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Patio Perfection

Everyone has a different idea of the ideal patio, but certain elements can help any patio achieve perfection.

By Carol Brock

Patio season is upon us, and the joys of being outside in the warm air and sunshine are tantalizing. Being outdoors is good for the soul. That’s why every home should have a patio, whether it’s just a couple of chairs or a full-blown entertainment space. Although everyone has a distinct idea of the perfect patio, creating it is just a matter of tossing together a few elements. Here are suggestions to help you create a patio you’ll love.
Learn how to make your own paper lantern.

10Merry & Bright

Lighting is a must for enjoying late evenings outdoors. String lights are a given, but also employ more unusual options, like hanging lanterns. If you use string lights, think outside the box: wrap tree trunks with them, pile them in see-through hanging baskets, drape them on shrubbery, drop them to the ground from high branches. The possibilities are endless.
(See “Make Your Own Patio Lantern”)
Photo by Good Shop Background

9Natural Nuance

Patio furnishings don’t have to cost a fortune. These homeowners used upended logs for tables and a bamboo screen for fencing. Think about how you can use nature’s gifts in a patio setting.
Photo by Sophie McAulay

& Patternize

This patio’s black-and-white color scheme pops with pillows of all patterns, shapes and sizes, and a pretzel pillow adds needed texture. The rug defines the space with its own bold, dichromatic pattern. In this instance, plants and brick provide natural color.
photo by Photographee.eu

7Cozy & Colorful

Cozy and colorful never fall out of style. This patio exudes both, with an intimate furniture arrangement, a hardscape-contained space and salient red color. Build a color scheme around a hue you love!
Photo by Ozgur Coskun

6Cool Contrasts

The random pattern in the stone floor contrasts sweetly with the stripes in the seating area. Striking purple pillows and a reflective glass table enliven the otherwise muted color ensemble. Contrasting patterns and colors are effective eye-catchers in outdoor spaces.
Photo by Anna Oleksenko

5Desirable Density

Dense plantings create an intimate cottage atmosphere in this patio area. Colorful, pollinator-friendly flowers welcome helpful bees, moths, butterflies and hummingbirds. When choosing patio plantings, plant for wildlife, too.
Photo by Hannamariah

4Let It Grow

Even if you have a very small area, you can still grow veggies and herbs in pots. What better way to enjoy the day than sitting on your patio plucking fresh cherry tomatoes?
Photo by Coulanges

3Define by Design

Uniquely shaped furniture defines this small patio. Pillow colors play off the orange-painted deck, and hanging garlands add gaiety. Unusual furnishings make decorative statements in small spaces.
Photo by Dean Moriarty

2Classic Hardware

A pergola gives structure to this patio, and heavy columns lend a classical feel. Pergolas are a good option for keeping elements at bay when entertaining outdoors, and they can create a more formal space.
Photo by Photographee.eu

1Choose a Theme

Eclectic furnishings can set the tone for a unique space. Here, a Central European theme is apparent in the Moravian stars, while bamboo ornaments introduce Asian aspects. Think about how you can incorporate themed elements into your patio.
Photo by Qualivity


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