A patio can be a hot slab of concrete baking in the sun – or it can be a welcoming extension of the house, calling you outdoors to enjoy cool breezes and fresh air. However, it can quickly fill up with junk, making it feel claustrophobic and less user friendly. With a little planning, you can make your patio a comfortable seasonal room. Simply adding some unique storage solutions for your patio will instantly make it feel spacious and welcoming.
The patio is often the smallest of the outdoor areas, but it’s the one that we use the most, especially during those warm summer days. This lack of space often means that you have nowhere to put things, forcing you to put them on the floor or just leave them lying around. Finding unique storage solutions for your patio will not only help you maximize your space but will also make your patio the envy of all your friends and family. Below are some ways you can store everything you need to enjoy your day on your patio.
Do you enjoy reading on your patio, playing board games or working on a new Sudoku? If so, why not invest in a table with built-in storage to keep some of your favourite things? This will ensure you’re not constantly carrying items back and forth. There are tables with shelving, cubbies or even ottoman-type ones with lids to keep items readily available but out of sight. Coffee tables with shelves underneath tend to be better for things you want on display, such as books or magazines, while the ottoman-type with lids are better for storing things like blankets that are best kept out of sight. This is also a great place to hide some of those extra throw pillows and blankets to snuggle up with on cooler nights. A creatively designed coffee table will provide your patio with a central focal point, allowing you to plan other unique storage solutions around it.
Serving Cart or Cooler
Do you prefer coffee or tea? Maybe a mojito or three? No matter your preference, you can use a serving cart or cooler to store extra drink supplies (or even snacks) such as a kettle, french press, cups, sugar, tea bags or coffee grounds nearby so you can brew up a hot cup or cool drink to enjoy anytime. This is great for entertaining and saves you running back and forth from the kitchen, keeping you on the patio where you belong. I would, however, skip the cream; this could freeze in the winter and spoil in the summer. A neat trick for serving the dishes from your serving cart or cooler is to install mug hooks and a small set of shelves directly above it. Wall space is always a great storage solution as it doesn’t impact on the use of the room, and in this case it will act almost as a display case for your cups and dishes. Just make sure that you buy a matching set!
Ottomans, Deck Boxes and Benches
Just like a table with storage, benches, ottomans and deck boxes can offer places to sit and relax as well as act as storage for your throws, pillows, books and board games to enjoy on the patio. Ottomans are harder to match as they are typically covered in fabric, so it’s a good idea to try and buy the full set together so that everything matches. If you’re coming late to the patio storage game, you can buy replaceable covers, and most good homeware stores will help you match the fabrics of your original patio seating set. In the summer months don’t forget to refresh your stash of bug spray and sunscreen to keep them close.
Hooks and Shelving
Are you looking to add some privacy to your patio? Put a shelf on the area you want to block and fill with planters, décor items and use as additional storage space on your patio. You could add hooks to the shelving to hang up umbrellas for easy access, a broom for quick cleanup or hats to grab in a snap in the summer. A set of shelves makes use of the external wall and can make it into a feature instead of something you would rather your guests ignored. For a more classic style, choose wooden floating shelves where the ties to the wall are hidden inside the shelves, or go for a sophisticated look with some intricate iron work. The possibilities are endless!
Planters and Mason Jars
Find and repurpose old planters and mason jars to store candles, lighters and other small items like lip balm on your patio for easy access. This adds a decorative touch with functionality. Mason jars are also great to use as cups in the summer for home-made ice tea or lemonade. Try thinking outside the box and decorating the outside using a stained glass technique. Draw geometric shapes on the glass, then use glass markers to colour them in. Not only will you be able to match them to your colour scheme, but you can then hang them where they’ll catch the sunlight, casting beautiful shadows over your patio.
The key to success when you’re planning out unique storage solutions for your patio is use your space wisely. If you have a long and thin patio, think more about wall storage, as floor options like ottomans or coffee tables will take up too much room. If your patio is larger, you might even consider adding things like a cupboard or a chest of drawers to extend your storage space. Think about unusual types of wood for these pieces of furniture, or buying in one-of-a-kind coverings to add that unique and personal touch to your patio.
Find other great storage solutions for around the home here
Tell us: What are your biggest challenges when it comes to enjoying your outdoor space? If you could wave a magic wand and transform your porch or patio, what would you do?