By Erica Young
Ready to move the party outdoors? With the right layout and style, your patio can be an extension of your home. Your outdoor space should have the same comfort and style as your indoor rooms, making it perfect for entertaining. But when it comes to designing your patio, where to begin? No need to fret. These six easy tips will make any outdoor space shine. Let the barbeque parties begin!
1. Refinish the Patio Floor or Deck
Let’s start with the flooring. Before you furnish your patio, it’s important to ensure you have a good blank slate to work with. If you have a wood deck patio – consider staining or painting it. Before applying stain or paint, make sure your deck has been cleaned properly with a deck cleaner. Use a roller to apply the stain or paint, working in small sections. If you’re using stain, work the stain into the wood with a paintbrush after rolling it on.
If you have a concrete patio, you can stain the concrete for a whole new look. Concrete stain is a water-based product that coats the concrete and transforms the surface. A sealer is applied over the stain to protect it.
Painting or staining your patio flooring is one of those great patio decorating ideas on a budget. It makes a high-impact and won’t cost you much.
2. Arrange Patio Furniture to Encourage Socializing
Now that your patio is looking shiny and new, it’s time to add some furniture. Think of a patio as an outdoor living room. You want comfortable seating that encourages conversation and flow.
For simple patio designs, keep it classic. We love the timeless arrangement of a sofa and two chairs. Place the sofa along the longest wall, and place the chairs in a pair facing the sofa. This arrangement creates a cozy conversation area. If you’re looking for narrow patio ideas, consider just a single sofa with or a couple of chairs on either side of a round end table.
No matter what layout you decide on, be sure to shop for outdoor furniture that’s both durable and easy to clean.
3. Add Plenty of Plants or Flowers for Color and Style
Obviously, a beautiful patio needs plants and flowers! Place container gardens in the corners of your patio for color. A single pot will look lonely all by itself, so arrange a group of three pots at varying heights. This will make a bigger impact and bring the overall patio up a notch. Choose flower colors that complement the color of your house or outdoor furniture. For plant species consider types of flowers that attract butterflies such as butterfly bush, zinnias, and verbena. These flowers will add even more beauty and whimsy to your patio design. Keep in mind potted flowers and plants will work on any patio, even small patio designs.
4. Define the Space with a Privacy Screen
Patio designs for small spaces, or large, sometimes require a privacy screen. Not only do they add coverage, but a screen or wall will help define the patio space and add decoration. You can go the store-bought route where there’s a wide selection of patio screens available to fit any budget. Or, plant a row of tall hedges to create a live privacy screen. Bamboo or yellow bell shrubs both grow to tall heights that would be a great choice. Another easy option is to hang outdoor curtains. These can be pulled shut when privacy is needed or left open for an open and airy quality.
5. Create Ambiance with Lighting
Finally, a good porch needs lighting. Nighttime gatherings will be a very somber affair without the right lights. String lights add a festive element to any gathering. Or for a more professional look, install energy-efficient LED deck step lights for stairs and pathways. If your patio is surrounded by trees and shrubs, consider adding landscape lighting. Floodlights and spotlights are best for trees and larger areas of your yard. Most landscape lights are available in low-voltage, solar or LED.
6. Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!
Now that your patio is nearly finished, don’t forget the decorative accessories! You shouldn’t hesitate to decorate an outdoor space just as you would an indoor space. Add colorful and stylish throw pillows to the furniture for extra comfort. An outdoor rug can help ground your furniture arrangement and add coziness to the hard ground. If your patio is against the house, consider a decorative wall hanging or vertical garden.
The patio of your dreams is just a few steps away. No matter the size of your patio or the size of your budget, with these helpful tips, you can create a beautiful outdoor space.
Images used with permission, courtesy of www.shutterstock.com and www.dreamstime.com