10 Patio Ideas to Decorate Your Outdoor Space

Whether you have a small or large garden there are plenty of things you can do to decorate your outdoor space.

People are spending more time than ever in their gardens so it makes sense to turn it into an extension of the inside of your home. And the good news is you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune in the process. Take a look at our 10 best patio ideas to decorate your outdoor space this summer.

1. Outdoor pillows

There’s no reason why you can’t make the patio look and feel just as cosy as the living area inside your home. The simple addition of outdoor pillows can quickly change the way you feel about spending more time outside to lounge and relax.

Neutral and Accent colour outdoor pillows in this garden area of an Eichler Remodel by Klopf Architecture
Neutral and Accent colour outdoor pillows in this garden area of an Eichler Remodel by Klopf Architecture. See the full project here.

Most outdoor pillows are made with weather resistant material and have a lightweight polyester stuffing. This means they won’t be completely waterproof, and it is advisable to bring them inside when they are not in use to ensure they don’t get caught in the rain and potentially waterlogged.

2. Potted plants

Potted plants look great pretty much wherever you place them, bringing a calm to the space, while adding colour and dimension. Placed in corners around the patio furniture or in doorways, make sure they have good exposure to daylight and aren’t kept in the shadows.

Innovative 3D printed wood planters
Innovative 3D printed wood planters. See the product here.

Not everyone has the time to invest into tending to plants, so low maintenance greenery like aeoniums, festucas and eryngium only require occasional watering. If you do have a bit more time on your hands and want to get a little green fingered then there are no shortage of plant options to choose from to transform your patio.

3. Rattan furniture

Rattan furniture has become all the rage in recent years and it’s easy to see why. Not only is it incredibly stylish and comfortable, but it can easily adapt to almost any outdoor environment.

Rattan Furniture by NEA Studio
Rattan Furniture by NEA Studio. See the product here.

In many ways it’s the perfect patio furniture as you can buy everything from sun loungers and bistro sets to rattan dining sets and multi-seat sofas with coffee table. Online retailers such as Furniture Maxi specialise in this area and come highly recommended thanks to the great reputation they’ve built up over the years, offering high quality rattan furniture at affordable prices.

4. Fire pits

Fire pits have become increasingly popular over the past few years, helping to set the mood and bring some warmth to the space when the temperature dips in the evening.

A simple fire pit in this garden area of an Eichler Remodel by Klopf Architecture
A simple fire pit in this garden area of an Eichler Remodel by Klopf Architecture. See the full project here.

It’s no surprise really as fire places inside the home are commonplace, so it makes sense that people would want to bring some of that natural glow into their gardens. They are a complementary piece of patio furniture that can either be bought as in standalone or miniature form for use on dining or coffee tables, so whether you have a large or small garden you should be able to find one that suits.

5. Outdoor rugs

It’s not just what you can see at eye level that can make a big difference to the garden area. Placing your patio furniture on outdoor rugs will give each piece even greater context and dimension.

The Equilibrium Garden by Nathan Burkett
The Equilibrium Garden by Nathan Burkett. See full project here.

Not only does it soften the floor for walking across (while also being warmer than cold patio tiles), a good quality rug also feels cosy and relaxing. You’ll have to keep it clean with a brush as it will pick up debris from the garden from time to time, and they will be weatherproof to a certain level and partially water resistant.

6. Outdoor lighting

Just as indoor lighting and lamps can instantly change the mood, the same is also true of outdoor lighting. There are wired and wireless options you can use in the garden, although if going for the former make sure you are able to connect everything so it can run from the switch point.

Outdoor lighting stock image

Solar lights come on once the sun has gone down, while decorative string lights and wall-mounted lights are beautiful to look at and make the patio area all the more inviting. You don’t have to spend much on lighting to create the ambience you want and it will encourage you to spend more time outside in the evening.

7. Wall planters

We already mentioned potted plants above, but wall-mounted planters are another great way to liven up the patio without spending too much money.

The Hedge planter Collection by Cora Neil
The Hedge planter Collection by Cora Neil. See the full collection here.

Not only do they add some natural colour and fun, but also a simple design element. You can also grow herbs and vegetables here if you want to go a little further so you add some organic ingredients to your kitchen menu. These are also known as ‘living walls’ and can help make a real statement on a particular surface area outside, within timber and cast-iron styles often proving to be the most popular.

8. Umbrellas and awnings

When the sun is bearing down during the summer adding a bit of shade not only keeps you cool (and protected from UV rays) but also adds a decorative element to your outdoor area. If you have enough money to spend a little more a retractable awning can really add a bit of luxury to the garden. Umbrellas can also bring a touch of simple elegance that can transform a simple table and chairs into something far more enticing.

Modern Outdoor Umbrella

9. Mirrors

Mirrors are located in most rooms inside the home, but you may not have considered using a mirror in the garden before now. They can work wonders in small gardens, performing the same trick as inside by creating the illusion of more space.

A large horizontal mirror in this garden bathroom by James Wong and David Cubero
A large horizontal mirror in this garden bathroom by James Wong and David Cubero. See this full project here.

And if you are not lucky enough to have a south-facing garden that guarantees you good exposure to sunshine, a mirror or two outside can also help brighten up the space. You don’t even have to use large mirrors, small wall hanging mirrors can also make a big difference, while also keeping costs down.

10. Clearly define your zones

You can have all the wonderful pieces of patio furniture you want, but unless the garden is organised to suit the way you use it you won’t get as much out of the space as you should. Think about what you will most likely be doing outside during the spring and summer months. Do you want a space to relax in, or somewhere to enjoy some alfresco dining? Or maybe you want to entertain friends and family a little more often. Consider how often you will use the area so you can make the most of the space available to you, then you can focus specifically on the area you will use most often.

The award winning boutique garden 'pipe dream' by Alison Douglas
The award winning boutique garden ‘pipe dream’ by Alison Douglas exemplifies a well zoned and laid out garden. See the full project here.
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