Dreaming of your outdoor room?

How to dress your patio.

Summer at last. Time to soak in the sun and bask in the long daylight. But if you’re like me, you’ve faced a table and chairs toward the best view on your patio and called it a day.

By Carol Brock

But things could be much more interesting, don’t you agree? An outdoor room should have at least a little of the pizzazz of our indoor spaces. Although au naturel is the overriding style for the majority of Boulder County patios (including mine), wouldn’t it be fun to dress things up a bit and create a patio with a theme? Think Southwestern, Tuscan, Asian—the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Here are a few stylish ideas for your patio.

cabana-clubContemporary Chic

Contemporary is all about strong lines, minimal accessories and industrial-strength looks. This outdoor room features all three, with curving couch lines bisecting straight angles, reflective tabletops, neutral colors and contemporary materials. Move over, Museum of Modern Art!

Patio by christy sports patio furniture

Surf’s Up

Think cool colors that mimic water and sky when trolling for beach tones for your patio. That means glassware, too. Enjoy refreshing Sea Breeze cocktails from sky-blue and sea-green cups. Of course, wicker is a natural, and nautical-themed accessories like hurricane lights and striped rugs blend right into a beach scene. Add a comfy chair with a sun shield fpatio-Sunasan-Environmentalor catnaps. Wouldn’t want to sunburn!

Patios by Pier 1 Imports

Middle-East Oasis

Midnight at the oasis is easy to conjure on this patio. An enclosed courtyard is typical Middle-Eastern style, along with colorful plantings, draping vines, formal hedges and vibrant tiled walls. The circular furniture is great for conversing en masse, and a cloth cover turns it into a Bedouin hideout on hot desert days.


Patios of the Alshalabi family in Kuwait



Rocky Mountain High

Nature-inspired patios are common here, given the abundance of quality flagstone, granite boulders and mountain views. But these outdoor rooms use stone in creative ways. The fire pits are visual focal points, while the embedded pathways of the one patio resemble the swirling currents of a mountain stream. When it comes to stone, mimicking our mountains is a piece of cake.rocky-mtn-style

patios by outdoor craftsmen and ecoscape environmental design


Asian Abode

blue-papasanAsia is a colorful part of the world, so spritz your outdoor room with color to add Far Eastern flair. Intricately patterned ottomans, animal prints and sculptures, and potted palms and orchids give these two rooms Asian essences—and the swinging chairs add a playful touch.

Patios by Pier 1 Imports


Italianate-2Italianate Ideals

Is there any place more romantic than Italy? Bring it to your backyard with sculptures, fountains, stonework and plants that mimic the Tuscan countryside, like this patio in Boulder County.Italianate-1 Serve dinner in colorful dishes paired with a fine Chianti and you’re ready for romance. Così buono!

Patio by outdoor craftsmen



med-magicMediterranean Magic

Tile, fountains and topiary bring a Mediterranean vibe to this Boulder County yard. The patio alone sports multitudes of perfumed plants and citrus trees in terra-cotta pots, blooming vines, and a grape-laden arbor, giving this space a Spanish twist.

Patio and courtyard of the doerr family



old-world-2old-world-charmOld-World Charm

This outdoor room is a cozy representation of the medieval ages. A massive stone hearth, semicircular arches, Romanesque patterns and religious symbols make this one very Goth patio! The gravel floor is in keeping with the ambience as well.

patio by outdoor craftsmen



tropical-tastesTropical Tastes

You really need bamboo and palm fronds to pull off a tropical feel, but Richard and Myriam Doerr’s Louisville yard includes citrus trees, pomegranates, figs, guavas, elephant ears, ginger, bananas, oleander, passionfruit, bougainvillea, lilies and hundreds of other plants. Every view from their patio is a picture of paradise, so take a cue from this couple and plant, plant, plant if you want a true taste of the tropics!

yard of the doerr family

Serenely Southwestern

Vines snaking up a wooden arbor, a fence made from pine logs, a trickling water feature, stucco walls and sandstone embedded in tawny gravel are southwestern sensibilities that could easily transplant to any yard, especially those in sunny Colorado.southwest-charm2

Encantado Resort Photo
and Natural Boulder Fountain #GF13-20 by Stone Forest