Are You Ready?

It’s about that time—to fire up the grill and firepit, toast a glass with friends, and while away the evenings and weekends on your patio or deck. Is your deck the livable space you want it to be? Does it need a refresh with some cool appliances and furniture? Or maybe it’s time for a new deck or patio. No matter where you are in your deck/patio dream, what you are envisioning can happen.

Our Design Team at The Cleary Company Design-Build-Remodel in Columbus, Ohio has gathered some of their best ideas to help you create the deck or patio you want for your backyard. And remember, our Team is here to help you create the outdoor living space you want for your home!

Over the past few years, our outdoor living spaces have evolved into everyday use, not just a place to grill on the weekends and hang out with friends. It’s additional living space, an office, a homework area, an area for family gatherings and relaxing—all on a daily basis.

Turn your patio or deck into a haven with these innovative ideas from building to decorating.

Outdoor Living Room

Your patio or deck should be treated as another room of your house. This begs the question— how are you going to use it? Create a seating area, a dining area, a place to cook, an office area, a kids’ play space, and more. Comfy weatherproof couches and chairs, a dining table, blankets, pillows, ambient lighting, water features, and storage will help you define and use the spaces on your patio or deck.

Furniture features

The furniture you choose creates the look and feel you want for your outdoor living. You’ll want it to be comfortable, stylish and durable—and as weatherproof as possible. On a deck or patio, furniture has to stand up to wind, rain, sun, changes in temperature, and how it can be cleaned.

  • Many materials are used for outdoor furniture, all with their own pros and cons. Know your environment and the impact it has on the furniture as well as how much wear and tear it can take (we see you kids).
    • Wood furniture is easy to work with and looks beautiful. Softer woods don’t hold up as well to the elements over time, while hardwoods are more weather resistant. We love the information about the various types of wood furniture found on this blog from Décor Outdoor.
    • Metal is very durable and works well for side tables, coffee tables and chairs & couches covered with cushions. Metal can rust and might be harder to move if stored inside during the winter.
  • Be sustainable with recycled plastic outdoor furniture, with brands like Polywood , Comfort Craft and Luxcraft, or Sunbrella), or eco-friendly reclaimed wood, rattan, wicker and bamboo.
  • Don’t forget to have small tables available for drinks, electronics, and plates.

Bring in Color

Earthy, calm, and neutral or bold, bright, and colorful? Someplace in between? Pillows, cushions, outdoor rugs, planters, accent chairs with pops of color, and botanical prints are just a few ways to facilitate some color. This is a fun way to let the personality of your home shine through.


You don’t just use your deck or patio during the day. Evenings are meant for neighborhood fun, with the kids running around and the adults hanging by the fire table, chilling with a cold one. Keep the evening going with a bit of illumination. Don’t let the fun stop just because it’s dark.

  • Install LED strip lighting along the deck to create safety points
  • Place solar lights to light up pathways, landscape borders and decks
  • String bulb lights under the pergola or across the deck for some ambiance
  • Torches and candles create mood lighting and help with bug control (citronella is the go-to scent)

Control those temps

Right, we get it—we are outside and while we can’t control the weather, we can control aspects of the temperature on our patios when it’s really hot or if it’s a chilly evening.

We can use these great options!

  • Overhead heating lamps
  • Firepit tables or fire pits, using gas, propane or wood
  • Ceiling fans
  • Outdoor evaporative coolers (aka, swamp coolers)  

All of these can cool us down and warm us up, keeping us outside longer! And who doesn’t want that?

Summer Shade

During a sweltering summer day, shade is a necessity. If you’re not blessed with a yard filled with mature trees, there are other ways you can create shade.

  • A pergola provides dappled shade
  • Part of your patio can have some type of roofing structure
  • Oversized umbrellas, covering tables, chairs or part of the patio, create pockets of shade

Go Green with Plants

A deck or patio immediately feels comfortable and homey with plants. Border plants surrounding the area create areas of privacy, as well as visual interest.

Perennials, succulents, flowering baskets, herb container gardens, and vertical gardens are fun ways to provide pops of color and natural beauty. You’ll want to spend all your time outdoors when you bring flowers and foliage into the space.

Cook in an Outdoor Kitchen

Depending on the kind of cook you are will determine what type of outdoor kitchen you want. Do you just want to chill, entertain while grilling, or create a whole new kitchen for cooking outside?

Your kitchen could include…

  • A grill—either coal or propane
  • A mini-fridge for condiments, drinks and prep items
  • A pizza oven
  • A sink for washing hands and quick clean-ups
  • Bar space, with a kegerator, wine fridge, and drawers for mixologist items
  • Granite or concrete countertops that will hold up to the weather
  • Storage

This article from BBQGuys lists some of the top-rated appliances and equipment for your outdoor kitchen—check out the bar centers! A built-in trash container saves you trips to the garbage can and a dishwasher might just be a game-changer!

Outdoor Office

Are you still working from home? Create an area of your porch, patio, or deck to allow you to spend time outside while working. That Zoom background will be the envy of others!

Are you ready to make some changes?

Your patio or deck can be more than just an occasionally used part of your home. It can be your oasis, the place you come home to and don’t want to leave. Reach out to us at 614-459-4000 if we can help you remodel your home and give you the oasis you deserve. And keep the fire going—we will be there soon to roast some marshmallows!