How to Turn Your Patio Into a Bright, Urban Oasis
It’s called interior design, but this backyard retreat proves the same rules apply outdoors: Mix, don’t match. Keep large pieces neutral (but go bold with pillows). Remember that plants always lift a space. And add a few surprises—yep, we’re looking at you, stock-tank coffee table.
Foliage-heavy containers, hanging air plants and trailing vines create a jungle vibe. Bonus: After the neighbors’ petunias fade, your greenery will still look fab.
Just as they do indoors, carpets anchor furniture and define zones. For longevity, choose a UV-protected outdoor rug to resist fading and mildew.
A raised bed filled with tomatoes and herbs brings an eye-level splash of color and aroma, and can create a textural privacy screen along one side of a patio.
Dangle mini lanterns from tree branches for a magical mood. Flameless votive candles operated with a remote or set on a timer are the safest, easiest option.
A space-saving chiminea tucks safely into a corner for campfire ambience. Nearby, pillar candles flicker in lanterns.
In lieu of a coffee table, cluster a few garden stools. If someone needs a seat (or a spot for a drink elsewhere), just swipe one from the pack.
Trade paper for cloth napkins and use real or melamine dishes. You’ll help the planet and look good too. Lanterns anchor a runner in place of a tablecloth.
Conceal an ugly wall or fence (in this case, chain-link) with bamboo or twig-like screening, available at home centers. Think of it as outdoor wallpaper.
Farm to Table
Hack a low table by flipping over a galvanized stock tank and draping it with a patterned scarf. (Between parties, use the tank as a puppy or kiddie pool.)
Get the Look
Blue hues, boho style and backyard gardening are all hotter than ever. A sampling:
Sunbrella fabric resists fading and moisture. Sail Strip, 22-inch square, $128; Sayluita, 12x18 inches, $88.
Durable melamine, styled to look like glazed earthenware. 12-piece set, $24.99.
Spruce with rust-proof aluminum legs and a self- watering base system. 47 inches long, $96.