There are few things in life that beat the joys of spending quality time outdoors with your friends and family, having a backyard barbecue or sipping a cup of tea under the shelter of a patio or awning.
You already know that your Shed Boss patio or awning is made of galvanised, quality steel ready to withstand any weather, but did you know there are so many ways to make the most of these structures?
Here are three fun ideas for taking your enjoyment to the next level.
1) Rustic garden party
Impress all your guests with a charming, rustic theme for a garden party. If you have outdoor furniture under your patio, make a table runner using burlap sacks and place mason jars with candles inside along it.
Use scraps of lace as your place-mats, and tie up your cutlery using strings of brown twine or thin rope. Tiny pots of green succulents can be placed as centrepieces for your table decor. Visit your local grocery or hardware store and ask if you can take home their unused wooden palettes. Stack these up and pop a comfortable cushion over the top to make an outdoors seat to match your theme.
As for your patio, one of the prettiest ways to transform it for a garden party atmosphere is to wrap fairy lights around the poles and string lanterns along the wider lengths of the patio. You can use paper lanterns in colours of white and beige, and rummage through fabric stores for cheap bits of materials such as organza or chiffon to hang from the patio roof.
2) High tea on a Sunday afternoon
Sometimes there is nothing sweeter than sitting in comfortable silence with your loved ones, sipping on a hot cup of tea as you hear the pleasant sound of rain drops falling onto the metal roof of your patio.
Other times, tea can become the excuse for a classy celebration by staging a high tea on a Sunday afternoon.
"Where there's tea there's hope."
~ Arthur Wing Pinero
See if you can find three-tiered cake stand for displaying your homemade mini sandwiches, and if you're a whiz at baking, whip up some little cakes, muffins or brownies to add some sweets to the savoury selection.
No tea party is complete without scones smeared with jam and cream, so be sure to add these to the menu! In the scorching Australian summer months, you might want to substitute your hot tea with iced tea instead.
Many dollar stores sell patterned straws with polka dots or stripes, and you can toss these into your glasses when you serve the iced tea. No matter which type of beverage you choose, it's sure to be a memorable high tea, because as Arthur Wing Pinero famously said "where there's tea there's hope".
3) Stage for live music
If your family is having a big celebration at home, such as for an engagement party or a 21st birthday, you might be keen to hire a local band for entertainment. But, things get tricky when you need to find a space big enough and under cover for the band to set up.
Your custom built patio provides shelter for the band's expensive electrical musical equipment, and you can really make it feel like a stage by hanging up some temporary red curtains. Similar to the rustic garden party, you can bring your Christmas lights out of storage and string them up along the poles.
Even businesses with awnings can jump on board with this idea, especially for those end of year office parties. Why spend money on hiring a venue when you can simply use your own premises, enjoying the sounds coming from your awning in the December summery evenings with your colleagues?