Month: December 2017

7 features of an effective restaurant patio space

When the weather is warm and the evenings are long, outdoor restaurant patio spaces become popular places among diners. There’s nothing quite like eating outside in the fresh air, under a parasol on a hot sunny day or beneath the stars on a summer’s evening. People love to eat outdoors and this is why restaurants need patios that are attractive, comfortable, and functional.

In such an important open space and with potentially a lack of walls to differentiate between sidewalk and patio, what are some of the ways to create an intimate yet welcoming outdoor restaurant environment?

Here are seven core features we believe an effective restaurant patio dining space needs for optimal functionality, comfort, and charm.


Spaciousness

Diners need to feel comfortable and to be able to move around the outdoor restaurant patio space with ease. The more tables the better. Yet when a space is too cramped, customers are more likely to bump into one another and upset tables. A positive dining experience is not just about delicious food but also the dining atmosphere and comfort. Plenty of access space between tables, and enough room for diners to push out their chairs, is vital.


Suitable coverings

Rain or baking hot sunshine are two weather conditions that can play havoc with comfortable outdoor dining. That’s why well designed restaurant patio spaces incorporate covers of some kind whether parasols, awnings, or bespoke canopies. These are then unfolded or drawn across when weather conditions dictate. Covers can also provide warmth, in conjunction with heaters, during cooler evenings.


Plenty of greenery

Most interior or exterior spaces look better with the addition of extra greenery. Plants, flowers, and trees lift the mood of diners and also improve the air quality of the patio space. Greenery-covered trellis walls can reduce ambient noise as well as provide attractive screening options for privacy needs. Planters provide subtle space dividers and are ideal foundations for a diverse range of plants.


Appropriate lighting

Lighting is important for evening hours. Both restaurant staff and diners need to see clearly where they’re walking, for reasons of safety. Lighting needs to be strategically positioned so as to provide enough light for maneuvering yet dark enough for privacy and a relaxed ambiance. Lights can be attached to any surface including walls, screens, canopies, wire-mesh trellises, and even among planters.


Matching furniture

Restaurant furniture, whether inside or outside, needs to be strong and sturdy. As well as being durable and attractive to look at, patio furniture also needs to be waterproof. Restaurant furniture and décor should have a continuity throughout the establishment, from the interior dining spaces to the outside patio area. The best patio furniture echoes the style of the restaurant as a whole.


Perimeter definition

Restaurant patios need a defined border with the public sidewalk. Where does the restaurant property begin and end? Many patio spaces are defined simply with small brick walls, metal railings, screens, fabric banners, or glass panels, together with an entryway for access. Others are more open and have planters as borders or even greenery-covered trellises.


Privacy

Many restaurant goers like to dine in relative privacy, whether inside or outside. Couples enjoying a romantic meal, for example. While a restaurant patio space is naturally a public area, some parts can be made a little more private than others. This can be achieved with carefully planned furniture layouts, modular screens, greenery-covered trellises, and strategically placed planters, together with lighting effects.


A restaurant patio space can be dramatically improved when thought is given to how these features can be better incorporated.

At CityScapes we provide a range of products that can improve the look and effectiveness of an outdoor dining space. These include tasteful screens, wire-mesh trellises, planters, and custom-made canopies.

All of which can be used to add perimeter definitions, create private spaces, and shield unsightly views from diners (including dumpsters, restroom entrances, and exterior HVAC equipment).

7 ways to partition a shared condominium patio or balcony

Shared condominium patios and balconies can be a great way for neighbors to interact and come together in recreation. However, for the same reasons, they can also be a place people avoid due to lack of privacy and quiet.

That’s why some shared condo spaces are sometimes partitioned with screens and other types of dividers. Some of these partitions are subtle, such as a row of planters containing small trees or shrubs. Others are more substantial and prevent neighbors from even being able to see one another at all.

There are numerous ways to partition a shared condominium space, whether a patio or balcony, and some of these we’ve detailed below.


1. Bamboo screens

Bamboo screens are an attractive and cost-effective way to divide a shared patio or balcony area. Bamboo is a highly renewable resource due to its speed of growth, which makes it cheaper than a lot of similar materials. However, bamboo is sensitive to humidity and susceptible to water damage. It’s also flimsy in strong winds and does little to reduce ambient sounds.


2. Cinder blocks, brick, or concrete walls

Cinder block, brick, or concrete walls are a highly durable option for partitioning certain shared condominium patios. They provide a more solid boundary between spaces and can be painted and accessorized, including with tiles. That said, it can be extra difficult to get permission to build such structures and also more expensive. They can potentially reduce existing floor space and light sources as well.


3. Fabric screens

Fabric screens can provide highly decorative partitions on a shared balcony area. They come in numerous designs which can suit just about any setting or personal taste. Many are easily adjustable and can be taken down when a shared space is temporarily desired. However, they don’t hold up well in bad weather. They can also be difficult for the occupants to clean and don’t provide much of a sound barrier.


4. Frosted glass screens

Frosted glass screens particularly suit more contemporary condominium settings. They are highly durable and easily to clean, and require little in the way of upkeep. The frosted effect still allows plenty of light through the glass. While looking tidy enough, frosted glass can look out of place and a little too industrial for many condo patios. You can also still see the silhouettes of people on the other side.


5. Wood fencing

Wood fencing is a common material used for partitions. It is available in a wide variety of styles and colors and can be painted. Wood, however, is subject to fading, mold and mildew, warping and insect infestations making it less than ideal in many environments.


6. Trellis screens

Trellis screens allow you to use plants and shrubs as an effective divider of a condominium patio space. While the screens themselves are usually made of wire mesh or lattice-work, once the greenery has established itself, the benefits are many. A wall of greenery not only looks beautiful but also reduces ambient sounds, improves air quality, boosts mental positivity, and creates privacy. They also lend themselves well to bespoke lighting effects and can be complemented with planters.


7. Wall screens

Covrit wall screens provide all the benefits of bamboo, brick, fabric, and frosted glass screens but without many of their associated drawbacks. Available in a variety of materials including natural wood, steel, and PVC. Covrit screens offer strong, durable, and attractive ways to partition a shared condo patio or balcony. They’re available in a wide range of colors to suit different building designs and wall tones, and can be fitted with minimal floor space wastage.


At CityScapes we can help you with the final two options – trellis screens and wall screens. Our NatureScreen and Covrit product ranges offer a diverse array of choices when it comes to appearance, size, materials, and fittings. From small condo balcony dividers to larger shared patio area screens, there’s something to tastefully partition every type of shared condominium space.