How to Turn Your Patio Into a Bright, Urban Oasis
The lingering nights of summer are months away, but the time to prep the patio is now. Let the inspiration games begin with this leafy 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.