Patios can be a wonderful extension of home living space and provide the added dimension of outdoor freshness. If properly decorated, your patio can become an oasis where you can slip away for some alone time, or use as a gorgeous area of outdoor entertainment for friends and family.
The following patio decorating ideas can easily accommodate a large balcony, porch, or deck as well, turning your available outdoor space into an additional getaway.
Pick the Right Furniture
Patio furniture is quite often the focal point of the area and, thus, should offer a comfortable source for the eyes as well as the body. However, since an outdoor space is unique from interior rooms in a variety of ways, certain considerations need to be taken into account when choosing the right patio furniture.
First of all, patios, porches, balconies and decks normally consist of small areas. Therefore, any couches, chairs, tables or other pieces of furniture should be scaled in proportion to the size of the area. Large pieces of furniture can easily overwhelm and crowd the space as well as creating maneuverability issues.
Secondly, you should choose your patio furniture so that its style complements the architecture and landscaping of the area. This is especially important when your outdoor oasis can be viewed from the street, the neighbor’s home, or by other public traffic areas. And, of course, because these areas are exposed to the elements, you want your patio furniture to be all-weather so that they repel water, resist mildew and have UV-protection to minimize fading.
Even if you mainly use your patio for private breakfast times, afternoon sunbathing or evening drinks, you still need to consider those times when it will be used for entertainment. Outdoor spaces make excellent gathering spots for friends and family to rub elbows and enjoy a relaxing afternoon or evening.
To meet your entertaining needs, consider reserving a space for an outdoor kitchen or, at the very least, a nice grill. If you have the space and extra money, add a small, stainless steel refrigerator and preparation counter. You can further set the mood with music by adding outdoor speakers that run from your indoor stereo system
Create Magic through Lighting
After the sun goes down, proper lighting is what transforms your beautiful outdoor patio into a magical oasis of shadow and light as well as providing safety and security. Illuminate surrounding walls, railings, walkways and more with strategically placed outdoor lighting fixtures to meet these needs.
While planning your patio lighting strategy, consider ways to reduce your electric bill. Use solar lighting fixtures which can provide up to 15 hours of light when fully charged, low-voltage lights which operate on 12 volts, or place your main lighting units on timers so that they only operate for a set time and then turn off automatically.
Keep Your Parties Private
You want your private oasis to be, well, private! Therefore, if your patio space can be seen from a street, park, neighbor’s house, etc, consider placing barriers around it to keep prying eyes out
You can install a fence, stain or paint it, and then adorn it with lights, chimes and other eye-catching decorations. Prefabricated vinyl dividers and trellises might add a more modern touch to your outdoor patio décor. Add climbing vines at the bases and you create a mystical jungle wall to surround your patio oasis.
If you want to maintain a natural look, there are various types of shrubs and bushes (such as juniper and boxwood) which are ideal for privacy barriers. Dwarf trees or raised flower beds are other privacy options.
Top It Off With Personality
Once you have your main items in place, add personal touches to your patio oasis by utilizing various items of interest. A bird bath, fountain or goldfish pond would provide a refreshing point of focus and sound. Earthen pots, bamboo dividers, wrought iron hangers and durable textiles can provide points of soothing interest.
Keep in mind that color is just as important outside as it is inside, so position various ferns and flowering plants around your oasis. Also, scatter a few brightly colored throw pillows, painted treasure boxes, garden gnomes and other colorful decorations around to liven up the area.
A little planning, preparation and ingenuity and you can create a beautiful outdoor patio oasis that both you and those you invite can embrace and enjoy.