How to build the perfect patio for any personality

Brian Gluckstein on how to create an outdoor oasis that is just right for you

The beautiful weather is finally here, and we Torontonians can’t wait to get outside and make the most of summer. When setting up your outdoor space, it’s a good idea to first think about how you like to spend time outside. Your personality on the patio will be helpful in deciding what furniture, decor and dinnerware you’ll need to best enjoy your space.   

The entertainer
If you love entertaining, you’ll definitely want a stylish dining table where you and your guests will be comfortable during those long-running outdoor parties. Be sure to invest in plenty of unbreakable dinnerware and glassware, made from melamine and Tritan, and stock up on sturdy wood serveware and flatware caddies that will make table service a breeze. An outdoor bar or simple bar cart set-up will also save on trips back and forth to the kitchen.

The lounger
If you like to lounge for hours on end — lazing with a good book and refreshing drink — you’ll need a comfortable place to lie down. Depending on how much space you have, an outdoor sectional is your best bet for maximum comfort, but for a smaller space, a lounger and side table to rest your things are sure to do the trick. Choose pieces with materials that are durable for all types of summer weather — rust-proof aluminum, Textilene industrial mesh and coated faux wicker will stand the test of time.

The night owl
If you like to stay up late, you’ll want to be sure your patio is well-lit past sundown. String lights, hurricane candles and lanterns will create the ambience you desire as the evening wears on. A basket of blankets will come in handy keeping you and your guests warm if the temperature drops. Fringed cotton hammam towels in whites, blues and greys are on-trend and can double as blankets.

The porch procrastinator
For many of us, the porch is a commonly used — and often neglected — outdoor space. This is a place for impromptu chats with neighbours and friends, so you’re going to want a comfortable spot to sit — deep, cushioned club chairs are best — and likely a side table for refreshments. Adding some curb appeal here with colourful accent cushions, plants, stylish hardware and updated lighting will help this area feel like more of an extension of your home than a transitional space.

The green thumb
If you love to garden, make plants a priority on your patio. Even if you don’t have room for a full garden, you can create your own green area with stylish planters — ceramic, wood and fibreglass ones of all shapes and sizes can be used together for a varied look. Build a vegetable or herb garden or install a “living wall” to take your green space a step further.

The shade seeker
Not all of us love the heat, and for the shade seekers, investing in pieces that keep sun exposure at bay is key. A gazebo will offer maximum coverage for larger furniture and dining sets, whereas an offset umbrella can be conveniently adjusted for shade as the sun moves. Taupe, black and Mediterranean-inspired navy and white stripes feel timelessly stylish, or try a fun pop of colour to brighten your space.

Catch Brian Gluckstein on Cityline, where he is a regular guest expert, shop his collection, Gluckstein Home, at Hudson’s Bay and follow him at @briangluckstein on Instagram.

Article exclusive to TRNTO