Backyard-Patio-Area-with-Outdoor-Kitchen.pngThis past spring, I spent several Saturdays chatting with patrons of Bowman Stove and Patio in Ephrata. Quite honestly, my purpose for spending  time meeting with outdoor furniture shoppers was primarily to generate new design business for ETW.

Much to my surprise I spent most of my time listening to descriptions of patios, newly constructed by other hardscape companies, that were not designed to adequately function as outdoor rooms. I witnessed several looks of buyers’ remorse on people’s faces when the outdoor table and chair set they loved and purchased at Bowman was too large to fit on their new patio. These patios had been designed and built without regard to how they would be used. I listened in amazement to stories of undersized or miss-shaped patios not constructed to accommodate things as basic as circulation around seated tables or that failed to take advantage of distant views. The patios were not designed with flexibility to transition from a family dinner for four to accommodating larger gatherings.

So, the moral of this story is to plan and prepare for your outdoor spaces in the same way interior rooms are planned. Spend time looking at furniture styles first so that sizes, shapes, dimensions, number of pieces, etc. can be used, in template form on paper, to ensure that your new patio suits your lifestyle and anticipated use thereof. Get out onto the grass area that is to become your patio and use existing furniture or simulations of proposed furniture (cardboard boxes), garden hoses, and/or spray paint to assist in determining patio size and/or shape. Such “homework” and planning ahead will prevent later regret.

If you need help planning your patio or outdoor living area, we’re always here to help.


Share this:

Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Written by Mary Dresser, RLA ALSA

Mary Hatch Dresser is a Registered Landscape Architect with a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia School of Environmental Design. Mary has designed landscapes for 32 years and joined ETW exclusively in 2009. Mary is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA); and also serves on the Shade Tree Committee in Strasburg Borough where she resides. Mary prides herself in carefully listening to her clients to professionally meld their ideas and personal criteria with sound, experienced design practice.