When I think of summer, I think of only ONE thing: Drinks on a Patio.
Of course, before having children, that patio was usually located on College Street, the Danforth, or anywhere that wasn’t my own backyard. The good old days.
However, there’s a certain pleasure in having drinks in your own backyard: there’s no travel involved, you generally enjoy the company, and you don’t have to tip your server.
But here’s the kicker: I don’t actually have a patio! Since moving into our new home six years ago, we’ve had a lot of priorities for the inside of our house (a finished basement, a painted home, an upscale living room) but we were never ready to invest in our backyard. Truth is, for a long time we’ve wondered if we should stay or move, and that factored in our decision to delay the landscaping. And so we set up an old patio set on our lawn and let the kids run around in the summer. For the most part, it worked out well.
However, now that we’ve decided to stay put for a little while, it’s time to do things right. First on our agenda: a backyard makeover.
You knew it was coming… 2013 is the year of #ProjectPatio!
I’ll be sure to share lots of pictures over the upcoming months of how we transform our little backyard into a backyard oasis. In addition to a stamped concrete patio, we’ll be making an investment in a new barbecue, patio furniture and maybe even a paper lantern or two :)
I also admit to lusting over these outdoor fireplaces from Anywhere Fireplaces, available at SHOP.CA.
All the fireplaces are ventless, requiring no construction, chimney, or gas lines. The sophisticated, contemporary style fireplaces are also eco-friendly, at a price within reach for almost anyone. More features and benefits:
– Burns liquid or gel bio-ethanol fuel
– Renewable resource
– Smokeless, odorless
– No soot or ash, no messy clean-up
– Only gives off water vapor and CO2
I love the idea of staying warm in style, because sometimes, even summer nights can feel chilly. Here’s a roundup of the more popular models –
Forget about candles and other table top accents to add ambiance. The Lexington Anywhere Fireplace brings you all the tabletop elegance you are looking for with its distinctive shape, high gloss white finish and its real flames. Enjoy the ambiance of a real fire but without the hassle of smoke, melting wax, soot, ash, smell etc. Use it on the dinner table, a low patio table, or a coffee table. This unit is slightly too small for a patio set, but I love the versatility from outdoor to indoor. SHOP.CA Price: $149.99
The unique and stylish Hudson Anywhere Fireplace will add elegance and sophistication to your space, indoors or outdoors. Not small, yet not big, but don’t be mistaken, it will add large impact to any space. Its flames will dance between the glass on 3 sides while it warms up your room and atmosphere. The body is made with an outdoor grade powder coating so the elements will not affect its satin black finish.
This is likely my favourite piece for the corner of my patio; I feel that it would exude just the right ambiance without being in the way. I also love that it angles the warmth towards the guests because of the glass panels on the sides. And, the size is just right. SHOP.CA Price: $259.99
Its modern style and unique design makes the Oasis Anywhere Fireplace a favorite for the ambiance of a small fire indoors or outdoors. It can be placed on a table as a center piece or along a walkway, patio or poolside to provide the interesting and distinctive glow of the real fire. White polished rocks are provided, however you can choose to replace them with other color rocks, marbles, shells, sea glass etc. to suit your mood, a holiday or to change things up a little.
My husband adores this model because it most closely resembles a fire pit; that is, it has the perfect balance between a rustic and contemporary look and feel, and it’s big enough to place on the floor. SHOP.CA Price: $139.99
Ever heard the saying, “the best things come in small packages”? That definitely applies to this fabulous table top fireplace. The Empire Anywhere Fireplace is the perfect answer to get the ambiance of fire, indoors or outdoors, on a table, on a ledge, on a step, on a column.
This contemporary and unique, stainless steel tabletop fireplace makes a cozy, but dramatic statement anywhere you choose to put it, your den, your patio or deck, indoors or out. It’s lightweight and easily movable with no permanent installation so you can move it from room to room, inside to outside and back again. The top is slightly recessed to make room for the polished stones. SHOP.CA Price: $124.99
The elegance and clean contemporary design of the glass and black coated metal Gramercy Anywhere Fireplace works anyplace, indoor or outdoor. Just place it on the floor or on a table and add the ambiance of fire to any location. No installation necessary. The Gramercy is totally free standing and lightweight so you can move it from one location to another-anywhere you want to enjoy the warm glow of fire.
I’m not sure I’m a fan of the whole “table on table” look, so this particular model is likely my least favourite. However, I do like that it warms up to 375 square feet, making it one of the more practical units for outdoor use. Plus, it’s sophisticated enough to be placed indoors as well. SHOP.CA Price: $264.99
Keep in mind that bio-ethanol fuel can be pricey, so that must be figured into the cost of purchasing an outdoor fireplace. However, I suppose that’s when you also factor in the savings of not having to leave your backyard for drinks on a patio :) All of the models pictured above, including descriptive videos, can be found on SHOP.CA.
I don’t have a back yard so I look forward to living vicariously through you til this summer!
I’ll do my best to allow you to live vicariously, ha ha!
These are beautiful and for indoor use the non toxic fuel is a must. But for outdoor use Id be more likely to use a regular (cheaper) propane burning fire pit.
Thanks so much for the tip, Lisa!
That;s so awesome that you are finally getting a patio!
I VERY much agree that there is something wonderful about relaxing on a patio in your backyard! While I don’t have my OWN backyard, I still consider it to be one of my favorite things to do with friends/fam :-)
Me too Suzie – in fact, last year for the boys’ birthday we camped out on my brother’s patio, because it’s so nice to kick back and relax with family and friends.
I LOVE those fireplaces! Love, love, love them! Can we have them in Toronto, though? I think there’s a bylaw that forbids fire pits, chimineas etc.
I have bad news for you Janice – they are not allowed in the City of Toronto :( Once we have our patio completed, you’ll have to join us for a good old bonfire!
Ahhh drinks on a patio, one of my favourite things in life! :) Especially if sunshine or a fire are involved! All of these looks are gorgeous – I especially love the Oasis fireplace!
Me too Nicole, it’s really growing on me, and is likely the model we will choose!
I can’t wait to see pictures of your backyard. I have decided to ‘container’ garden this year. Michael’s Brother-In-Law’s company makes wall beds, closets etc and made me 5 white window boxes. I will fill them up over the coming weeks. I love flowers, Lena…they are a huge pick me up. When Sara was little, I always made sure that we had fresh cut flowers in the flat. I was pretty thrifty…the market marked down cut flowers on a Monday to make room for the shipment that arrived Tuesday morning. As fresh as can be and lots of life still left in them.
Love fresh flowers too, Teresa… although I must admit I’m a hopeless gardener. My mom came by a few years and planted some flowers for us, but I could just water them and that’s it!!
So exciting! Who doesn’t love a good make over?
Indeed! Hopefully everything will fall into place soon!
I love the Empire! Which one’s your favorite?
I think I’m leaning towards the Oasis or Empire, Victoria!
Dooo ittt! Can’t wait to see your patio makeover!
Me too :) Just received word that the patio will happen in mid-May, very excited for it!
I’m an HGTV addict here and can’t wait to see your patio transformation!
The eco-friendly fireplaces are so stylish!
Aren’t they? I need to look into how much the fuel costs today. Crossing my fingers its not terribly expensive!
While I love outdoor spaces, spiders keep me from enjoying them
Hahaha I’m the same way… why do you think I’m so excited for a patio? So there are no surprises hiding in the grass!
We did our patio about 5 years ago, and we barely ever use it! Our backyard is east facing so it gets no sun in the evening – great when its very hot out, but it gets cool too quickly otherwise. The other thing we don’t like – the bugs! I thought we’d be out almost every night enjoying our dinner there – but ha! We sadly prefer the air-conditioned, always right temperature, bug free area of our indoor dining space.
Oh no that’s tragic NT! Maybe you need a few citronella candles :) But yeah, I hear ya – I actually prefer to eat indoors, which is why we’re mostly looking at lounge sets for the patio.
patio needs work, and so does the yard ,one day one summer day that is.
Yup, us too – waiting for the weather to get warmer before taking it all on…
i dont have a backyard but yours is fantastic
John D. Costa
Lexington is perfect for my drawing room.
I just love those fireplace, specially i like ventless bio ethanol tabletop fireplace. Most importantly “Lexington” is my first choice.