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. Use these takeaways to create your very own outdoor oasis.
1. Add Greenery
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.
2. Define Zones
Just as they do indoors, carpets anchor furniture and define zones. For longevity, choose a UV-protected outdoor rug to resist fading and mildew.
3. Create Functional Privacy
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.
4. Add Warmth
A space-saving chiminea tucks safely into a corner for campfire ambience. Nearby, pillar candles flicker in lanterns.
Related: 20 Outdoor Fireplace Ideas
5. Set the Mood with Lighting
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.
6. Enlist Versatile Furniture
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.
7. Consider Reusable Dinnerware
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.
8. Cover Up with Outdoor Screening
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.
9. Incorporate Surprises
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.)