The Perfect Patio: Functional & Low Maintenance

Long lasting, functional, and low maintenance are key concepts today’s homeowners are interested in when they build or improve home patios.

As general manager of Benson Stone Company, 1100 11th St., Kevin Obee has seen how the evolution of materials and designs is impacting the way people enjoy life outdoors.

“Sometimes the best room in the house isn’t in the house,” he says. One of the most popular trends is building a retaining wall around a patio, which not only adds privacy and beauty, but also extra seating for guests.

Walls and innovative flooring materials are ushering the way toward the biggest changes in patio planning, he says. Screens, gates, brick walls, fireplace walls, garden screens, colorful sliding glass door panels, plants, shrubs, firepits, gazebo-style tents and awnings can add to a feeling of privacy and coziness.

“This is a big trend all over the country,” he says. With so many new materials and an explosion of ideas being incorporated into making outdoor spaces more comfortable, the trends in outdoor living continue to evolve, he says.

“I’m seeing people design bigger spaces, with multiple levels,” he says. In one area, there may be a patio with seating around a fire pit and a path leading to a quiet garden area.

People are moving away from high-maintenance wood decks to long-lasting materials that require little maintenance and offer a variety of looks.

Benson’s showroom, inside a four-story restored furniture factory, is filled with ideas to transform your home inside and out. Showroom hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon. and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Sat. While you’re there, stop by the HearthRock Café to enjoy gourmet coffee, waffles, quiche, biscuits and gravy for breakfast or an array of salads, soups and sandwiches/flatbreads for lunch. The Café is open 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Mon.-Fri. and from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sat. ❚