Turn your indoor or outdoor patio into an entire additional room with creative decorating ideas. By adding an outdoor fireplace or patio heater you can create a spot to spend time in during the colder fall and winter months instead of only being able to use your patio in the summer. The most usable patios are enclosed – if yours is open, you may want to install an awning or at least put up a large patio umbrella for cover. Before furnishing and decorating your patio, make sure to clean it so that it will look its best.
Choose a theme and design the patio around that style of decor. For example, for a tropical theme, opt for bright aquas, oranges and yellows along with images of palm trees, colorful birds and the ocean. For a Mediterranean theme, find tapestries, pillows and pottery in deep purples, greens and golds. You’ll also want to design the patio around its main function – if you’re going to be entertaining, you’ll need lots of seating space and surfaces for drinks and plates, plus a miniature bar. If you want a quiet reading nook, you’ll need plenty of light and quite, serene surroundings. If your patio is large enough, you can section off areas for different things – one section can be used for sipping morning coffee and flipping through a newspaper and another section can be just for the kids.
Lay area rugs on the floor and add seating to create an inviting lounge area. Adirondack chairs, a bistro set, rocking chairs, a porch swing, hammocks or even a couch will add charm and functionality. Keep oversized pillows nearby so guests can plop down on the floor to talk or read when there’s a crowd. Illuminate the area with hanging overhead lamps, candles, tiki torches or string lights. Anything that provides soft light, like Chinese lanterns, is perfect for patio lighting. Remember, you don’t have to run to the store to buy brand new furniture – use what you’ve got and update it with a new coat of paint. You’ll be surprised at the facelift you can give your old furnishings.
Mix color, scents and natural foliage by adding potted plants, herbs and flowers to your patio. Create more floor space by hanging plants or placing them on tall, thin stands. When choosing plants, make sure that they’ll survive and thrive on the patio – check out how much sun and shade they need. Plants can also be used to section off your patio if there isn’t an outline of the area. For a spin on basic plants, purchase a topiary in the shape of your choice (they’re like bigger, better Chia Pets). Place bird feeders, bird baths or fountains around to add to the natural vibe.
Add the element of sound to your patio. Wind chimes can sound beautiful – just make sure that they don’t get in the way of relaxation. If you’d rather use your patio to get some shut eye, install a sound system and play CDs with natural sounds, like soothing running water. A stereo can also be used to play music when you have guests over.
About the Author: Samantha Reynolds writes for Patioshoppers.com, the leading e-tailer of outdoor rugs, Christmas holiday decor and other unique patio goods.