For many of us, our patio or deck doubles as an outdoor living room and dining room, especially when the weather makes it comfortable to sit outside. Instead of decorating it as an afterthought, why not spend some time designing the best layout – and have fun with color and accessories while you’re at it?
We’ve put together guidelines to help you create a relaxing and beautiful outdoor area.
When selecting your furnishings for your deck or patio, you’ll need to take into consideration a few factors:
- The overall size of the space. Remember to account for how the door opens, where the stairs are on the deck and other potential interferences with the furniture placement.
- How you’ll primarily use it, such as for eating, for entertaining or for relaxing alone or with one other person.
- Any additional items you’re planning to include on the deck or patio, a grill or potted plants, for example.
All of these details will affect what type of pieces you want to buy and their dimensions.
Experiment with interesting angles in your furniture layout.
Once you’ve chosen your furniture, it’s time to decide where they’ll go. If you have a lovely view, perhaps you’ll want to orient the seating to face the mountains, pool or even the cityscape – whatever you wish to see. Or maybe there’s something you don’t want to look at. Feel free to rearrange the furniture until you’re satisfied with everything. It’s not set in stone!
With your seating and tables situated, start thinking about adding plants for color and ambience.
Those of us who don’t have a green thumb or are new to container gardening should consult a local expert for guidance. It could be a neighbor whose landscaping you admire, an employee at a nearby nursery or a Master Gardener from your area. Whoever you speak with will be able to give you advice on the best plants for your patio or deck.
Some considerations will include generalities like the climate but you will also want to mention a few specifics. These can be how much sunlight your patio or deck gets and which direction it faces, how much maintenance you’re willing and able to do and whether you have pets. Some popular plants are toxic to animals.
Introduce color to your neutral deck by bringing in flowering plants.
Aesthetically, explore the possibilities with these items in mind:
- The color of the plants – and their flowers. Remember that you’ll potentially get a different look during different times of the year.
- Their proportions and those of their planters. Petite furniture will be overwhelmed by tall plants or large planters. On the flip side, small plants and planters might get missed. If you do select a smaller plant, use a stand to raise the planter to the appropriate height.
- The color and style of the planters. Perhaps you have neutral furniture and plan to inject some pops of color into your design with bold planters. If you’ve already chosen brightly patterned cushions, though, going with more muted planters might be a better balance. The style of the planters should also coordinate with your overall look and your home’s architecture. Our friends at Southern Patio have a wide array of planters to suit almost any décor.
- The available space. Resist the temptation to fill every bit of ground or decking with plants. They and your guests will thank you.
Just like you would do inside your home, complete the deck or patio with carefully curated accessories. Some of your finishing touches can serve a purpose, while others put smiles on everyone’s faces. Don’t be afraid to show your personality and insert some whimsy.
If you have a bare wall or fence, add some interest by hanging a piece of art like this Tree of Life wall décor.
For multitasking decorations, try a chiminea or fire bowl, which will warm up chilly nights and light up your deck or patio. No awning? Bring in an umbrella for shade. It can also make your space more colorful. Have fun with patterns in your outdoor pillows and a rug. They can easily be swapped out for new looks each season, and they add some coziness.
Does your patio or deck have a double life as a storage area? Hide necessities like hoses in decorative cabinets.
Outdoor art pieces can be attached to a wall or fencing or they could sit on the decking or the ground. Let yourself play with the possibilities!