When you think about decorating and renovating your home, it’s easy to forget about your patio or deck as part of that equation. Many people plan full-scale renovations of their home’s interior while neglecting their patio like that weird second cousin at a dinner party. When it comes to outdoor entertaining though, you don’t need to settle for “good enough.” Here are 50 patio ideas that will help you take your outdoor space from afterthought to focal point in no time.
Patio seating ideas
Because you can’t really have a patio without seating, right?!
1) Go modern with straight-edged sectionals
A clean-lined sectional is a great way to add a modern flair to your seating. Be sure to choose a UV- and weather-resistant material to get the most out of your investment. And remember – dark materials will absorb the sunlight, so consider where you’ll be placing your seating before choosing a colour.
2) Capitalise on that corner
Turn a bland corner into a cosy nook that’s perfect for everything from lively conversation to quiet contemplation by adding some seating and a coffee or bistro table.
3) Make use of small spaces
Who says you need a ton of space to enjoy your patio? Simply adding a couple of seats can be enough to create an inviting hangout spot that you can’t wait to come home to.
4) Create an airy feel with curtains
Outdoor curtains can create an elegant and airy feel as they move in the breeze on your patio. They aren’t just for show, either; curtains can help filter out just the right amount of sunlight, and they can also help you partition off different areas of your patio.
5) Build seating right into your patio
If you’re planning a broader remodel of your patio, building seating right into the structure of the patio itself can be a great option. This type of seating blends seamlessly into its surroundings, and can easily be dressed up with seat cushions and pillows.
6) Go casual with Adirondack chairs
Adirondack chairs offer a timeless, classic design that adds casual style to any patio. Use them to surround a fire pit, or simply place them on either side of a bistro table to instantly create a relaxed vibe.
7) Create space to just “hang out”
Hanging seating is another fantastic way to create a relaxing environment. Choose rattan seating with rounded lines for a tropical look, or go for a straight-lined hanging day-bed for something more formal and modern.
8) Loungers are a great choice for sun-lovers
If you’re looking to use your back yard to soak up the sun, why not add a couple of loungers to help you do exactly that? Loungers are an especially great choice on a poolside patio, where they offer a place to dry off before heading inside.
9) Why sit when you can lay down?
How about a mid-afternoon snooze? Adding a hammock to your patio instantly ups the cool-factor and creating an inviting place to relax and recharge your batteries.
Patio décor ideas
10) Add a fountain
The sound of running water offers a relaxing bit of white noise that can help drown out the sounds of the city. Add a fountain near your patio to bring a touch of that tranquillity to your back yard.
Not sure where to add that water feature? Sounds like you might need to think about your overall garden design. But if that’s not something you’re not too sure about, you might want to get a professional and figuring how much a garden designer cost is a great place to start.
11) Scatter lanterns
Floor lanterns help brighten up the night and create an inviting atmosphere on your patio once the sun goes down. Try incorporating multiple lanterns of varying shapes and sizes for a casual, yet put-together look.
12) Build in a pond or waterfall
Create a sense of calm and well-being when relaxing on your patio by adding a water feature. Whether it’s a waterfall, a pond or both, a water feature is an excellent way to create a calming atmosphere while relaxing on your patio. Here’s how much a water feature will cost when putting one in your garden.
13) Lay down an outdoor rug
With the trend toward bringing the indoors out showing no signs of slowing, consider adding outdoor carpeting to define a sitting area and add a splash of colour to your patio.
14) Add planters
Potted plants are a versatile accessory that can dramatically change the look of your patio or deck. It’s the best way to add warmth and also give a sense of depth, which creates intimacy, by using all different patterns, shapes and sizes.
15) Plant a living wall
Why settle for a plain wall or fence? Plant a vertical garden wall to add a splash of greenery and add visual interest in an unexpected way to your outdoor living space.
16) Add a bit of rattan
Trying to recreate that look you loved during your recent trip to Bali? Add seating with rattan elements to instantly create an exotic look that will transport you back to paradise in a heartbeat.
17) Incorporate colourful pillows
Pillows are one of the most flexible (and affordable) tools you have at your disposal when it comes to getting the look you want on your patio. Choose warm colours to create vibrant and upbeat energy, or opt for cooler colours to create a more relaxed environment.
18) Plant a splash of colour
Flowers add a pop of colour that makes a welcome addition to any patio décor plan. When selecting flowers, consider choosing colours that play well together, as well as with the rest of your décor. Also consider planting flowers that bloom during different times of the year, so that you’ll always have something to enjoy when you step outside!
19) Surround your patio with plants
Adding greenery all around your patio creates a secluded feel that makes the space feel like you walked out of your home and into a secret garden.
20) Work with natural boulders
Boulders can create interesting visual elements that can help blur the lines between where your patio ends and nature begins. They’re an especially interesting design option if your home is built on rocky terrain.
21) Create a cosy feel with outdoor artwork
Continuing with the theme of bringing the indoors out, hanging artwork on an outdoor wall is a great way to create a living space that feels like a natural extension of the rest of your home. It goes without saying, but make sure to choose art that can resist the elements!
Patio layout & material ideas
22) Section off your seating
If you have space, creating separate seating areas is a great way to encourage conversation during larger gatherings. You can define a space using outdoor carpeting, planters, or a multitude of other things.
23) Build a multi-level deck
A multi-level deck is a great way to create a usable outdoor living space with naturally-defined areas. One of the most common layouts for a multi-level deck involves keeping a BBQ on one level and a seating area on another. If you’re feeling really ambitious, you could add a third level and a hot tub!
Not sure where to start? Here’s our DIY guide on how to build a deck.
24) Use pavers for extra visual interest
If you’re building your patio from scratch, consider using pavers to add interest. Available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, pavers can be used to create looks ranging from old-world charm all the way to ultra-modern symmetry.
25) Bring the indoors outside with tiles
Give your patio a European look by incorporating colourful tiles into your design. Be sure to choose tiles that can stand up to the elements; otherwise, you’ll want to make sure you’re using them in a sheltered space instead.
26) Add some elegance with wrought-iron railings
If you have a raised deck or patio, wrought-iron railings offer an elevated look when compared to your standard wood choices. They also offer the added benefit of preserving the view of your surroundings while seated.
27) Create a path for the eye to follow
Speaking of views, why not take an active role in that by creating a picturesque path leading to or from your patio? A greenery-lined path naturally captures our eye and creates a sense of curiosity as to what lies beyond.
28) Bring the indoors out
If you’re going full-scale renovation, there’s no better way to create an airy, flowing feel than to build in a retractable wall leading out to your patio. When open, it allows for a seamless transition between indoors and out, making your patio feel less like the outdoors and more like an extension of your living room.
29) A custom wood deck
There’s something to be said about wood as a timeless choice in deck design. Consider having the wood planks layered in varying directions to add a more polished look to your deck.
Patio entertaining ideas
This is perhaps the main reason that you’ve sought out all of these patio ideas and I promise to deliver on the ultimate host’s backyard below.
30) Embrace the casual ambience of a fire pit…
Share ghost stories and fond memories by adding a fire pit to your patio. A fire pit is great at creating a casual vibe, and pairs perfectly with Adirondack chairs.
31) …or go upscale with an elegant fire table
For a look that’s more elevated and refined, consider choosing a fire table instead. Fire tables are available in a variety of shapes and sizes but generally, work best with a modern or contemporary design style.
If these fire pits aren’t exactly what you’re looking for, we’ve put a dedicated article together just on fire pit ideas. There’s over 33, so you’re bound to find something that fits your aesthetic.
32) Get that old-world feel with a wood-fired oven
Are you big into making your own pizza? If so, then a wood-fired oven is a must-have addition to your patio. It offers both function and form, creating an old-world vibe reminiscent of simpler times – perfect for a backyard patio.
33) Add a built-in BBQ
For a more versatile culinary option, build a BBQ right into your patio structure. It lends a more put-together look than keeping your BBQ as a standalone and can be built to offer you more counter space as well.
34) Create an inviting outdoor kitchen
Why stop with the BBQ? If you’ve got the space, you can create an entire outdoor kitchen complete with BBQ, sink and mini-fridge. Take your entertaining game to new heights by creating a complete backyard oasis.
35) Catch your favourite show on TV
While you’re bringing the kitchen outside, why not take the living room with you too? The advent of weather-resistant TVs means that you can catch up on your favourite show without having to leave the comfort of your patio.
36) Set the tone with camouflaged speakers
If you’re a fan of listening to music while relaxing outdoors, all-weather speakers can be a great choice. These days they come in a variety of shapes and sizes to blend in with your décor and are made to withstand the elements more than indoor speakers.
37) Keep the conversation flowing with an outdoor bar
An outdoor bar is a great way to give people a gathering place to relax, sip a cold drink or talk with whoever is behind the counter. If you’ve got a TV behind the counter, it can also serve as the perfect place for you and your friends to catch that season premiere you’ve been waiting for.
38) Add a dining table to create a formal gathering space
Adding a full-size dining table to your outdoor space immediately designates that space as an area to gather and eat as a group. When the weather is nice, having a dining table on your patio is a great way to enjoy a home-cooked meal in the comfort of your back yard.
39) A poolside patio is the perfect place to chill out
Few pairings are more classic than the patio-and-pool combination. For a seamless look, choose a paving material that works for both your patio and your pool liner; you’ll want something that retains a grip when wet.
Patio lighting & coverage ideas
Lucky last to cover is lighting and coverage patio ideas to make sure that you’re protected from all of the elements.
40) Illuminate a path with in-floor lighting
Not only does in-floor and in-ground lighting look beautiful at night, but it also serves a practical purpose. In-ground lighting is a great way to illuminate walkways, stairs and the seating area of an outdoor patio meant for enjoying both day and night.
Looking for some more lighting ideas? Take a look at our ultimate 75 favourite backyard ideas.
41) Let just the right amount of light through with a pergola
A pergola is a gorgeous way to dapple the sunlight overhead and create a place to recharge in your back yard. Pergolas come in all shapes and sizes, from the traditional to the ultra-modern.
42) Add a cosy feel with a gazebo
A gazebo is a perfect way to create a sheltered area to relax on your patio. Rain or shine, you’ll be protected from the elements, and the sturdy structure opens up all kinds of other decorating ideas, from lighting to seating and beyond.
43) Create natural shade with climbing vines
Climbing vines can be trained to climb up and around your pergola (or any other structure, for that matter), and are a beautiful way to add even more shade and greenery to your patio.
44) Hang string lights for a fairy-tale vibe
String lights are very popular these days, and for good reason; there’s just no better way to create that dreamy fairy-tale atmosphere you’re after than by incorporating string lights into your patio design planning.
45) Install an outdoor shade
For a more relaxed look than a pergola or gazebo can offer, choose an outdoor shade instead. They can be a gorgeous way to filter the sunlight without being fussy – and they’re movable, too.
46) Add to the atmosphere with hanging pendant lights
If your patio is covered overhead, hanging pendant lights can complement your style nicely. They’re available in a wide range of sizes and designs and can work effortlessly with any theme.
47) Keep air moving with a ceiling fan
We all know those hot, sticky days when all you want is a gust of wind to come and move the humidity out. On those days, you’ll be thankful you had an overhead fan installed in your gazebo to keep the air moving around you!
48) Glam it up with outdoor chandeliers
If you’ve got the structure, why not go all out and install a chandelier? It’s a great way to add lighting and style to a covered outdoor space. Combine a chandelier with a carpet, sectional and television and you’ve just created another living room on your patio!
49) Add an overhead umbrella for shade on a budget
For those with less space or a tight budget, an overhead umbrella does the trick nicely. Get all of the sun protection you need with the added benefit of portability. Plus, today’s shade umbrellas are available in a variety of styles and colours to suit your tastes.
50) Protect from rain and run with an awning
Just as you want to be protected from the rain, you’ll want some shade in the heat of summer when dining outside for lunch. That’s where an awning comes it that can extend at various lengths to give you the exact shade you need.
Now you’ve got plenty of patio ideas to help give your outdoor entertaining space the ultimate facelift. But if you’ve got any others to add, let us know in the comments below.