Practical Patio Decorating Ideas for Comfort and Style All Season Long
Spring is in the air, no doubt. And with that hint of warmer weather, we all know patio season is right around the corner. But there’s no need to battle delivery time delays or crowds at your local hardware store. Creating a stylish patio that is functional and stylish isn’t as difficult as you may imagine. Read on for the patio decorating ideas that are at the top of our list.
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Use Every Inch of Your Outdoor Space
Not every outdoor space is exactly the same. You may have a balcony off of your condo, or, a sweeping backyard that runs straight into the woods. Or, your lawn may slowly meander down to the lakefront. Whatever your situation, you need patio furniture and decor that fits your space and needs. And while you can always arrange your furniture on a deck or underneath a gazebo, don’t be afraid to branch out and try new things. Consider all of those unused areas of your yard. Do you have a corner that feels barren and bland? Add a hammock and make it a comfortable reading nook! Wondering how to entertain your guests on the pier without having to lug down a cooler every time? Build a bar for easy drink and appetizer access! Every inch of your outdoor space is game.
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Of course, utilizing those forgotten areas of your backyard and patio typically calls for a more customized approach (versus buying a one-size-fits-all patio set). So, brush off those paintbrushes and get those drills charged up – DIY solutions may be your best bet. If that sounds a bit terrifying, we promise it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Creating a comfortable and practical seating area can be as straightforward as recycling pallets and using a few cinder blocks. In fact, the beauty of these DIY solutions is that you can create everything from a standing bar to an ultra-plush lounge sectional – all fit to the exact specifications you desire.
If DIY life isn’t exactly what you had in mind, you can always give new life to shabby or vintage patio furniture instead. Adding in vintage pieces instead of a store-bought set is one of my favorite ways to put personality on a patio. In fact, it’s one of the most popular patio decorating ideas out there and so much more fun! Especially if you long for a more eclectic and unique patio design, hunting for show stopping vintage finds could be your best bet. Everything from sculpted iron chairs to bistro sets await – you just have to keep your eyes peeled. And if that isn’t exactly your style? Well, there’s nothing wrong with upcycling a patio set that has seen better days. A fresh coat of paint can work wonders on an outdated set, and apart from being budget-friendly, it also gives you the option to totally customize your color palette.
Patio furniture absolutely must be comfortable. And while you can certainly sit on a wood chair or bench for, say, a meal, that’s about it. Anything longer than that and you will long for the plush relaxation of a hammock or lounge chair. So, choosing the right upholstery is essential. Whether you’re creating your own chair pads or sofa cushions, or shopping pre-made ones at your favorite store, there are a few things to keep in mind. First – remember that having outdoor fabric is non-negotiable. You don’t want to have to run outside every time it rains just to pile all of your cushions in the shed or garage. Keep it weather-friendly and you’ll really be able to enjoy it. Second – remember that fabrics fade over time. You may want to hunt for outdoor fabrics that specialize in sun protection, but if that isn’t an option, consider adding in strategic shade around your patio via umbrellas or pergolas.
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Finally, a roundup of patio decorating ideas isn’t complete without a touch of life. And while you can always throw in a few decor pops (like footstools, lanterns, cafe lighting, and throw pillows), you also want your space to feel natural and outdoor-inspired. Plants and flowers always do the trick. You can, of course, simply add a few potted plants for a touch of greenery here and there. But plants are also great solutions if you need to add privacy to your space. Try building a DIY plant wall to keep prying neighbor eyes away. Or make it a goal to install a few trellises for a climbing ivy to take root and re-emerge year after year. Before you know it, you’ll have a texture-filled garden that will rival the best in the English countryside.
If creating your patio is top of mind right now (and who could blame you?), then this list is definitely for you. And if you want to create something that feels fun and unique, give a few of these tips a try. You can – and should – skip the big box sets and go for style that’s truly yours. From mix & match furniture to an eclectic array of decor and privacy plants, you simply can’t go wrong with a patio that’s practical (and chic) in every way.
By Megan Johansson, Contributor to Carla Bast Design
I have a sudden urge to recover all my patio cushions! Happy Spring!
Carla you have further inspired me to get started on my outdoor decorating!
What a lovely, timely post. I think I’ll go outside and look at my porches with a fresh eye and your ideas on my brain. Thanks!
Such an inspiring post! I can’t WAIT for warmer weather to get here so we can spend mroe time enjoying the outside spaces!
This post put me in the mood for balcony living- immediately! I love the idea of the hanging chair in an unused corner. Thanks for so many great tips!
Carla – loved all these ideas and especially curating a mix of furniture and repurposing old furniture. About to do a large terrace for a condo and this has inspired me! Thanks!
What a perfect post, I am so ready for spring. The palette coffee table is surprisingly simple but beautiful, Great ideas.
I love so many of your ideas! I also talked about decorating our outdoor spaces this week. Thank goodness Spring is in the air!! Great post, so inspiring!
I am in the middle of upgrading our outdoor space. Your advice is spot on. I agree with using every inch of your outdoor space.
Oh I can hardly wait to get outside and start planting! So many great ideas, Carla! Last year was our year of redesigning so this year I hope to just enjoy it!
I am so inspired by these ideas and beautiful photographs! Thank you for the boost to get some projects done!