It may be stereotypical but we Pacific Northwesterners love the great outdoors — and it’s a well-earned reputation. You’ll find us in fleece sans umbrella, coffee or craft beer in one hand, a dog leash in the other, stepping away from our Subarus walking toward a mountain switchback, coastal pathway, or forest trail, no matter what time of year it might be — even the rainy season. 

You see, the rainy season in our neck of the woods isn’t really as bad as the caricatures of our lifestyle would suggest. Sure, it’s overcast much of the time, and the rainy season does seem never-ending some years, but it’s more of a drizzle than a downpour, and it’s certainly not heavy enough that it’s going to keep us inside until summer. 

That said, despite the many natural wonders we’re so lucky to be surrounded by, we have normal responsibilities that need to be taken care of — like jobs and school and practice and clubs that keep us close to home much of the time — so here at Greenhaven Landscapes, we want to help you have a little more of that outdoors experience in the safety and comfort of your own yard for as much of the year as you can, no matter what the weather might be. 

No matter what your budget, space, or the architectural style of your home might be, there are creative solutions that can be made to give yourself and your family a warm and cozy covered patio you can enjoy all year long. Here are four of our favorite covered patio ideas that we hope you enjoy. Perhaps it will inspire you to explore a covered patio project for yourself in your own yard. And if you want help realizing your dream, let us know! Projects like these are exactly why our business exists. 

Keep it light

It kinda goes without saying, but the most functional covered patios for most Pacific Northwest yards are those that will keep the rain out. While we love the look of an open lattice pergola, it’s not going to be very much use to you in the winter months unless you add a roof to it. 

The drawback of many styles of roofs that get added to latticed pergolas is that they end up blocking out the light, which is fine for the summer but can be a real bummer in the wintertime. A solution to consider? Why not skylights? Heck, why not make the entire roof see-through? There are a wide variety of different products on the market today that can be used to achieve this very look. The great part is you can achieve the airy look and feel of having a lattice style roof to your covered patio but still be protected from the wet, winter weather. 

Consider some even more luxurious features to your new rooftop by adding ceiling fans for hot weather in the summer, or radiant heaters to keep you and your loved ones warm in the winter. The better you can control these elements, the more likely you’re going to embrace this space, so why not go for it? Add your favorite furniture and decor, and you’ve got yourself a whole new living space just beyond your own back door! 

Just be sure to stay on top of regular maintenance with these types of roofs. Keeping them clean and free of dirt, leaves, and moss growth is a must if you want to keep your patio well-lit and inviting all throughout the year.

An elevated experience

This one will really depend on the style and architecture of your home, but hear us out. Why not have a covered patio that also functions as a balcony or deck? This works especially well for those households who love to entertain and create distinct, functional spaces for their guests and friends and family to enjoy. 

Or, depending on your home’s layout, can function as a more private balcony that connects to your master bedroom. Just imagine, a simple, elegant structure that can lead to a whole new set of experiences from the comfort of your home. You can have your morning coffee or tea while watching the sun come up, or gaze at the stars with some of your favorite folks while sharing laughs and telling stories.

These sorts of designs are commonplace because they essentially create two whole new spaces that you can enjoy, but with modern materials and sensibilities, the way in which we can design and use these spaces are being innovated every day. If you’re curious about how we could turn your patio into a multipurpose space like this, let us know. We’ll probably have a few ideas that will pleasantly surprise you!

A blank canvas

One look we’ve been seeing more and more lately in the world of covered patios that we really like is stretched canvas. Instead of a standard roof or a covered lattice, there are a number of designers and manufacturers who offer stretched, waterproof canvas that can be hung overhead. 

These stretched canvas tarps are a great way to protect you from the sun and the rain and are a fairly inexpensive solution in creating a fully functional covered patio area. 

The canvases come in all shapes and sizes, and we love seeing them when they’re hung creatively (but take note that you’ll want to hang them on a slope that guides water and other precipitation away from the home) where multiple layers of canvases are used to create dimension, texture, and drama. 

And don’t forget the lights! Using strings of patio lights and other accessories will breathe even more life into your space, giving it the drama it deserves. 

We’ve convinced even the most skeptical of observers that canvas can be a budget-friendly, practical, and elegant solution to your covered patio desires. 

In my solitude

Have you ever wanted the privacy of a covered, enclosed porch with the airiness of a patio? We suggest you consider hanging drapes, curtains, or blinds on your covered patio area.

This is where your sense of style in combination with your home’s architecture really comes into play. There is an abundance of options you can choose from, from the fully utilitarian outdoor drapes that will keep out light and rain to the sheer, gauzy curtains that will help keep out pests while still letting in the light, and, of course, everything in-between. 

We love this idea because you can easily change things up stylistically depending on the season, changes in trends, or your personal preferences. We also love it because it is truly transformative for a space like your patio. It’s private, it’s cozy, but…you’re still outside and able to bask in the sounds and scents and feeling of the outdoors. 

Of course, this is also an option that can give you the best of both worlds, because you can keep them open when you want to be fully outdoors, and keep them close when you want a little more privacy but you’re not ready to head back into the house quite yet. It’s a simple but inspired idea that we think you just might love.