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Popular in Home Improvement

12 Design Ideas for Your Patio

Follow these ideas for decorating a patio and creating a comfortable, functional outdoor getaway.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Make Furnishings Fun

      Ditch lackluster furniture. Mimic the color, patterns, and furniture of your interior spaces to create a more contemporary style outdoors.

    • Add Comfort

      Patio furniture doesn’t have to be uncomfortable—add colorful cushions or accent pillows in indoor/outdoor fabric to soften your seats. Most outdoor settings work for dining with friends as well as lounging with a good book.

    • Be Versatile

      Instead of one large table, invest in multipurpose decor. Small stools and ottomans are perfect for plates, drinks, or additional seating and can easily be relocated as the party moves.

    • Plan for After Dark

      The party doesn't have to wind down as the sun sets. Candles or small lamps provide the perfect transition from a daytime get-together to an evening soiree.

    • Add Color Smartly

      Look for neutrals when buying big couches, rugs, or chairs. Add color and pattern with pillows and accessories to change or update the look. After a few seasons, if you tire of your accessories or they are starting to look a little faded, plan to stock up on new cushions, rugs, and more end-of-season sales. That way, when spring rolls around again, you'll be ready with a new look purchased on a bargain budget.

    • Watch the Weather

      Umbrellas turn a patio into an any-time-of-day affair by providing shade and comfort.

    • Anticipate for Extras

      Include a few larger end tables in your layout to provide extra surfaces for guests to set drinks and plates. Round tabletops are ideal for pulling up extra chairs for additional seating.

    • Set the Mood

      No party is complete without the perfect playlist. A portable dock lets guests select their favorite tunes for the ultimate outdoor experience.

    • Maximize Potential

      Define separate spaces for different uses. Keep the grill close enough to be able to enjoy the party while cooking but a safe distance away from the group.

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      Don't Forget the Greenery

      Use planters in various sizes to soften the hard edges of patio walls and create flow from area to area. If you have a lot of hardscape in your yard, pots are the perfect place to grow herbs and other edibles.

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      Make It Portable

      Be prepared for any size group. Portable carts provide roll-away storage and organization and are perfect for accommodating large parties as well as lemonade breaks.

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      Create Smaller Seating Areas

      For quick meals or a quiet spot away from the party, create a separate space for smaller groups. Here, this bistro table allows room for two.

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