Spruce up your patio this weekend

Brian Long
Brian Long
Published on May 19, 2021

Whether you beckon your summer guests outdoors for alfresco cocktails or an entire meal, if your patio isn’t up to snuff, they’ll notice.

This is the ideal time to give the spot a refresh or transform it into something worthy of starring on a magazine cover. And, the good news is that doing so only takes a day or two and if you shop carefully, the project won’t break the bank.

Get rid of everything

No, we aren’t talking about dragging it all out the curb for the trash guys to pick up.

Move everything off the patio so you can start the process with a clean slate. And, “clean,” by the way, is the operative word. Get rid of cobwebs, leaves and other trash that blew in over the winter and hose down or power-wash the area.

Then, take a look at the items you removed and determine what you’ll return to the patio and what goes away.

Under foot

Designing your patio décor is a lot like determining how you’ll decorate the interior of the home. Some of the same elements should be considered:

  • Lighting
  • Color
  • Texture
  • Accessories

“Ground your space and give it an instant dose of personality with an outdoor rug designed to withstand the elements,” suggests the experts at Wayfair.com. Geometric prints, bold colors provide “maximum impact against outdoor greenery,” they conclude.

Patterns and colors shouldn’t be your only guide, however. Try to tie all of your décor elements together. For instance, a round rug looks best under round tables. If you have other types of seating, choose a rectangular rug.

“Around an outdoor dining table, you should be able to pull out all of the chairs and have the chair legs remain on the rug,” according to Wayfair.com’s rug-buying guide. A rule of thumb is for the rug to be a minimum of 2-feet wider than the table, on all sides.

Overhead

Al fresco entertaining is even more interesting in the evening. Make your patio glow with attractive lighting, such as lanterns, candles, torches or, our favorites, string lights.

If you go with the latter, the pros suggest you take into account the total space of your patio before settling on a particular string of lights.

“Larger bulbs have a bigger presence and higher wattage,” according to the pros at yardenvy.com, so are better suited to a large patio. The smaller light strings help create a cozy vibe on a smaller patio.

What better way to get ready for summer than with some budget-friendly do-it-yourself projects that will take just a weekend (or less) to achieve? Your patio will be summer-ready, and as a bonus, you may just fall in love with it all over again.

Add life to the space

Greenery and flowers add the final touch to your patio makeover. The pros at lowes.com offer five ways to decorate the patio with container-grown plants.

Our favorite is the grouping method. “Group containers — tall, medium and small ones — to make a stunning deck focal point.” With the taller containers, use the “thriller, filler, spiller” theme.

The thriller— plants with height—go in the back of the container. Fillers go in the middle, while spillers, or trailing plants, spill over the front of the container. Get tips and ideas at provenwinners.com.

A few accessories, such as a fountain, lanterns or candles on the table and perhaps some statues and you’re all set.

Find additional inspiration online at:

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