My Patio Set Up

I’ve talked about my patio so many times on here, but never actually showed you what it looked like! With the timing, and the shipping and delivery delays going on with furniture last summer, it took a while to get it to a finished look. It’s still not all the way there – there are a few little things missing still – but it feels like it’s at least at a place where it’s ready to share!

Before I go into details, I want to share a little bit about the patio itself and how it came to be. Without the pandemic, I don’t think the patio would exist. But after spending an entire summer staring at my backyard through my new work-from-home “office” window, I really started to think an outdoor space out there would be nice. We did already have a deck, but it wasn’t huge, and we were spending more time at home than ever before. Plus, we didn’t really use that part of the backyard for much else. So the next summer, my patio dreams became a reality.

We did a lot of thinking and planning and prep work to make sure the patio would work for us! There were a few things that were really important for us specifically. First, we wanted to make sure the patio was completely level and flat. Our backyard is slightly slanted, and while it might not be a big deal for most people, my sister and I notice the tiniest of inclines in our wheelchairs. The other major consideration was space! Because my sister and I both use power wheelchairs, spaces tend to feel tight quickly. We wanted to make sure we had enough room to move around each other, and have space for furniture. We actually mapped the whole thing out with string a few times to make sure we’d have enough room! And I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

We wanted to have a few separate “areas” on the patio – enough spaces for people to come over in the summer and hang out / have enough space to sit and talk and eat and drink! So we went with a few different seating areas, the first being the main table and chair dining set. All of the furniture is aluminum – we get so much rain here, and didn’t want to have to worry about covering all the furniture every single time rain was predicted. And non-aluminum furniture can rust and stain the patio stones, which we learned the very hard way! We wanted a table that could fit at least six people, but wasn’t so huge that it took up too much space. My sister and I also find it easier to drive our chairs up to square/rectangular tables rather than circular ones, and it was also important to us that it have a glass top, because otherwise drinks tend to drip down the holes in the tabletop and onto our legs under the table!

We ended up with this square table and chair set, and it’s been perfect for what we wanted. There’s enough space for a small group of us to sit and eat, or space for my sister and I to take our laptops outside and work for a few hours. There’s a hole in the middle for an umbrella – we went with this lighted one, but any umbrella will work! The set sat outside all winter long and is still in great condition this summer. The chairs are really nice, too – they’re not cushioned, but the mesh is comfier than regular metal (or so I’m told!), but still dries really quickly. It’s a perfect setup for us!

This little bistro table actually took a lot of searching to find juuuuust the right thing. Once again, we had to take our wheelchairs into account, and lots of little bistro tables are either bar height (too high), or the legs of the table are arranged in such a way that our footrests hit into them when we try to drive up to the table. But this little table is perfect! I do a lot of my lunchtime reading and coffee sipping here – it’s the perfect size! It’s a great little conversation corner when we have friends over, too.

Even though I can’t actually use this sofa and ottoman, I still love them! I feel like they match the vibe of the rest of the patio perfectly. They’re just the right size, too – big enough that a few people can sit and talk comfortably, not so big that it’s taking up too much space and getting to close to the other tables. They fit so perfectly centered under the windows, and it just makes me happy. We cover the cushions for winter / thunderstorms, but they dry pretty quickly after a light rain.

We also have a heater like this one, which I love to sit under on chillier spring and fall days. It’s electric rather than propane – we have an outlet nearby, and this way we don’t have to remember to refill the propane tank before it runs out. We also have this fan, which is shockingly effective at keeping bugs away while you’re eating!

And finally – no post about the patio would be complete without mentioning the Solo Stove. We actually rounded the edge of the patio with a fire pit in mind, but we didn’t want a built in fire pit because we didn’t want to limit our use of the space. But the Solo Stove is so perfect – easy to use on the patio without worrying about ruining the stones, and so easy to light a fire. Plus, you don’t appreciate how nice a smoke-free fire experience is until you’ve tried it! It’s such a nice addition to the patio.

The patio really has become one of my happy places – I just feel so relaxed sitting out there reading, and love chatting with friends over mountain pies around the fire. It’s hard to believe it hasn’t always been there, but I’m so glad it is now.

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