen trend popped up in the most popular surveys.  This is a trend for many families while “Staying in Place” due to the COVID-19 crisis. Outdoor kitchens have evolved into an extension of the home’s living space. Many people want to have the same conveniences they have inside. People are getting serious about their custom outdoor kitchens, which provide amenities such as pizza ovens, wet bars, fireplaces, side burners, smokers, warming drawers, roasting spits, sinks, counter space, refrigerators and cabinets.  If you have a pergola, the outdoor kitchen is usually located under it along with dining furniture.


Fire Pits are intimate outdoor spaces with seating provided by a low circular wall or chairs and designed to encourage people to gather together and have a cozy conversation.  The proximity to the house makes it an inviting spot for an after-dinner hang-out. Gathering around the fire, you and your guests will be able to relax outside well into the night without freezing your toes off.  And who can resist the chance to have s'mores, hot dogs and anything else you can roast over an open fire. For smaller patios and decks, built-ins can be a blessing. A little space off the perimeter makes room for many more people than a group of chairs would and there is plenty of room for everyone to scoot in and get warm. A gas fire pit can also be a dramatic focal point at night even when you are not sitting around it.


While they throw out the same heat as a fire pit, an outdoor fireplace offers a patio setting. Built-in fire pits can go modern or traditional, depending on the materials, while fire bowls run the gamut from sleek and modern to rustic hammered metal. Outdoor fireplaces typically have a more traditional look and are a great way to anchor an outdoor room. A fireplace can transform an ordinary outdoor space into a true extension of your home. Whether you want to entertain friends or add some mild-weather square footage for the family, the flickering flame of a fireplace can add to your home's value and enhance your ability to enjoy it year-round. These exterior architectural elements can be designed in all shapes, sizes and styles to complement your home perfectly.  The addition of a fireplace can also provide structure and definition to an otherwise open pergola.  A fireplace can also be added to your outdoor kitchen as a focal point. Even with simple architecture, an outdoor fireplace can be customized and accented with the choice of design and mantel materials. 


An outdoor space can be a small or large retreat.  It is possible for even a tiny courtyard to be created into a stylish, welcoming outdoor room.  Because while you are dreaming of pools, mountain or ocean views, elaborate outdoor kitchens, outdoor fireplaces and large pergolas, none of those are a requirement for creating an enchanting patio space. Lovely stone, evergreens, a few flowers and a table at which to gather for an alfresco meal are perfect for a retreat.  From creating privacy with a wall surrounding the patio and adding mood lighting to choosing the correct furniture, a cozy patio can bring you peace.  Add landscape lighting which will make your outdoor space feel bigger and more welcoming if it is well lit.   Fresh air, a view of the sky, natural light and privacy make courtyards peaceful spots. Bring a rug outdoors.  Eating a meal outdoors is always enticing and relaxing.


An important element of your patio make-over is choosing the right material for your patio flooring.  You can choose the classics, like brick and bluestone, or innovative new materials, like wood decking tiles or composite decking. Depending on the materials and the design of your patio, it can be an architectural feature in your yard. Wood decks are classic and comfortable, and they fit in just about anywhere. Wood does require more upkeep than other materials, though composite decks are an option if you want the look of wood with less maintenance.  Bluestone is a beautiful and hard-wearing material and comes in varied shades, ranging from pale lilac to deep slate blue. Flagstone is a common, relatively inexpensive material and hard wearing.  Flagstone is a popular choice for patios and paths and easy to work with.

If you don’t have great outdoor lighting, use lanterns and string lights to create the right ambiance outdoors.

You can create an urban oasis by treating your outdoor space as a room.  Use the elements mentioned in this article to inspire your outdoor design as you plan to remodel your backyard.  Step up the comfiness and convenience of your porch, patio or yard to make time spent outdoors for more year-round use even better.  Kick back, relax and enjoy your new patio!

Creative Spaces Remodeling (Design.Build.Live)

Today, if you are ready for the next step in your remodel or need more guidance to get you started, Creative Spaces Remodeling is here to help.  Life on the Chesapeake Bay is wonderful, but Creative Spaces Remodeling can help make the experience even better.  We’re ready to provide you with exceptional service no matter how big or small the job is.


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