Spring has sprung and have you noticed that everyone is joyfully coming outdoors and starting to have family and friends over again? Is your patio ready? I’ve created this handy checklist to help make sure your patio is prepped and perfect for the next party!
#1: CLEANING FURNITURE
Whether your furniture is wood, metal, resin, wicker, or teak, you’ll want to make sure it’s clean, splinter and rust-free. Powder-coated steel is especially prone to rust quickly and creating sharp edges so beware. For most light cleaning jobs my sources tell me Simple Green and/or dish soap and a nylon brush are your best friends. If you have tea you don’t want to power wash it that will strip it of the natural oils and create a rough surface.
#2: CLEANING CUSHIONS
The fabric and underlying cushioning material will determine the best cleaning method. Sunbrella fabric is generally considered the most durable with polyester and nylons less so. Usually, a damp cloth with the above-mentioned cleaners will do just fine. You just want to be sure to not oversaturate. Depending on what the fill material is you’ve got to be careful. If it’s a nice solid moisture-wicking foam you’re going to be okay. If it’s just a cheap artificial fill, be careful.
#3: CHECK STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY of all furniture
The last thing you want is for Aunt Elsie to sit down on what looks like a nice chair, have the legs collapse, and the next thing you know her knees are up to her chin and she’s wearing her potato salad. Tighten screws, nuts, and bolts and check welds. Check any glass surfaces for cracks.
#4: POWER WASH DECKING surfaces and exterior walls
If you don’t have access to a power washer (not cheap but a very good investment in my opinion if you’re even a mild clean freak, as they’re awesome for cleaning the entire exterior of your house including gutters trim, patios, and walkways) a good scrub brush on a stick and some TSP mixed with water are good tools.
#5: EDIT POTS AND BRIC-A-BRAC
Step back and look with a ruthlessly critical eye at what has accumulated over the past year and a half. Think about it: you really haven’t entertained anyone except immediate family and things become wallpaper,
i e. you don’t really see them, they just fade into the background. The design experts tell us a simple color palette and keeping shapes and sizes of pots and decor items similar is the way to go. Less is really more here.
#6: LEAN OUT THE LANDSCAPING
Now that you’re just down to the pots that you like and there’s nothing extraneous, step back and see where things have become a little bit overgrown and neglected. This is where you want to spend your budget. If you like seasonal color, freshen up your pots, and borders. Hire someone to thin and prune overgrown shrubs and background plants if you’re not up to it yourself. When you’re entertaining, your patio and yard are just like a room over there outdoors.
You’re all set!
If you follow these six suggestions, your patio should be sparkling and ready for the spring and summer season. It’ll also be a place that is your individual Haven to enjoy and savor, as the days grow longer.