Business: Marketing Column

How to Design the Perfect Patio

Expert advice on how to get the very best of outdoor living

Published: Thursday, July 5, 2012 | 5:20 AM

Ah, summer in Southern California! Endless sun, beaches a short drive away or a pool in the back yard, that idyllic lifestyle of barbecues with friends on the back patio. What could be better?

Well……… what could be better is probably your patio and barbecue – I’m sorry to be the one to tell you that you’re living in the past when your idea of a barbecue is a package of hot dogs thrown on your hibachi over the sounds of the Beach Boys coming from your eight track.

There’s no doubt you need help creating a Pasadena-perfect patio that’s party-worthy. That’s why we talked to Ken Burrows of Pasadena Patio to wade through the overwhelming choices and find out how to design that perfect patio.

“You need to put yourself in the hands of a professional to get some help and do it right,” says Burrows. “So, that’s the way to go. It all depends on how often you use the outdoor area for cooking and how often you use it for entertaining in a given month. If you’re doing quite a bit of entertaining, you’ll need a refrigerator out next to your barbecue, not in the kitchen inside.”

Outdoor kitchens can be small and simple or as elaborate as any indoor kitchen. Typically they include a grill, a counter area for prepping and plating food, and a dining counter or table. Run gas, plumbing and electrical lines to the outdoor kitchen, and you can have a sink, refrigerator or beverage center, additional cooking appliances, lighting, and even a TV or sound system. It sure beats a cassette tape player and a hibachi.

“There’s no limit on how much space you need,” Burrows adds. “You could have a space as small as 10’ x 10’ or as large as 100’ x 100’ and everything in between. A lot of people come to a place like this to get an idea of what they might like to make their patio dreams come true.”

The focal point of most outdoor patios is the grill. Gas grills, smokers, and charcoal grills raise the sacred art of barbecue to incredible new heights, while outdoor wall ovens redefine cooking out. Outdoor hoods freshen the fresh air and large-capacity warming drawers keep multiple courses piping hot.

“Stainless steel is what it’s all about today,” states Burrows. “Stainless steel is the most popular material used in outdoor grills. A lot of islands are being built today. There are also a lot of additions you can put with a barbecue, such as the outdoor bar, a refrigerator, a double-burner, a wok. We cover the gamut.”

Burrows says that Viking is one the most popular because it’s known for its quality. Lynx is a popular second, he says and they are all stainless steel and built here in the U.S.

The patio bar and beverage dispenser makes a barbecue more festive. Frosty refreshment, supplemented by refrigeration units, ice machine, and a refreshment center, your patio becomes a full-service backyard lounge. Add music and you’re getting close a Pasadena Perfect Patio.

Ken Burrows

What about patio furniture? You want more than just a couple loosely-webbed pool chaises and an old weathered end table you got from Aunt Mildred. You need some patio furniture that will stand up to the sun and keep its look.

“Color is still one of the most important choices in choosing outdoor furniture,” states Burrows. “The tans, the beiges, the browns and terra cottas are the most popular. There are more choices available and the trend is to get some brighter colors. The sky is the limit when it comes to design and color.

“When it comes to furniture, there are more than 200 different fabrics to choose from,” adds Burrows. “Today, one of the most common and popular fabrics is from a company called Sunbrella. If you want furniture that has a fabric, it can be covered with Sunbrella. It’s made for outdoor.”

If you love to cook, entertain outdoors, or just appreciate the pleasure of great food with good friends, turn your next barbecue into a great experience. With a few tips and advice from the experts, you can turn your get-together with friends into one the Pasadena Perfect Patio.

For more information about Pasadena Patio, call (626) 405-2334 or visit