Ever since summer started, I’ve been drawn to inspiration photos of beautiful patios. I love the idea of decorating an outdoor space for hosting summer barbecues, gardening, or simply relaxing with friends. That said, I have recently been scouring some of my favorite décor sites and Pinterest for patio décor inspiration. Since I’m obviously patio obsessed lately, today I’ll be sharing 10 tips on how to create your perfect outdoor space, with the help of Orlando Soria of Homepolish. Get ready to get inspired…
1. Keep it comfy.
Most people think outdoor furnishings have to be hard and impermeable. But there are so many beautiful outdoor products these days that are weatherproof and comfortable, so there’s no reason to sit uncomfortably on metal benches and plastic chairs. Orlando recommends making your patio space as comfortable and inviting as possible. The cozy white bench has a padded cushion and tons of pillows…just looking at it makes me want to take an afternoon cat nap.
2. Create a color palette.
As with any design, the first thing to consider is color. Choose a palette that makes sense for your outdoor space. If your space is urban and lacks a lot of natural green, bringing in color might be a smart move. If your space is plant-filled, consider the colors of the plants. The blue and white color scheme in the patio above is so fresh and summery. And I love the pop of magenta from the flowers bordering the area.
3. Map it out.
Just because your patio is outside does not mean it has to lose all functionality. Orlando says that regardless of what kind of space you’re working with, plan it the same way you’d plan an indoor living room. Make sure there’s room to sit, to eat, to lounge and whatever else you plan on doing out there. The photo above is one of my team’s favorite photographer, Gray Malin’s backyard area. I love how it feels like a comfortable, chic living room that happens to be outdoors.
4. Go to the flea market.
As I’ve told you before, the flea market is one of the best places to find unique pieces for your home. And since store-bought patio furniture can get pricey quickly, buying a flea market set might be your best bet. Choose furniture with a structure you like—from there, you can always repaint, add cushions, and make it feel brand new again.
5. Add a little life.
In my opinion, plants are the best accessory to a great terrace, patio or balcony. Plants make the space feel more alive and add that fresh, natural pop of color. If you’re still working on your green thumb, succulents or cacti are good beginner plants to start out with because they live off very little water and are pretty hard to kill. Work your way up to potted fruit trees, blooming bushes, and flowerpots when you’re ready to upgrade.
6. Underneath it all.
It may go overlooked, but what’s underfoot in your outdoor space is important too. Orlando lists an outdoor rug as one of his top three must-have patio items. He says rugs are a great way to bring color and style outdoors, and most can be hosed or swept off if they get dirty. I love how the rug in the photo above makes the area feel like it’s own little room. Plus, it adds such a wonderful pop of color!
7. Lighten up.
Outdoor spaces are great during the daytime, but they’re even better if they are setup to be used after sunset as well. Orlando recommends making sure you have ample lighting so your guests aren’t blind if you’re hosting an evening happy hour or dinner party. From candles to outdoor chandeliers, options for outdoor lighting are endless.
8. Choose a statement piece.
If you’re decorating your patio from scratch, there’s no reason to get overwhelmed. Rome wasn’t built in a day, after all. It’s best to choose a large statement piece, which can be furniture (an outdoor sectional or dining table), plants (colorful flowers planted in painted pots), or even lighting (a flea market chandelier). Once you’ve made one decision it’s way easier to make the rest and keep everything cohesive. In the ultra modern patio above, the hammock is the focus piece and the lounge pillows and fountain are situated around it. I love the bright, sunny colors.
9. Make some shade.
A patio that gets a lot of sunlight might feel wonderful during the colder months. But in the summer, it will probably be too warm for hanging out mid-day. Invest in a canopy or tent for a rooftop space or an area that’s uncovered. It looks gorgeous and allow you to entertain during the daytime, not just at night.
10. Look up!
While your furniture and plants might be the obvious showstoppers in your outside area, it’s important to consider decorating the more unusual places. Hanging flowerpots, hummingbird feeders, and wind chimes will add a whole new dimension to the above-eye-level areas.
I hope you liked these photos and tips from Orlando! Hopefully you feel inspired to decorate (or re-decorate) your outdoor area now.
What tips do you have for creating a comfortable, inviting space?
What Decorate post would you like to see on the site next?