Patio decor may not be the most pressing matter right now, but if you’re lucky enough to have an outdoor space and the wherewithal to give it a spring makeover, now is a great time to freshen it up before summer—even if you only have a small balcony to work with.
April showers have passed (and early May snowstorms too), giving way to warm summer weather that will take hold for good soon. So what better way to occupy your free time than by reimagining your home’s outdoor space? Patios and other outdoor living areas are hot spots for socialization in the summer (even if coronavirus and continued social distancing mean we still won’t be able to host parties for a while, we can at least enjoy our own outdoor space as much as possible)—and now’s the perfect time to start thinking about any renovations or redecorating that you want to do before barbecue season arrives.
If you need a little inspiration to help revamp your patio, here are a dozen amazing outdoor spaces that will spark your creativity:
1. Extend Your Entertaining Area
Is your deck a little too small to accommodate a table and chairs for all your guests? Take a cue from this fabulous modern patio and carve out more entertainment space in your yard! All you need is some gravel and a few strategically placed tiles to create a more spacious place for all your friends and family to gather (and we can’t wait until it’s safe to do so again).
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2. Get Cozy on Your Covered Patio
To create an incredibly cozy spot where you can curl up and relax on nice summer nights, invest in a shag rug and a cushy outdoor couch. You may also want to include a few throw pillows and blankets for added comfort. However, this style of outdoor space is only practical if your space is covered—otherwise, you’ll be forced to bring in all the linens every time it rains.
Pleated Velvet Pillow Cover, $61.99+ from Williams Sonoma
3. Make It Homey with Textured Accents
You can add visual interest to just about any space with fun textured accessories. This stylish patio features two simple lounge chairs, but the space is pulled together with woven floor pillows and vases, as well as a few vibrant pillows and throw blankets for a pop of color.
Hand Woven Raffia Vase, $29.99 from Target
4. Make the Most of Small Spaces
Apartment dwellers, fear not! You can still create a relaxing escape on your tiny balcony or patio. This innovative space features a compact outdoor couch, as well as fun lantern string lights all along the railing. Add a few pillows and a hanging plant, and you have all the makings of the perfect summer hangout.
Fermob Compact Outdoor Side Table, $168 from Food52
5. Decorate from the Top
If you’re lucky enough to have a pergola or covered outdoor space, you can hang decorative elements from the ceiling to draw the eye up and make the space look bigger. This stunning patio features industrial-style string lights, as well as cool modern hanging planters that make the space feel more enclosed and welcoming.
Outdoor Cafe String Lighs, $12 from Target
6. Hang Out in a Hammock
You can instantly change up the look and feel of your outdoor space by adding some alternative seating options. A stylish hammock will lend a bohemian feel to your patio—plus, it’s the perfect spot to relax with a book or a podcast on sunny summer days—but if you don’t have room for one, you can also opt for a few fun hanging rope chairs.
Berenice Double Classic Hammock, $133.99 from Wayfair
7. Embrace Bright Colors
Many people opt for neutral color palettes in their outdoor spaces, but you can easily change up the overall aesthetic using color. For instance, blues and greens lend a calm, serene vibe to your patio, while warm colors like orange and red will make it more energizing and vibrant. Incorporate these colors via area rugs, throw pillows, and other decorative accents.
Jakoba Indoor/Outdoor Rug, $36-$186 from Anthropologie
8. Keep Things Simple
Your patio doesn’t have to be packed with “stuff” to feel homey. This lovely outdoor eating area is a prime example of how to do minimalistic outdoor decor—all they have is a spacious table, metal chairs, and a rustic sign made from old garden tools, yet the space feels cohesive and welcoming.
9. Don’t Forget Some Shade
If you live in a region with really hot summers, you’ll definitely want to include some sort of covering on your patio—otherwise, the summer sun will make the space too hot to enjoy. This particular deck has a standard round umbrella, but you can also opt for a cantilever umbrella for even more shade.
Eucalyptus Frame 9-Foot Umbrella, $189-$329 from Pottery Barn
10. Create Separate Sitting Areas
For those that regularly host large gatherings, it’s beneficial to carve out various sitting areas, as people tend to break off into smaller groups to socialize. For instance, this beautiful outdoor entertaining space features a large sectional under a pergola, as well as a smaller sitting area off to the side with a few comfy chairs. (And until you can get back to throwing parties, you’ll still have more options to change up your personal scenery this way!)
Safira 8-Piece Sofa Seating Group with Cushions, $839.99 from Wayfair
11. Bring Your Plants Outside
Most houseplants would be more than happy to live outside during the summer, and incorporating plants into your patio will lend a bit of vibrancy to the space. Plus, the best part is that you won’t have to water your greenery nearly as often, as Mother Nature will take over their maintenance.
Menu Wire Plant Stands, $100-$130 from Food52
12. Put Together a Chic Bar Cart
Save your guests (or yourself) the hassle of going back inside to refresh their drinks. An outdoor bar cart like this one is the perfect patio accessory—you can use it to display a drink dispenser, clean glassware, and some freshly cut flowers from your garden.
Halden Outdoor Bar Cart, $343.20 from West Elm
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More Tips to Make the Most of Being Outside
Header image courtesy of West Elm