Design Tips: How to Decorate a Patio
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Design Tips: How to Decorate a Patio

A patio alone doesn’t create a space for outdoor entertaining. To do that, it’s time to add the accessories that turn this once-plain patio into an eye-popping outdoor room.

Written by David Stone

  Article courtesy of Garden Gate Magazine
How to Decorate a Patio
Comfortable chairs look like they belong indoors but are made to hold up to the sun, rain, and weather outside. The ottoman makes a great coffee table.


Have Fun with Furniture

If you haven’t looked at outdoor furniture lately, you’ll be amazed by how far it has come. Gone are the days of painted metal, dark wood, and cushions that are not well-suited to weather.

These days, you’ll find furniture in a variety of materials — from wood to metal to wicker — that are designed to last even in the harsh sun and rain. And they have cushions made of real cloth that’s comfortable without being fragile.

When you look at outdoor furniture, make sure the cushions are covered in acrylic or polyester fabric, and that they’re filled with polyurethane foam or polyester batting. These cushions look great, yet are weather- and fade-resistant.

A potting bench becomes a serving cart when painted and placed near the door that leads to the kitchen.


Save on Accessories

You’ll want to add a few accessories to make your outdoor space feel more like a room.

To create a serving cart, we picked up an inexpensive potting bench at the home center, and then painted it bright yellow to match the furniture’s accents. Cold drinks sit on ice in the soil tray, and the shelves offer ample serving space.

Behind one of the chairs, we wired together three inexpensive woven metal panels to hide the air conditioner. These panels look great and will weather well.

We used a couple of simple baskets to hold books and magazines. They’re easy to carry to and from the house, and they fit the casual feel of the patio.

Simple screens are a great way to hide elements like air conditioners or hose reels and can provide a measure of privacy. Use wire, lattice, or outdoor fabric.


Add Pizzazz with Plants

Finally, we decorated the patio with plants in containers (find a complete plant list at They add color and help tie the patio to the surrounding yard. At the same time, though, they help create “walls” that define this as its own unique space.

With all this in place on your new patio, you only need to add one thing: family and friends.

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