Cottage Culture




Planning for Summer Entertaining in Winter

Planning for Summer Entertaining in Winter

Designing your dream outdoor patio is an exhilarating journey of creativity. Envisioning the perfect oasis for relaxation, entertainment, and connection with nature, it really is wonderful thing to think about on a cold, grey, winter day. Picture a sprawling space seamlessly blending with the natural surroundings, where every element is meticulously curated to evoke a sense of tranquility and luxury. The design begins with the layout, carefully crafted to optimize functionality and flow, with designated areas for dining, lounging, and gathering around a cozy fire pit. Lush greenery and vibrant flowers cascade from elegant planters, adding layers of texture and color to the landscape. The focal point of the patio is a stylish pergola draped with billowing curtains, providing shade and intimacy, while twinkling string lights create a magical ambiance as the sun sets. Luxurious outdoor furniture upholstered in sumptuous fabrics beckons you to sink into its plush cushions, while a bubbling fountain serenades with its soothing melody. Every detail, from the choice of materials to the arrangement of accessories, is thoughtfully considered to elevate the outdoor experience and transform your patio into a sanctuary of serenity and sophistication. With all the details and planning that are required to design your dream outdoor patio it can seem a little overwhelming so we have put together a few tips to help with your planning.


Renovating your patio during the winter months can be a strategic move, as it allows you to take advantage of the off-season and potentially get better deals on materials and services. Here's a comprehensive plan for your summer patio renovations:



Define Your Goals:


Determine what you want to achieve with your patio renovation. Are you looking to improve functionality, aesthetics, or both? Do you want to add features like an outdoor kitchen, fire pit, or seating area? To help you define your vision snip photos out of magazines (or save pins on Pinterest) when you find a patio or backyard that inspires you. What are the elements of the photo that you are attracted to the most? Keep track of these items.


Budget Planning:

Establish a budget for your renovation project. Consider the costs of materials, labor, permits, and any additional features you want to incorporate. Leave some room in your budget for unexpected expenses.


Research and Design:

Browse online resources, magazines, and social media platforms for inspiration.
Sketch out a rough design or work with a professional designer to create a detailed plan.
Consider factors like the layout, materials, color scheme, and landscaping elements.


Select Materials:

Choose high-quality materials that suit your design aesthetic and climate conditions.
Research different options for flooring, paving stones, decking, outdoor furniture, lighting fixtures, and decorative elements.
Consider factors like durability, maintenance requirements, and sustainability.


Hire Contractors:

Research and interview contractors or landscapers with experience in patio renovations.
Check references, licenses, and insurance to ensure you're working with reputable professionals.
Get multiple quotes and compare them based on cost, timeline, and services offered.


Obtain Permits:

Check local building codes and regulations to determine if you need permits for your renovation project.
Apply for permits well in advance to avoid delays in the construction process.


Order Materials:

Once you've finalized your design and selected materials, place orders for everything you'll need for the renovation.
Consider lead times for delivery and factor them into your project timeline.



Clear the patio area of any furniture, plants, or debris.
Arrange for any necessary utilities to be shut off or relocated temporarily.
Prepare the site for construction by leveling the ground, removing old paving, and addressing any drainage issues.


Construction Phase:

Work closely with your contractors to ensure the project stays on schedule and meets your expectations.
Monitor the progress of the construction and address any concerns or changes promptly.
Keep communication lines open with your contractors to avoid misunderstandings.


Final Touches:

Once the major construction work is complete, focus on the finishing touches. The little details are what make the most impact on your finished product.
Install lighting, outdoor furniture, planters, and any other decorative elements.
Make sure all elements of the patio are functioning correctly and meet your quality standards. For more inspiration and information we have included a few links:


Making Your Deck Truly Exceptional with Accessories and Decor

Scandinavian Furniture Canada: Elevate Your Cottage Retreat

10 Must-Have Furniture Pieces for Outdoor Living



Maintenance and Enjoyment:

Develop a maintenance plan to keep your newly renovated patio in top condition.
Regularly clean and inspect the patio, repair any damage, and seal surfaces as needed. Invest in quality covers to protect your furniture in the winter months. For more information and tips on covering your furniture for the winter months visit our blog - Covering your patio furniture for winter weather.

Finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy your beautifully renovated outdoor space with family and friends during the summer months.



Saving money on your patio renovaiton

Saving money on your patio renovation doesn't mean sacrificing quality or style. Here are several ways to cut costs without compromising the overall outcome:

  1. Set a Realistic Budget: Establish a clear budget from the outset and stick to it. Be sure to include a buffer for unexpected expenses.

  2. Plan Ahead: Avoid rush decisions by planning your renovation well in advance. This allows you to take advantage of sales, discounts, and off-season pricing for materials and services.

  3. DIY Where Possible: Consider tackling certain aspects of the renovation yourself, such as demolition, painting, or simple landscaping tasks. However, be honest about your skills and limitations to avoid costly mistakes.

  4. Reuse and Repurpose: Salvage and repurpose existing materials, such as pavers, bricks, or furniture, whenever possible. This reduces the need for new purchases and saves money on disposal fees.

  5. Comparison Shop: Take the time to research and compare prices for materials and services from different suppliers and contractors. Don't forget to factor in the quality and reputation of the products and professionals.

  6. Consider Alternative Materials: Explore cost-effective alternatives to high-end materials. For example, concrete can mimic the look of more expensive stone or wood decking at a fraction of the cost.

  7. Opt for Standard Sizes: Choose standard-sized materials and fixtures whenever possible, as custom or specialized items often come with a higher price tag.

  8. Minimize Structural Changes: Stick to the existing layout of your patio to avoid costly structural modifications or permits. Focus on cosmetic improvements and enhancements instead.

  9. Shop Sales and Clearance: Keep an eye out for sales, clearance events, and discounts at home improvement stores, online retailers, and local suppliers. You can often find great deals on last season's inventory or discontinued items.

  10. Negotiate with Contractors: Don't hesitate to negotiate with contractors for a better price or ask if they offer discounts for bundling services or referrals.

  11. Prioritize Needs Over Wants: Focus your budget on essential elements of your patio renovation, such as structural repairs or functional upgrades, before splurging on optional features or luxuries.

  12. Phased Approach: If your budget is limited, consider dividing your renovation into smaller phases and completing them over time as funds become available. This allows you to spread out the costs and avoid financial strain.

By implementing these strategies and being strategic with your spending, you can achieve a beautiful and functional patio renovation while staying within your budget.

Although at times it will be tiring and frustrating, the end result will be worth it  as you sip on a cool drink and soak in the serenity of your surroundings, you can't help but smile, grateful for this moment of blissful tranquility. Time seems to slow down, allowing you to fully appreciate the simple yet profound joy of being present in the here and now. In this moment, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the comfort of your newly finished patio, you feel a deep sense of peace and contentment wash over you, leaving you feeling refreshed and renewed.


If you are still feeling overwhelmed or have questions the staff at Cottage Culture is here to help, offering free styling advise and layouts of the furniture in your outdoor space. Visit our showroom in Hensall, Ont. to sit in and get a feel for your new patio furniture before you make your purchase. With free delivery (within an hour distance from Hensall) and installation our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy your personal outdoor oasis!


Looking for more outdoor living inspiration follow us on FacebookInstagram and Pinterest!

Angela Roth at 12:18 PM
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