Clever Ideas for a Family-Friendly Patio with Style
For a patio that suits the purposes of your household, the whole family should be taken into consideration when coming up with a design. That means catering to the needs of both young and old alike, particularly when young children and the elderly will be making use of the space. Of course this doesn’t mean that stylistic flair needs to be compromised. Here are some ideas on how you can make your Dauphin County, PA patio space a welcoming feature for young, old, and everyone in between.
Safety barriers, drops and soft landings
With toddlers curiously exploring the environment, safety barriers of some sort are vital for raised patios that end in a drop. These safety barriers can be as subtle and stylish as thick hedging enclosing your patio, a vine covered trellis or retaining walls enclosing plant beds. Built up railings and pillars can also be a solution. A small gate at the top of the steps can also be used to ensure safety as well as to keep out animals when it’s time for a meal outdoors.
If you have older children who may be tempted to climb up onto these barriers when your back is turned, you can at least provide a soft landing at the bottom of the small drop. This can be provided by plant beds along the edge of your raised patio, lawn, or an area of decorative mulch or sand. You can also limit the drop off from your patio to lawn altogether by having your lawn graded to the level of your patio.
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Railings for stairs, even short flights, are always a good idea when accommodating the old and young. Simple steel, wood, or wrought iron balustrades can be effective both in providing a well needed support and for adding character. You may even consider extending these to your walkways or repeating the design in the railings of a footbridge leading over tricky topography.
Pets and family fun on the patio inevitably results in a few spills and messes to clean up. Stain resistant patio pavers are the ideal solution for ensuring a quick and easy mop up, be it BBQ sauce, red wine or animal litter. Unilock offers a range of pavers specially suited to easy cleaning and anti-staining for just such occasions. Natural stone such as flagstone also offers a relatively non-porous surface that makes cleaning easier.
You’ll also want to make sure your patio is not slippery underfoot. Coarse grain pavers such as sandstone and textured concrete pavers are ideal for this and provide the necessary traction to avoid nasty falls.
Outdoor entertainment for the kids
For keeping the children entertained outdoors, a play area is ideal. This will give kids a chance to enjoy themselves while the grownups are socializing. The vantage point of the patio is ideal for supervision, so make sure your play area is in line of sight. Better yet, place a play area nearby that can be easily accessible to both children and adults. This might include a sand pit, a putting green or a picnic area for the kids.