A patio can be a quiet outdoor sanctuary to share with family and friends, an ideal spot for dining al fresco, and the perfect spot for sitting alone and reading a book. However, even the most comfortable space can use a refresh every now and then. If you want to give your patio some inexpensive updates or add some new style, there are many ways to do so. These are our favorites.
Adding some lights can breathe new life into your patio. String lights are always a playful choice, and white string lights are a classic and elegant choice. These come in small bulb varieties, such as lights used to decorate for the holidays, or larger bulbs, such as globe lights, depending on your personal style. These lights typically come with a brass, bronze, or nickel finish.
You can also find lights that come in festive colors, like traditional holiday lights, or with a pattern of two colors. Some options come with glass or paper lanterns covering them for a more ornate look. Some options are decorative and have the lights in whimsical shapes such as fireflies, flamingoes, or palm trees. Whatever look strikes your fancy, make sure you read the label to see if they can be used outside and handle all types of weather.
Rope lights are also a great option. They are durable, and most are great for outdoor weather. Rope lights are often LED and have protective tubing, and their shape makes them easy to snake around banisters, columns, and fences.
Potted plants can transform your patio. Place some potted plants on tables or on the patio itself. Additionally, hanging pots and baskets can add some much-needed life to the area. Whether you go with colorful flowers or greens like ivy or ferns, it is sure to delight your guests.
Tall planters look nice lined up along the edge of the patio to frame it or to create a partition. You can also use potted plants to line the patio’s walkway to create a welcoming eye line. Choose plants according to how much direct sunlight and shade each area of your patio gets.
Cushions on patio chairs, couches, and gliders may fade from the sun or tear over time with frequent use. Sometimes fuzzy friends like squirrels or birds may borrow the stuffing from inside the cushions to make their home. You can buy replacement cushions with a new color scheme or design to give your patio a fresh new look—stripes, solids, florals, or paisleys provide a pop of color. Cushions come in a variety of materials like acrylic, polyester, and recycled materials. Be sure to get water-resistant ones as they are the most durable. Some brands are stain, mold, fade, and UV- resistant to handle the elements.
A fire pit can be a great way to stay warm on a chilly night. Adding a fire pit can prolong your patio use into the fall and winter months. It can also be a fun place to roast marshmallows and make s’mores or sip wine and unwind. Fire pits come in circular, square, and rectangular shapes and can be wood-burning or use propane so you can find the perfect one to fit your patio’s needs. Fire pits can also be portable and are generally reasonably priced. They are often made out of iron, steel, stone, or concrete, and you can have them custom-built or installed. For the ambitious DIY-er, you can even try the homemade route.
If you want to take a nap outdoors, a hammock is a perfect solution. It is a great place to read a book or gaze up at the stars. Hammocks can be attached to trees or a secure structure. They also come free standing with a frame, depending on your setup. Hammocks can be made of rope, macrame, or fabric (such as cotton or polyester) and can have decorative crochet work or fringes.
If you do not have the space for a hammock, hanging chairs are a great option. They allow for swinging and movement, and, like hammocks, you can attach them to a tree, or you can let them be free-standing. They also come in macramé and can have ornate fringes and tassels. Some varieties have a wicker or rattan frame or basket and can be egg or tear-drop shaped.
Whatever your budget, you can dazzle your guests with a colorful and lush patio. Making small updates to your outdoor space can transform your yard without breaking the bank.
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