Patios are commonly used as an outdoor extension to the home’s indoor living room. You can make the most of your extra space by creating an outdoor area like a patio and make it a sanctuary for relaxing and entertaining. Whatever preference you may have, you can find practical ways on how to furnish and decorate your outdoor space. Here are some of them:
1. Be wise in choosing furniture
Patio furniture must help you relax comfortably in your outdoor space. Why furnish the patio anyway, right? When you’re contemplating furnishings for your patio, keep these tips in mind:
Be smart about scale.
Make sure the items you pick are in proportion to the space that you have. Don’t pick large couches and large chairs for a small patio, and vice versa. But remember, it’s okay to place an oversized item in a small patio, like big pillows on the couch, or big planters by the side. It’s because a few large items can make space feel bigger, rather than packing lots of small items that can make an area look cluttered. Also, make sure that the furniture you pick will keep the space easy to move around in. A large couch placed in an area designed for tables and chairs may end up being a traffic hazard.
Keep it close to your existing décor.
Though you have latitude in designing the patio, make sure you can keep the style consistent with the prevailing architecture. If you have a modern industrial home, don’t use country-style patio furniture in your outdoor area. If you have a Zen feel in your home and garden, avoid adding something that can break the look that you’re going for, such as placing a pastel-colored plastic table. The same goes for colors. It’s not a rule that you have to stick with the same color palette over and over – just make sure that it complements the exterior paint in your home to avoid making your patio an eyesore.
Choose weather-resistant items.
Keep your patio looking good for a longer time by using furniture that is built to last outdoors. There are outdoor seat cushions that are meant to withstand rain and fading from the sun but still looks like the typical cushions you put to your living room. The fiber fillers for outdoor furniture cushions can resist mildew and repel moisture.
2. Bring your indoor living room to outdoors
Let your personal style spread to your outdoor space for a cohesive effect. You want it to feel as luxe and as comfortable as your indoor space, so decorate it the same way you want to decorate your living room (minus the indoor knick-knacks and TV, of course). Just make sure that you choose weatherproof furniture and accessories to make sure that they will last for a long time. You can add metal candle holders, garden plaques, or statues to add personality to your outdoor area.
3. Make sure you provide privacy
Privacy is one of the biggest concerns about having a patio where you plan to hang out. It also pays to have a divider to lessen sun exposure. If it’s visible from the street, you may feel as though you’re on stage every time you’re outside. It’s not relaxing for many people. Building a tall fence may not be feasible, but why not let nature do the work and plant a hedge or a few shrubs. These can help create a tasteful screen.
But if you can’t afford for the wedges to grow, consider adding an outdoor divider or a trellis wherein vines can grow. Vines like ivy, clematis, or wisteria can offer thick coverage to conceal your patio activities. You can purchase them ready-made or in do-it-yourself kits. You can also hire a contractor to make a permanent screen for you.
Depending on your patio placement, you can upgrade it by adding a pergola and outdoor curtains to make a semi-enclosed space. This way, your outdoor space can be an intimate sanctuary where you can read or nap in silence.
4. Identify your style
Before you revamp your patio, identify the style that you want to go for. It’s always best to keep the style close to your existing interior décor, but if you’re revamping your whole home, you have the freedom to choose the style that you want. Here are some furniture pieces that you can pick if you want to go for a certain style:
5. Add personality to your patio
When decorating your outdoor spaces, adding texture is a smart move. Lattice trellis, textured roller shade, and wrought iron wall art can add an interesting mood to your patio.
Your outdoor patio must appeal to your senses and help you relax. Consider adding a water feature to the area around your patio. You can add a water fountain or waterfalls as the soothing sounds can put you in touch with nature. Just make sure that your chosen water feature is in scale with the rest of the landscape.
Lavish colors can also enhance your outdoor spaces. If you have a plain concrete slab on your wall or floor, brighten it up with colorful throw pillows or painted benches.
6. Light up your patio
Proper lighting will make your patio a safer place to stay during the night, and it can also enhance your home’s security and design.
Globe string lights are perfect for the patio. It offers a dreamy effect that makes your patio look warm and lively. If you are concerned about electricity costs, solar lighting is a sustainable option. It comes in different styles that work well for different areas in your landscape. You can also opt for lights with motion sensors for your entrances, as sudden illumination can also impede a potential intruder from entering your home.
Recessed and embedded lights like this one for pathways and a garden rock light can help you watch your steps literally. Landscape lights can illuminate your walkways and can be mounted to the ground.
7. Create custom zones
If you have a large patio and have more than enough space than just a sofa set or a dining set, you can split it up by putting different custom zones for different functions such as lounging, relaxing, eating, drinking, and entertaining. It doesn’t have to be well-defined like inside your home. You can simply use outdoor rugs to help define the area. For instance, you can have a grilling station on one side with a bar just right beside it, and then the dining area sits adjacent to it. You can also add spaces for your kids for them to play outdoor games or even consider installing a custom made swing set.
Here are some of the major zones you can do to make more efficient and fun use of your patio:
- Build a fire pit.
Roasting marshmallows in the backyard never get old. Plus, having your own backyard campfire seems so cool, right? You may want just to invite your friends to come over and sit by the fire while you’re eating fondue.
You can buy an inexpensive fire pit that consists of a metal bowl on a pedestal. You can also hire a pro to build a sturdy stone or brick fire pit right on top of your patio floor. But before you do that, make sure you do your homework. Research on the building codes in your area regarding permits and outdoor fires. Make sure it’s placed in an open area, away from any flammable materials, walls, structures, shrubs, or trees.
Choose a stone for your fire pit that’s uniform in shape, quality, and size. The consistency of the stones you choose will save you time when building the fire pit. Then, don’t forget to protect the interior of the stone fire pit. Cover the walls with black stove spray paint, as it can withstand heat up to 12,000 degrees while keeping the insides of your fire pit aesthetically pleasing.
- Make an open-air kitchen.
Anyone who loves grilling at the backyard knows how fun it is to do outdoor cooking. Everything seems to taste better this way too. Plus, you can keep all the heat, humidity, and grease away from your indoor kitchen. You can get an outdoor grill as your official cooking area by the patio, or build a whole new outdoor kitchen. Some open-air kitchen can include luxuries like a cooking island, refrigerator, stereo, and the grilling equipment that you may need. This can cost you more than $35,000, so it’s only advisable if you are rich or if you really plan to cook most of the time outdoors. However, getting a grill table next to your grill for preparation and serving can be enough.
- Set up an alfresco bar.
You may also include a fully-stocked bar cabinet to your patio. Whether you add an alfresco bar to extend your outdoor kitchen or use it as a stand-alone station, having a designated spot for drinks, make entertaining outdoors super effortless. You can buy a wicker outdoor bar with open shelves inside, a rolling cooler chest cart for storing your beers in a can, or go for a bar with matching bar stools.
8. Add some shade
You know Mother Nature can sweep in an uninvited guest while you’re hanging out in the patio with your friends. It’s either a sudden rain or a scorching hot sun. You can still entertain indoors, but sometimes you want to stay outside. The shade will help shield yourself from rain or the sun’s harmful rays so you can still enjoy the outdoors regardless of the weather.
You are lucky if you can afford to build a new roof or a pergola with a glass roof for your patio. But if you don’t have the space or the budget for that, here are your options:
Umbrellas are the quintessential patio item. This classic is both decorative and functional, and it can give you a shady respite while you’re outside. You can install umbrella lights so your nighttime parties will still be lovely.
Retractable awnings allow you to shade your porch or patio and keep it dry. But during fine days when you want to enjoy the sun, you can retract it easily.
If your patio is by the pool or by the pond, sail shades, is your best choice. They are perfect for adding shade to your pool-side lounge chairs or Adirondack chairs while you enjoy the view of the water in front of you. These shades are flexible enough to be attached to anything, like from the house to the tree.
9. Add plants
You can spruce up your patio by adding flowers and greenery. Plants can easily add life to an otherwise plain-looking patio. Outdoor hanging planters work well in bringing life to an outdoor space like a patio. Flowering plants and ferns look well here.
You can use a potting bench – it’s a must-have to any patio if the owner enjoys gardening. You can start a simple herb garden here, too, so you can use your home-grown herbs for your recipes.
After having a mini garden, you can begin stocking its shelves and drawers with necessary gardening tools. The drawers can work as storage for seeds, while large cabinets can hold bags of potting soil, clay pots, and mulch. Speaking of pots, you can recycle unused household items for a rustic appeal. This will add a homey personality to your outdoor area. Meanwhile, the watering pail, garden rakes, shears, and pruners can be hanged in a place where it can be readily available and easily accessed.
10. Mix and match materials
Many patio furniture comes in a set of items of the same color and same materials. But don’t be afraid to eschew the patio set. You can pick and choose different furniture, fabrics, and materials in the same way you would inside your home. You can add a printed umbrella beside brightly-colored chairs, or mix various pillows with different patterns. This will help make your outdoor space reflect your personality.