Homes & Design Photo Credit: Courtesy Jamie Banfield

Is It Patio Season Yet?

Designer Jamie Banfield shares his best tips to help you get your patios and outdoor spaces prepped for spring.

Warm, sunny days are still a couple months away (hurry up, spring!), but that doesn’t mean we should wait to get our patios prepped—and with the BC Home and Garden Show taking place this week, there’s plenty of inspiration to be found. Vancouver designer Jamie Banfield will also be there, sharing his renovation tips on the Main Stage and showing off four distinct outdoor dining styles—masculine, modern-chic, family-friendly and boho—for the show’s new “Dining Alfresco” feature. Can’t wait until then? No problem. We asked Banfield for a preview of what’s to come—read on for his best outdoor design tips.

Throw pillows are an easy way to bring cozy indoor vibes outside. (Design: Jamie Banfield.)

Add cozy layers.
We often think we can’t use the same materials outside as we do inside, but Banfield insists that’s not the case. With commercial-grade fabrics, pillows and area rugs can definitely be brought outside.

Go high tech.
Lighting is another interior element that can be used on a patio or balcony. From candles and string lights to sconces and chandeliers, there are a ton of options, says Banfield. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers can add “pretty much the same ambiance we get inside,” too.

Banfield suggests you stay away from typical patio furniture sets and instead opt for something that could just as easily work inside the home—like this industrial dining combination. (Design: D’Arcy Jones. Photo: Martin Tessler.)

Take baby steps.
“People don’t walk into [a store] and buy a full set of everything that matches anymore,” says Banfield. Instead, the designer suggests you create an outdoor oasis one piece at a time (much like you would when designing your interior) for a “thought-out, custom, developed space.”

Look for potential.
Revamping your patio doesn’t mean you have to invest a lot of money. An old and rusty chair, for example, can be given new life with a bit of elbow grease. Banfield suggests using heat- and weather-resistant paint—it’s a quick-and-easy way to inject a bit of colour into the space.

condo patio design ideas
Mix-and-match furniture, layered textiles and pops of greenery will create a personalized look. (Design: Falken Reynolds. Photo: Ema Peter.)

Wait a little longer.
Banfield suggests you hold off on buying new furniture and accessories until the end of the summer season: “That’s when you might find the one-offs,” he says. “If you can wrap one season without having [your patio] finished, you’ll save a lot of money.”

Don’t overdo it.
For Banfield, less is definitely more. Just because you may have room for an outdoor fireplace, seating, barbecue and TV, doesn’t mean you actually need it, cautions the designer. “Figure out what you’re actually going to do in the space,” he says.

BC Home and Garden Show

Wednesday, February 21 to Sunday, February 25
BC Place Stadium
777 Pacific Boulevard, Vancouver


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