Written by Jane Blanchard
A patio can serve as a focal point for a backyard and act as an outdoor gathering place. While surrounding buildings and trees can provide visual interest, a patio often gets overlooked in the decorating department since most people see it as a functional place to grill out or relax outdoors. Whether it's a large area with table and chairs or a small area with standing room only, here are five ways to spruce up a patio and bring color into the area.
A well-placed, colorful rug can set the tone for a patio: choose a chevron striped rug for a preppy feel or a jewel-toned medallion rug for a more exotic touch. Select an indoor/outdoor rug since these are made in fabrics that are colorfast against the sun and will dry quickly. Scatter a few rugs around the area, or make one large rug the focal point.
For an inexpensive way to update a patio, purchase a selection of pillows to scatter around. Pick up the colors in the rug, or mix and match patterns to coordinate. Place in chairs for a comfortable place to relax, or add a few floor pillows to expand the seating options.
Contemporary Patio by Houston Architects & Building DesignersKirkpatrick Design Turn a backyard grilling session into an intimate affair by adding lanterns to the patio decor. Buy them in a selection of colors and sizes for visual interest: place them on tables or hang them from trees. Consider how the lanterns will look when lit, and choose one with stained glass or cutouts for a major impact.
4. Strings of Lights
For just a few dollars, a patio can feel fresh with the addition of a string of colored lights. Wrap them around railings, up the stair railings, around an umbrella pole, or in tree branches. Not only do lights create a fun, casual atmosphere, but they also provide mood lighting for outdoor evening meals and parties.
5. Flower Boxes
Traditional Patio by Greenwich Landscape Architects & Landscape DesignersConte & Conte, LLC Longer lasting than a bouquet and less work than extensive landscaping, flower boxes are a great way to add color to a patio year-round. Include annuals that are appropriate for the time of year and climate. Add even more color by selecting a fun planter that ties into the rest of the patio's patterns and colors. Vary the sizes of the planters around the patio, and consider placing one or more smaller planters on the tables. For more patio ideas check out Modernize.