Ideas for a covered outdoor shelter area

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Hello all. I am new to this site. I have no idea how this site has escaped me for so long but I am sure glad to have found you all! So many creative souls on this site! Which brings me to my question. My husband and I will be closing on our new home soon. Our home is in a beautiful country setting with a natural creek in the back of our property. We will not only have a wonderful front porch and back deck but also this great covered shelter area in the back of our home. I have so many ideas for this space but thought I would reach out to you all for your inspiration as well. My first plan was to concentrate on the cement floor because it is currently painted the dreaded battleship grey. What are your thoughts?
q ideas for a covered outdoor shelter area, concrete masonry, decks, flooring, outdoor living
  19 answers
  • Marlin Kittrell Marlin Kittrell on Jun 02, 2015
    paint on a beautiful quilt design and seal it with polyurethane.
    • Kelly Kelly on Jun 03, 2015
      @Marlin Kittrell I have thought about taping a design on the floor and repainting another color.
  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Jun 03, 2015
    Would paint the wood supports the same dark grey as in the trim. The grey concrete matches the structure. Rather than paint which I don't trust not to peel, etc., I would use a concrete stain. Or you could buy an outside carpet to define a seating/eating area. Krylon your chairs in a bright colour. Add a couple of really large pots for greenery or flowers (real or artificial) to the perimeter somewhere as the space is a little too open for my tastes - just me - I would probably add some low fencing material.
    • Kelly Kelly on Jun 03, 2015
      @Marion Nesbitt I was actually leaning towards staining the concrete however I didn't know how much of a problem removing the existing paint would be. The chairs and other items in the photo are not ours. So it will be a clean slate. I was also thinking about some type of growing area around the perimeter.
  • Wendy turley Wendy turley on Jun 03, 2015
    I would stain the concrete
  • Janice Maharrey Janice Maharrey on Jun 03, 2015
    curtains!!!
  • Dave hulla Dave hulla on Jun 03, 2015
    play with it. "this flooring is from the dread pirate bob's famous concrete battleship" put a jolly roger on the peak. have a party or six, "the dread pirate bob invites you to attend..... aboard his/hers famous concrete battleship..." etc.
  • Janet Savich Janet Savich on Jun 03, 2015
    I have seen drop cloth used for curtains and pulled back, looks neat .
  • Lee Cunningham Green Lee Cunningham Green on Jun 03, 2015
    I would go with the outdoor carpet rather than messing with stains or paints. Outdoor curtains can soften the overall look and give some privacy. I would go with comfortable deck furniture with waterproof pillows, and a simple table for eating outdoors. The sky is the limit. Comfort and color. I would love something like this with my big family. We could have reunions at the house!
  • Jennifer Srebro Pike Jennifer Srebro Pike on Jun 03, 2015
    If it is a large space, break it up into sections using large outdoor area rugs. Have a comfy sitting area, an eating area with table, a grilling area, etc. Use drop cloths for curtains and/ or use tall potted plants to close off some of the open sides. Hang old salvaged windows on one side to give it a border or wall without obstructing the view. Some rustic, simple shelving (no back if you don't want to completely obstruct views) to divide spaces - use it to hold outdoor items in wire or wicker baskets (like bug spray, sunscreen, first aid kit, citronella candles, etc).
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jun 03, 2015
    First, decide what your taste, or theme you would like. Are you wanting to keep a rustic feel, dress it up, or just something homey? Everything will fall into place once you've decided what style you want your space to be... Hanging "curtains" along the corner posts would make a great start; Shower curtains come in so many different looks and are waterproof. If you're needing to keep mosquitoes out you could use sheers that close down instead of just keeping them drawn to the poles. Concrete paint/stain to fashion a "rug" that is permanent, or use outdoor area rugs if you want something more changeable. Light fixtures; add a decorative light kit to your fans, wall sconces to the poles, couches or cushy chairs along with a dining set will add to a relaxing atmosphere.
    • Kelly Kelly on Jun 04, 2015
      @Bonnie I have thought about all of your ideas except adding wall sconces. That is a wonderful idea!
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jun 03, 2015
    Lattice panels along one or two sides (L shape) would give you a decorative "wall" that doesn't obstruct your view, allows air flow and you could add small white LED lights to it. Paint it white, along with the poles for a dressier garden look...
  • Bonnie Bonnie on Jun 03, 2015
    ... edging to finish around the concrete, perhaps a walkway from your deck? And of course, landscaping to finish out your oasis....
  • Bar1738694 Bar1738694 on Jun 03, 2015
    Make the poles look bigger with 1x's and paint them white. You can save some money by painting a rug right on the concrete, and add curtains or plants.
    • Kelly Kelly on Jun 04, 2015
      @Barbjones54 we have been looking at those wrap and snap vinyl sleeves you can put around deck and porch support poles. I think white sleeves would look amazing on this structure.
  • Lisa trachtman Lisa trachtman on Sep 15, 2015
    any updated photos?
  • Paula Marie Hyde Paula Marie Hyde on Oct 25, 2016
    Hanging shower curtains is a great idea, but I would suggest sewing some weights into the hem. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want the curtains blowing straight out on a breezy day. Also, we have a similar structure on our camping lot, and the lattice is a really good idea. It helps keep the leaves (in the fall and winter) from blowing through and settling inside the structure. Less to clean up that way.
  • Jane Schuster Jane Schuster on Oct 26, 2016
    I have a patio cover like that with a closet for my well pump. On 2 sides I built a wall with fence boards about 8 foot wide in the middle of each wall. I put my bistro table on the inside wall and 3 large potted plants on the outside of the same wall. The other wall I have a potting bench with shelves. I have a faucet on the outside well closet with a 6 foot wall to protect from the weather. Eventually the fence boards will be weathered gray to match the metal on well closet wall. I can then hang yard art on all the walls.
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 24, 2016
    I agree, I wouldn't mess with floors just divide areas for sit ting by the cook with a table and an area to be just enjoying the outdoors with some lemonade or read a book. The floor appears to be in great shape so nice and clean and won't soak up heat and reflect back onto you.
  • Bernice H Bernice H on Dec 24, 2016
    Hello Kelly..I thought you were a newbie and got set to welcome you,but I looked at the date on your post..not a newbie any more. So what did you do? Any pictures? Nice project!
  • Ginny Ginny on Dec 24, 2016
    • Attach the lights so they won't hang down - they look tacky.
    • Like outdoor ceiling fans.
    • Purchase outdoor furniture that will hold up under Ohio winters and create one or two groups for adult conversation and relaxing.
    • Have a small area for the children and their own seating/eating/play space.
    • Put BBQ grills in one area and make a small 'outdoor kitchen' for warm weather cooking.
    • Tie furniture groupings together with colorful cushions and pillows.
    • Enjoy!
  • Wanda sinnema Wanda sinnema on Jan 06, 2017
    WHAT A GREAT SPACE..... welcome and here is my thoughts In addition to many of the things already mentioned.. Many new outdoor rugs now will not mold or get nasty can be flipped over for a reverse pattern , and just hose off. Other option is to paint the rug(s) on the floor for ease of cleaning. I'd tape it off first to check dimensions for your liking. Several (2-3) smaller ones might work better to divide the space into casual seating, dining - prep and kids space. I'd put the bar closer to the food area, yet far enough away to be safe. To separate the prep - cooking area try a potters bench, maybe two, sanded painted or stained with several shelves for supplies....One for prep and cooking, one for serving.. depending on the crowds you plan to have.. . I would use PAINTERS TARPS for curtains.. HUGE SIZES-several colors, toss into the washer.. very cheap and rugged.. dress up with fabric prints of boarders, stripes, stencils or painted pattern or family artwork on top or bottom. OR, mark a special day or event with everyone signing and good wishes with bright markers to cherish.. To hang I'd use skinny pipes, painted or not, as the rods between the poles. Top can have large grommets for easy sliding. On the bottom corners another grommet to be clipped to O screws mounted into the poles.Easily opened and closed for wind, sun or rain.. Easy to tie back too. I'd add lots of various sized lanterns w/ real candles or flameless. Hang some from the pipes.. A few huge ones sitting in various spots for a cozy feel..battery operated twinkle lights also look great instead of candles. I'd add an outdoor battery motion sensor LED light for evening when no one wants to leave.. a gas fire pit with a wide shelf all around to act as a table, or clay chimnea in a corner would also be great..