Take your outdoor living space to the next level with a dreamy patio setup. Whether looking for ways to entertain friends and family or relax in the backyard, designing an inviting and cosy patio can have major benefits.
From selecting comfy furniture pieces to exploring decor options, many steps go into creating the perfect area – but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming! In this blog post, we’ll provide tips on quickly creating a dreamy outdoor living space so you can start making memories (and taking advantage of gorgeous summer days!).
Why Outdoor Living Spaces are Important
Improves Health and Well-being
Being outdoors in nature positively impacts our health and overall well-being. Outdoor living spaces offer a place to relax and breathe in the fresh air that helps reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve your mood. Moreover, spending time outside increases your vitamin D production, which can improve your bone health and immune system. In recent years, more people have embraced outdoor living spaces to improve their physical, mental, and emotional health.
Perfect for Entertaining
Outdoor living spaces are perfect for hosting parties, barbecues, and other events. They provide a great platform for guests to socialize and mingle while enjoying the outdoors. A well-designed outdoor living space can help make your home feel more spacious and comfortable, which will impress your guests. Additionally, outdoor living spaces can be designed to accommodate all your needs, including a grill station, refrigerator, seating, and other amenities.
Adds Value to Your Home
If you plan to sell your home in the future, outdoor living space can be a valuable addition to increasing the overall value of your home. Apart from the aesthetic appeal, outdoor living spaces often add square footage to your property, making it more attractive to potential buyers. Since they are more popular than ever, homes with outdoor living spaces sell faster and often for more money than homes without.
Expand Your Living Area
Outdoor living spaces expand your living area, offering a comfortable and relaxing place to hang out with family and friends. You can create an outdoor space that suits all your needs and interests with the right design. Whether it be a reading nook or an outdoor kitchen, there are endless ways to transform your backyard into a functional living space. By creating this extension of your living area, you can enjoy the outdoors during all seasons comfortably.
Sustainable and Eco-Friendly
Finally, outdoor living spaces are environmentally sustainable and eco-friendly. Using sustainable materials for your deck, seating, and other features, you can minimise your environmental impact. Additionally, these spaces can be used to grow fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables, reducing your dependence on supermarkets and creating a greener environment. Furthermore, outdoor living spaces can be used to promote eco-friendly practices such as recycling, composting, and waste reduction.
Choosing the Right Furniture
Consider Your Needs
When choosing furniture for your patio, it’s important to consider your needs. Think about how you plan to use your outdoor space–will it be a place to entertain guests or a cosy spot for reading and relaxation? Do you need ample seating for large gatherings, or will a few chairs suffice? Consider the size of your patio and the number of people you expect to accommodate regularly. These considerations will help you determine the type and quantity of furniture you need.
Choose Durable Materials
Outdoor furniture is exposed to the elements year-round, so choosing materials that can withstand wear and tear is essential. Look for weather-resistant materials that are easy to clean, such as wrought iron, teak, and resin wicker. These materials are durable and stylish, making them perfect for outdoor use. Consider opting for UV-treated furniture to prevent fading and discolouration over time.
Add Comfortable Cushions
While the right materials are important, the comfort of your patio furniture is equally crucial. Adding cushions or pillows to your seating areas provides extra comfort and enhances the overall look of your patio. Make sure to choose cushions made with materials that can withstand the outdoors, such as waterproof and mildew-resistant fabrics. Consider colour and pattern options that complement your patio’s design scheme.
Don’t Forget About Storage
When designing your patio, it’s easy to overlook the need for storage. However, a lack of storage can lead to cluttered and overcrowded outdoor spaces. Consider furniture pieces that double as storage solutions, such as benches or coffee tables with hidden compartments. Not only will these provide extra seating or table space, but they’ll also keep your patio essentials out of sight when they’re not in use.
Stick to a Design Scheme
Lastly, choosing patio furniture that complements your outdoor design scheme is essential. Whether you prefer a boho-inspired patio or a more sleek and modern look, choose furniture pieces that enhance the overall aesthetic of your space. Consider coordinating colours, textures, and patterns to bring your patio to life.
How to Create a Focal Point
Choose a Central Element
The first step in creating a focal point is to choose a central element for your patio. This could be anything from a fire pit, water feature, sculpture, or seating arrangement. The element should draw the attention of anyone visiting your patio. The central element should be placed strategically where it’s visible from every angle of the patio.
Add Surrounding Elements
Once you have the central element in place, the next step is to add surrounding elements to complement it. You want your patio to feel harmonious and well-balanced. The surrounding elements could be in the form of furniture, plants, lighting, and accessories. Ensure they blend well with the central element.
Play with Colours and Textures
Colours and textures can create a dynamic focal point when designing a perfect patio. You can add visual interest by choosing colours and textures that contrast or complement your patio’s existing colours. For instance, if your patio has a stone finish, you could add colourful throw pillows or cushions on your furniture or use tiles with different textures.
Pay Attention to the Lighting
Lighting plays a crucial role in creating a focal point on your patio. By placing lights correctly, you can highlight your central element and make it more appealing at night. You can use string lights, lamps, or lanterns to create a warm ambience on your patio. Choosing lighting that complements your patio’s decor is essential to avoid clashing.
Mix and Match
The final step in creating a focal point is to mix and match different elements to create an eclectic look. You don’t have to stick to a particular design style. You can combine modern and traditional elements or rustic and industrial. The key is to ensure all elements blend and complement each other.
Outdoor Lighting Ideas
String lights, aka fairy lights, are a fantastic lighting option that can undoubtedly improve the ambience of your patio. These lights are an attractive and inexpensive solution in different shapes, sizes, and colours. String lights can create an intimate and cosy atmosphere, allowing guests to relax comfortably. They are versatile and can be hung creatively to achieve different styles, from rustic to modern.
Spot and Flood Lights
Spot and floodlights are a practical way to illuminate specific patio areas, such as steps, pathways, or garden beds. These lights provide adequate illumination where it is needed, especially in larger patios. You can choose either low-voltage or solar-powered options to save on energy bills. These lights come in different styles, including traditional, modern, and contemporary, allowing you to match your patio’s look and feel.
Garden lights are designed to create a warm and inviting ambience in your garden. These lights are suitable for illuminating trees, bushes, and outdoor plants, adding depth and texture to your patio’s design. You can choose from in-ground and surface-mounted garden lights, depending on your preference, and they come in different sizes, colours, and materials. Garden lights also enhance your home’s security by illuminating your landscape and deterring unwanted visitors.
Lanterns are a perfect outdoor lighting solution to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your patio. These lights can be hung from trees, hooks, or poles, providing a charming and intimate atmosphere. Lanterns come in different materials, including metal, glass, and wood, and you can choose from different colours and shapes, depending on your preference. They are also portable, making it easy to move them around your patio as needed.
A fire pit is a perfect outdoor lighting option if you want to create a cosy and inviting atmosphere in your backyard. These pits come in different shapes and sizes, including wood-burning and gas-powered options. Fire pits are great for entertaining guests or a peaceful night alone, roasting marshmallows and socialising with friends. As well as providing light, fire pits also provide warmth on chilly nights.
Outdoor Living Space Design Styles
When designing the perfect patio for your home, it’s essential to consider the design style of your outdoor living space. A luxurious backyard oasis can elevate your patio from a primary gathering space to a stunning outdoor room. Whether you prefer contemporary, modern, rustic, or traditional design styles, there are many ways to incorporate these elements into your patio design.
Think about the colours, patterns, and textures complementing your home’s architecture and landscaping. Incorporating comfortable seating, proper shade, and lighting can elevate your patio into a luxurious backyard oasis perfect for entertaining guests or relaxing after a long day. With careful consideration, your outdoor living space can truly become an extension of your home’s living space.
How to Add Color to Your Patio
Choose a colour theme
The first step to adding colour to your patio is to decide on a colour scheme. Pick a combination of colours that complement your outdoor furniture and surroundings. A popular colour scheme for patios is green, yellow and grey, which emulate the serenity of natural surroundings. If you want to add a pop of colour to your patio, consider adding bright-coloured accent pillows or tablecloths.
Plants are a great way to add colour and freshness to your patio. You can experiment with your choices and get creative with how you display them. Consider decorating your patio with hanging flower baskets, planters, or potted plants. If you have limited space, a vertical or hanging herb garden is ideal for incorporating greenery while conserving space.
Add an outdoor rug
An outdoor rug is an excellent way to add colour and texture to your patio. There are many options for outdoor rugs, so you are sure to find one that suits your style. Outdoor rugs are easy to clean and can take heavy foot traffic. Choose a rug that complements your colour scheme and ties in with your outdoor furniture.
Incorporate wall art
Adding wall art to your patio is an easy and affordable way to add colour and style. From canvas art to metal sculptures, numerous outdoor-friendly wall decor options exist. Consider choosing the wall art that stands out but also complements the colours and style of the space.
Creating Shade on Your Patio
Add a Patio Umbrella
An umbrella is one of the easiest ways to add shade to your patio. You can choose various sizes, colours, and styles to match your outdoor decor. A cantilever umbrella might be a better option with a small patio since it doesn’t take up much space. Adding a bigger umbrella or multiple umbrellas for larger patios creates a comfortable shaded area.
Build a Pergola
A pergola is a great way to add a beautiful and functional feature to your outdoor space while creating some much-needed shade. It can be built in various styles, such as a traditional wooden or modern pergola with a retractable canopy. You can also add outdoor lighting or climbing plants to make it more aesthetically appealing.
Use Shade Sails
Shade sails are a unique and stylish way to create shade almost anywhere outside. They are made of durable material that can withstand even the harshest weather conditions and come in various sizes, shapes, and colours. You can mount them to your house, trees or poles, creating a flexible area for dining or relaxing.
Install an Awning
An awning is an excellent option to add shade to your patio permanently. They come in many styles, such as retractable, manual, or motorized, and offer weather protection. You can choose from different materials and colours to match your home’s exterior, and they can be custom-made to suit your patio size.
Plant Trees or Shrubs
Incorporating greenery into your patio design not only adds aesthetic appeal but can also provide natural shade. Choosing the right trees or shrubs can provide different shade to suit your needs, whether full shade, light shade or filtered shade. Some great options include bamboo, Japanese maples, or evergreen trees. Just be sure to research any potential damage caused by invasive roots.
Decorating Your Outdoor Living Space with Plants
One of the best ways to decorate your outdoor living space is by incorporating plants and flowers. Not only do plants add colour, texture and fragrance to your patio, but they can also create a peaceful and inviting environment. A weed-free garden can keep your outdoor space neat. When choosing plants for your patio, consider the amount of sunlight and shade in the space, the climate and your style.
Incorporating a variety of plants in pots and hanging baskets can add depth and interest to the space. Additionally, incorporating potted herbs or vegetables can make your patio not only beautiful but functional as well. With a little planning and creativity, decorating your outdoor living space with plants can create a beautiful and enjoyable space to relax and entertain.
Choosing the Right Flooring
Climate and Weather Conditions
One of the most important things to consider when selecting your patio flooring is your area’s climate and weather conditions. If you reside in a hot climate, consider using paving stones, quarry tiles or flagstone, as they remain cool underfoot. On the other hand, if you live in an area with frequent rainfall or snow, choosing a non-slip material such as concrete, natural stone, or porcelain tiles is essential.
Your patio should be durable enough to withstand heavy foot traffic, harsh weather, and outdoor activities such as barbeques or garden parties. Choosing high-quality materials such as brick, natural stone, or concrete pavers can ensure your patio will last long without needing frequent repairs. Also, if you have children or pets, you might want to consider stain-resistant options such as composite decking, as they can withstand spills and stains.
The patio flooring you choose should complement the overall design of your home and enhance the curb appeal. If you have a traditional-style home, you may opt for natural stone or brick paving, adding an old-world charm to your patio. You can choose composite decking with a sleek, contemporary design for a modern-looking patio. Additionally, you can add a touch of creativity to your patio by incorporating mosaic tiles or stamped concrete.
Another essential factor to consider when choosing your patio flooring is the maintenance required to keep it in top condition. Some materials, such as natural stone or brick, require sealing and cleaning to protect against stains and cracks. However, other materials, such as composite decking or porcelain tiles, only require regular sweeping and occasional power washing to keep them looking new.
Adding Privacy to Your Outdoor Living Space
Creating privacy in your outdoor space is essential for relaxing, entertaining and enjoying your time outdoors. You can install a fence or trellis around the perimeter to achieve this. Alternatively, you can use potted plants such as bamboo to create an elegant natural barrier that adds texture and colour to your patio. You could also hang decorative screens or curtains to create a cosy atmosphere and offer protection from the sun or wind. Consider adding a hedge or wall for complete privacy.
No matter how you design your outdoor living space, add touches of comfort and style throughout. Incorporate comfortable seating, colourful rugs, and accents that reflect your style. With careful planning and creative ideas, you can create an outdoor oasis perfect for entertaining family and friends.
DIY Patio Ideas
If you are looking for DIY patio ideas, there are a variety of projects that can transform your outdoor space. Updating your patio furniture or adding an outdoor rug is an easy and affordable way to spruce up the look of your patio. You could also create a unique piece by painting a bench, table or other furniture.
Adding a fire pit or water feature can also create an inviting atmosphere and warm your outdoor space. You could even add whimsical decors such as string lights or hanging planters. With the right tools and materials, you can create a DIY patio that is both functional and stylish.
Small Patio Design Ideas
Opt for multi-functional furniture
Furniture is one of the most important things to consider when designing a small patio. Choosing the right furniture is essential to maximise your limited space. Select furniture that serves multiple functions, such as a bench that doubles as a storage container or a coffee table that can also be used as a dining table. Consider investing in foldable chairs or tables that can be easily stored away when not in use.
Adding plants to your small patio is an excellent way to create a peaceful and calming environment. Use planters to grow flowers, herbs or small trees. You can choose sleek and modern planters or opt for natural materials like terracotta or woven baskets for a more rustic look. If you have limited space, consider planting vertically to maximize your space.
Use mirrors to create the illusion of space
If you want to make your small patio appears larger than it is, using mirrors is a great way to achieve this. Place mirrors strategically around your patio to reflect light and create the illusion of space. Mirrors can also be great focal points and add a decorative element to your outdoor room.
Use the power of colour
Colour can significantly impact the overall look and feel of your outdoor space. Bright and bold colours can add a fun and energetic feel to your small patio, while soft pastels and neutrals create a calming and relaxing atmosphere. Use colourful cushions, rugs, or tablecloths to bring personality to your patio.
Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Living Space
Cleaning your outdoor space regularly helps prevent dirt, debris, and dust buildup. These elements can make your outdoor space look dull and unclean. You can invest in a good-quality pressure washer to clean hard surfaces such as patios, decks, and walkways. Use a mild detergent and a hosepipe to clean any dirt or stains on furniture. Ensure that you dry it before storing it.
Keep Your Landscaping Tidy
Maintain the landscaping in your outdoor space by trimming overgrown bushes, mowing the lawn, and removing fallen leaves or branches. This will keep your outdoor space looking neat and tidy. You can also consider adding some potted plants to add a touch of colour to your space. Tending to the garden can relax and help maintain your plants’ health.
Shield Outdoor Furniture from Harsh Weather
While outdoor furniture is meant to stay outside all year round, it’s essential to shield it from harsh weather. You can purchase covers to shield it from rain, hail, or excessive heat. Cushions and pillows should also be kept indoors or in waterproof covers when not in use. This prolongs the durability of your furniture.
Repair or Replace Damaged Outdoor Elements
Inspect your outdoor space regularly for damage. Look out for broken railings, loose screws or bolts, or damage to the roof. Repair any issues immediately, or consider hiring a professional to fix them. Ignoring these issues can be costly in the long run and can cause safety hazards.
Store Away Decorative Items During the Off-Season
When the outdoor season is over, store away any decorative items. This includes outdoor pillows, rugs, lighting, or wall fixtures like artwork or sculptures. This is a good way of ensuring they remain in good condition for the next season.
Creating an outdoor living space is an excellent way to maximise your outdoor area. Remember these tips to create a unique and inviting outdoor space for your family and guests. From decorations to maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful outdoor oasis that will add value to your home. With the right design elements and furniture, you can make your outdoor living space a relaxing and enjoyable area for everyone. So don’t wait; start creating the perfect backyard oasis today!