Garden Summer

Patio Decoration Ideas

outdoor patio with tulips in a vase on a wicker table

Whether you have a tiny concrete apartment patio, a medium-sized townhouse backyard covered in clay bricks, or a huge yard paved with stone slate and covered with a stunning pergola, there are many ways you can decorate your outdoor space to suit your taste, no matter what your budget is.

Before you set about decorating your patio, consider what you want to use the area for. Do you want a cozy space where you can curl up with a book? Plenty of seats for entertaining? Lots of light, or a shady escape from the sun’s rays? Whatever your goal is, keep it in mind as you follow our patio tips and decoration ideas.

Ways to Make a Patio More Inviting

Does your patio feel cold and unwelcoming? Here are some ways to make your patio more inviting.

Use Planters to Add Color

Add literal life to your patio – not to mention a pop of color – with planters. Whether you choose to grow flowers, herbs, or greenery, your outdoor space will automatically feel more welcoming. You can also paint pots or planters to match any theme you choose.

Add Softness With Throws, Cushions, and Rugs

While you might not think “soft” and “outdoor patio” would go together, there are plenty of weather-resistant throws, cushions, pillows, rugs, and other items to help your patio feel less stark and more comforting. In fact, an outdoor rug alone can make the space feel warmer.

Balance Shade With Openness

Too much shade can suck the fun out of the outdoors on a hot summer day, while blocking all the sunlight may make your patio feel more like an indoor room, so think about having some parts of your patio covered and some open.

Make it Cohesive With a Single Theme

While you might adore a wide variety of styles, try to stick with a single theme when decorating your patio. It will help everything look like it belongs together rather than a collection of random items. Popular patio themes include beach, nautical, modern, sporty, coastal, Bohemian, and industrial.

Light it Up

String lights. Sconces. Cafe lights. Electric candles. Whatever lighting best fits your theme, be sure to include it. The right lighting can transform a creepy corner into an evening outdoor oasis.

How to Decorate a Patio on a Budget

Making outdoor spaces beautiful doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Save some moolah with these tips.

Buy Used Furniture

Check Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, thrift stores, and yard sales for used outdoor furniture. Since it’s liable to end up looking weathered anyway, save some money by purchasing items that start off that way. Plus, you can customize something old to make it new again. Affordable and unique, what’s not to love?

Paint, Paint, Paint

Paint is a relatively cheap way to transform any space, including a patio. Here are some things you can paint to completely change the look of your outdoor patio:

  • Concrete slab
  • Privacy wall
  • Deck
  • Siding
  • Fence
  • Furniture

Choose Low-Maintenance Plants

Do you want to add flowers or plants to your outdoor living space but don’t want to worry about watering them every day (or constantly replacing them when they inevitably die due to neglect)? You can select from dried flower bouquets, fake plants, and other low-maintenance greenery that can add life to the space without constant attention – or the costs associated with replacing dead flora.

Make Things Multipurpose

Don’t buy 3 separate things when you can instead buy one thing that can do multiple things. Like what?
Stools that work equally well as side tables or plant stands. A coffee table that has storage and can also be used as a footrest. You get the idea!

How to Beautify Small Patios

A small patio doesn’t need to be a big problem. Keep it simple with these tips.

Put the “Fun” in “Functional”

People with smaller patios need to focus more on ensuring that every piece of outdoor patio decor is functional, but that doesn’t mean you need to give up your sense of style. Every little piece should be as fun as it is functional.

Remember, it’s OK to have a liberal definition of “functional” – while decorating with housewarming flowers doesn’t serve a concrete function, beautifying the space counts as a purpose!

Find Foldable Features

Look for items that take up less space when you don’t need them. A folding umbrella can be up when it’s raining or too sunny, then put away when it’s warm and cloudy. Foldable chairs can be used when you have guests and stashed away when you’re enjoying your stylish outdoor room alone.

Less Is More

One of the worst things you can do with a small modern patio is to clutter up your usable space with too much stuff. Less is more in small spaces, so think carefully about “needs” versus “wants.” Do you really need that fire pit, or would you rather have extra seating, instead?

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Even outside, small spaces benefit from mirrors. When you hang a mirror outdoors, consider what you want to see reflected: Potted plants? Your favorite tree? The walls of your house? The sun? Your guests?

Ways to Decorate a Beach Patio

Whether you live near water or just wish you did, here are some beach patio decorating ideas.

She Sells Seashells

Or bring a bag and pick up as many as you can carry on your next trip to the beach. Either way, seashells are a natural choice for a beach-themed patio.
Turn large shells into vases, bowls, or candle holders. Sprinkle shells on tables as decor. Incorporate shells into DIY projects, like a shell wreath. Get creative!

Upcycle Boats into Seats

Why settle for an ordinary seating area when you can turn a boat into a bench? In fact, when you think outside the box, you’re likely to come up with plenty of ways to upcycle nautical items into patio decorations.

Wood Over Wicker

While wicker is a common material for patio furniture, it isn’t especially beachy. Instead, go for wood items, such as Adirondack chairs, a dining table made from driftwood, or wall art made from wooden oars.

Feature Flowers

Tropical flowers are a must when you have a beach-themed backyard patio. Keep a constant rotation of floral arrangements – at least during warm weather – with a flower subscription. You can get deliveries as often as every week or two so your patio can constantly look like you picked flowers on your way back home from the beach.

Bohemian Patio Decoration Ideas

Bring your Boho style to your back deck with these suggestions.

Pile on the Pillows

Floor pillows. Pillows on chairs. Pillows on the sofa. No matter where you choose to put them, pillows are practically a requirement for creating a Bohemian patio.

Have a Hammock

Is there anything more relaxing on a breezy summer day than relaxing in a hammock? Heck, if you live in a warm enough climate, you can hang out in your hammock year-round and eschew firmer seating options.

Consider Your Color Scheme

Bohemian color palettes tend to be either very earthy or brightly colored. You’re less likely to see greys or pastels, so consider the color scheme of your entire patio before you start buying pieces that might clash with your Boho theme.

Include Outdoor Curtains

Flowy fabric blowing in the breeze while separating spaces by their intended use – outdoor curtains are the epitome of Bohemian style! Make sure to factor in which directions they are more likely to blow and keep them away from fire pits and other potential sources of flames.

Give it Greenery

You can’t forget the greenery when you’re designing your Bohemian-themed outdoor space. Whether you choose seasonal bouquets, hardy succulents, potted plants, or garden planters, be sure to include plant life on your patio. If you’re into gardening, here are some of the best flowers for home gardens.

Ways to Decorate an Industrial Patio

Whether you live in a loft or an ultra-modern mansion, an industrial patio look certainly makes a statement when it’s a natural extension of the home it’s attached to.

Make it Metal

One of the defining features of the industrial style is the heavy use of metal in furniture, patio decor, and more. Choosing iron, steel, or other metallic elements in your patio design can make all the difference between it looking industrial rather than urban.

Function Over Form

“Form over function” may work for other patio styles, but the industrial look is all about function over form. Consider how each piece of furniture will perform over its aesthetic appeal – but that doesn’t mean you have to specifically choose ugly items simply because they’re functional. Just make sure to put usefulness first.

Grind Your Gears

Whether you’re going for an old factory industrial appeal or a modern steampunk look, gears of all shapes and sizes are popular design elements for this theme. You can use gear shapes as artwork, coasters, a “round” table, or nearly anywhere else you might use a circular shape.

Consider Concrete

For the ultimate industrial look, consider using concrete anywhere it’s practical. Beyond simple slab flooring, you could have a poured concrete fire pit or fireplace, privacy wall, seating, round table, or even a unique outdoor bar. Add in metallic and gear-shaped elements for the perfect industrial patio.

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