The new year has begun and for most of us that elicits thoughts of new beginnings and fresh starts, both for ourselves and for our surroundings – there’s a reason why gyms and DIY stores are both overrun in January. If home improvements and paving are on your radar this month, then why not begin where you’ll probably end up spending most of your time this summer – on your patio. Not only will a beautiful patio increase the value of your property, but sipping long cold drinks in the cool evening air will improve your quality of life as well. So, if your new year vigour begins with building or renovating a patio, here are a few tips to keep in mind while creating the perfect outdoor room.


Begin by remembering that your patio should be a natural extension of your home – the materials used should be in keeping with the look and feel of the existing house so that you create a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors. And plan for versatility – you want to be able to use your garden room for a cocktail party, a sit-down dinner or a tête-à-tête, so think about where you place permanent fixtures or how you can rearrange furniture to maximise usage.


When deciding on your paving, take your lead from other hard landscaping in the garden. Choose pavers that will complement the existing pathways and borders so that again it feels like thought and purpose has gone into creating a cohesive design. Allow for small shifts in colour and pattern to create interest or focal points, but allow the paving to merge into the garden naturally so that the boundaries between indoor, outdoor and gardens merge.


If your back garden is small or if you find the neighbours are able to peer onto your patio, then consider walls or screening of some kind. You can plant hedges or small trees, but if you’re based in Cape Town remember this might not be the best option with the current drought. In this case you might want to consider trellises or attractive fencing – you can strategically place a potted creeper on the paving at each trellis to help cover the screening and by keeping the plant contained, you can better monitor the water usage.


If you have a structure overhead to protect you from the elements, you’ll naturally want to run power cables for exterior lighting so that your patio can be enjoyed day or night. And as our summers can be particularly harsh, you might consider including a ceiling fan to help move the air around, not only will it help drop the temperature, but it also makes an excellent bug-repellent.

Your patio should be your haven so take your time designing the perfect space and enlist the services of professionals for all the hard landscaping to ensure high-quality finishes that will last for years to come. And when it comes to your floors, the only company to consider for paving in Cape Town is QPave – with their innovative Waterless Paving, over 40 years’ experience in the industry and a 12-year warranty on all their work, you can rest easy knowing your paving is in the best hands.