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Creating the Perfect Patio Area

Perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. What is a perfect patio for one family will not be suitable for another, but there are some things that most families will enjoy in their outside space.

In the cool summer evening, a patio can be a place just to relax, to enjoy a meal or to entertain family and friends. Whichever you are using it for, you want it to look good but at the same time, it needs to be as easy as it can be to look after.

Bring Indoors Outdoors

Don’t be afraid to add a bit of luxury to your patio by bringing something from indoors to enhance it. A rug or two can make it feel more luxurious, or a coffee table maybe. Throws and cushions are other accessories from inside that are easy to move if it decides to rain, but in the sunshine can make it feel like an extension of your home.

Provide Some Shade

You and your family should have some way of creating shade on your patio. If you do not have patio umbrellas or a roll awning that provides shade, you will find that most of the summer your patio could be unusable. The midday sun blaring down can be far too hot to sit in without some sort of shield from it but have some shade and you will be able to use it as much as you want.

You could have shade from some trees in your garden, but these will need to be tall enough to provide the cover you need. Planting new trees probably will not help to start with, but as they grow they could become the perfect answer.


A pergola on your patio will definitely make it feel like an added room. You can even hang drapes in them if you want, or grow climbing plants up the sides and across the roof.

A pergola is a semi-enclosed space, which will give you all the benefits of being outside in fresh air, while also having the advantages of comfort that you expect from any room in your home.

You may even decide to have a hot tub under your pergola. These are becoming extremely popular in the US as they not only have several health benefits, such as easing aches and pains and stress; hot tubs strengthen bonds too. This is because they are usually big enough for more than one person, and having a soak in a hot tub is a relaxing time together, which is something many relationships lack.

Do Not Overcrowd

Even when you are outside on your patio you need space. Do not overcrowd it with furniture so that it is like an obstacle course to move around it. Keep any patio furniture size relevant to the space you have. Any furniture you do put outside should be weatherproof and protected from the sun as much as possible. This will then form the basis for the style of your outside space.

Too many larger items will make your patio feel tiny, and as soon as you have 2 or 3 people out there it will feel like there is no room for anymore.

Use Some Vibrant Colors

To add some color to your patio use vibrant colors for cushions and throws. Modern prints like stripes and flower patterns can make your patio come alive, and against the plain walls of the outside of your home will complement the outdoor space. Of course, you may have some color from the plants around the garden, but the thing with cushions and throws is that they are very low maintenance. All you have to do with them is give them a wash. There is no weeding, taking dead leaves off or feeding them. They are the easiest way of all to give your patio some color.


If privacy is a problem for your outside space, erect a tall fence around the garden. Make it long enough to stop others being able to see your patio and then privacy will not be an issue. This might seem unnecessary, but if you have had a hot tub installed, you will not want neighbors watching while you have a soak. You might want to lie on a sunbed in your bikini, and not want to be stared at while you relax.

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Keep It Simple

To capture a relaxed atmosphere and ambiance on your patio, keep it simple. Complications can make people get flustered, and if you have a few friends round that is the last thing you want. Simple is best for looks, for maintenance and for comfort, while generally being the cheapest option too.


It is possible that your patio area has no ceiling to hang any lights from. That should not stop you having some illumination. You can put lights on the wall, generally, each side of the door is the norm. Don’t make your family or guests sit in the dark, have a light or two so they can see each other.

There are some special lights for attracting bugs and insects, so they will fly toward that rather than you. Candles always look good in the evening to light the space and use citronella ones to keep mosquitoes at bay.


There are things you can recycle to help make your patio feel perfect. If you have some old boots, for instance, nail them to a wall or post and grow a plant in them. Old chairs and be recovered and reused, or you might have a wheelbarrow that has seen better days. You can turn it into a planter, and have it close to your patio for some color from the plants you use.

A Room Without Walls

A patio is basically a room without walls and there is no reason you cannot treat it the same as you would any other room in your home.  Think of the décor, the best furniture to suit the size and design, and add a few accessories to make it feel like home.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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