5 tips to enhance your patio this summer

Dec 19 2017, 4:28 pm

If there is one thing British Columbians love it’s making every moment of summer count. This year, design duo Colin and Justin of the popular show Cabin Pressure on Cottage Life have tips to squeeze the most out of the season by equipping your patio properly.

They say the first step to maximizing time spent outdoors is to treat your outdoor space as an extension of your home: decorate it, personalize it and treat it like you would a living room.

Turning a 2-star outdoor space into a 5-star oasis without eliminating the charm comes down to balance.

“We’ve all heard of glamping, right? It’s that great balance of rustic charm and cozy surroundings,” say Colin and Justin. “Same rules apply when transforming an outdoor space, so you can make it work as well as possible for your needs.”


When it comes to patio décor and summer trends, here’s what Colin and Justin say is in or out. Plus, the guys give some great tips for


  • Mediterranean flair: Hanging basket chairs, Moroccan pillows and durries (heavy rug).
  • Room patios: Dress your patio as a full room by adding full scale accessories to give it a complete look.
  • Tree décor: Don’t wait until Christmas to dress a tree. Lavish an outdoor tree or bush with safe solar powered lanterns and lights: nature + bling is the thing.
  • Pop of colour: Don’t rely on the summer to provide colour. Add accessories in brilliant blues and bright yellows for an endless summer vibe.
  • Outdoor fridges: Cool wine and beer where you need it most!
Add some colour! Colin and Justin

Add some colour! (Colin and Justin)


  • Bare unloved spaces
  • Clear plastic furnishings
  • Inflatable furniture: one gust of wind and it’s gone.


Put as much care into your outdoor living space as you do indoors

Put as much care into your outdoor living space as you do indoors (Colin and Justin)

5 tips to transform your patio

1. Give it identity

It’s not enough to have a bare deck or patio. Give yours a practical edge by installing function and allowing it to cure a problem you may have indoors. Say what? Perhaps your house doesn’t have sufficient room for entertaining, so try installing a table and chairs [outdoors] to create a seasonal dining room to enjoy in the warmer months.

2. Warm it up

When the nights start to cool a little you’ll be itching to stay outdoors just a little bit longer, so opt for an outdoor fireplace, a fire pit or a patio heater. We have a Solus gas bowl fire at our cottage and we use it regularly, even in the depths of winter for a flaming good time in the snow.

3. Don’t let bugs ‘bug’ you

Once dusk hits, so do the mosquitoes and this is one thing we can quickly overlook. No one wants to be shut away indoors in the warmer weather, especially when you could be roasting marshmallows by the campfire or talking with friends on the lawn chairs.

It may sound like a no-brainer, but keep bug protection in mind to keep pesky mosquitos at bay. An odourless, sprayless repellent like the OFF! Clip-on® is handy because it offers head-to-toe protection during your relaxing outdoor activities (like patio lounging) without having to apply anything directly to the skin.

4. Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize

If you can’t quite stretch to a whole new look for your patio or deck, then create a new look for less with accessories. Head to stores like Homesense, Winners and Chapters and learn to be bold with bright cushions, outdoor throws and pillows. Add candle storm lamps, colourful plastic pitchers and glasses to bring joy to a summer space.

5. Planting

Soften up your deck or patio with some planting, but avoid pools of standing water, overflowing planters etc. that will attract mosquitoes. Hanging baskets bursting with colour look amazing, and tall trees in smart planters ooze sophistication.

If you don’t exactly have a green thumb, then don’t say NO… say FAUX! Embrace a little fakery with realistic looking topiary in modern smart planters. Homesense carries an amazing range of what we call “affordable permanent botanicals.”

Chic rustic charm for summer 2015 C

Chic rustic charm for summer 2015 (Colin and Justin)