There’s a reason everyone dreams about living in California – the weather is great! Home design here isn’t just about interiors. Outdoor spaces can complement your interior rooms, too, and really add to your quality of life.
Below are my top tips for creating a beautiful and functional patio in Northern California:
Choose the right materials for your site climate and local environment. If you live in a hot area with direct sun like the desert or Napa, I suggest materials that stay cool, such as concrete or stone. If your neighborhood is cooler like in the mountains or forest, choose materials that will retain heat, such as brick or wood.
Make it functional. Patios should be more than just a place to sit and relax. Consider adding a grill, a fire pit, or a water feature to your patio. When entertaining, you’ll need a space that’s big enough to accommodate your guests.
NorCal gets a lot of sunshine, so pick patio furniture that can withstand the elements. Look for tables and seating made from wicker, teak, or aluminum, and use solution-dyed fabrics such as Sunbrella that resist fading or mildew.
Add some shade. If you don’t want to be baking in the sun all summer, ensure there’s shade. This could be a pergola, a patio umbrella, a few large trees, or a shade sail. Your guests will thank you!
Use drought-tolerant plants. Northern California is a Mediterranean climate, which means hot, dry summers. Drought-tolerant plants are a great way to save water and keep your patio looking lush and green all year long.
Showcase your personality! Add some personal touches, such as plants and flowers, sculpture or artwork. Then ensure you have good lighting design to show off these features at night.
Make it a gathering place. Patios are the perfect place to entertain friends and family, so invite them while the time and weather are right.
Kimball Starr creates beautiful and functional patios in homes across the San Francisco Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Contact her today for a socially-distanced or remote meeting!