We take our patio décor pretty seriously around here. As soon as the weather starts to cooperate, most evenings are spent outdoors eating, chatting, or just relaxing. Over the past few years, I’ve managed to come to the perfect little mix of patio must-haves that make our outdoor space just as comfy as it is inside. Here are some of my top suggestions, how to incorporate them, and a few of my favorite picks!
1. Textiles. Pretty textiles are top on my list of things to integrate. There are a plethora of pretty cushions and blankets out there specifically made for outdoors at some great prices. After a trip to Italy where we noticed that restaurants had little throws on their outdoor tables—and people were still eating alfresco well into the fall—I couldn’t forget how much a blanket just helps bring the comfort of inside outdoors. Now, I always have two or three outdoor throws in a fabric that is easy to wash over and over so that as the nights get cool, people can wrap up.
2. Outdoor rugs. These are another necessity, in my opinion! I love to be barefoot while outside and sometimes our rocky flagstone patio isn’t conducive to exposed toes! A nice outdoor rug can live through years of being hosed off when dirty.
3. Umbrella. If you have another shade structure, like an arbor or pergola, an umbrella may not top your list, but we’re completely exposed to the sun’s rays and need a break from it during certain points of the day. A little shade makes everyone a bit more comfortable.
4. Lanterns. I love a good lantern. Not only are they cute, but with the right candle, they can offer wonderful light. I use these plastic LED candles made for patios, so they don’t melt and can be controlled with a remote. I don’t need access to the candles, and they’re flame-free for all of the animals and little ones we have around.
5. Potted plants. It is shocking how much a few potted plants can soften an entire space. I also think that plants keep the patio from looking too styled. Try planting herbs you’ll use in your cooking along with some evergreen shrubs (like boxwood) that look great all year long.
6. Seating. Ok, this maybe should have been the first must-have piece! Seating is 100% necessary for hosting outdoors. You need a comfortable place to sit or dine with friends and family. Depending on the amount of space you have, you could do a dining area, a seating area, or both! I have just a seating area that works well for eating with our number seven must-have piece.
7. Accent tables. Even if you don’t have room for a full dining table, you still need a couple of accent tables. These are perfect places for friends to perch their drinks. They allow people to set a plate down or free up their hands to eat. Every seat should have access to some place to set a drink, a pair of sunnies, or a little bowl of snacks.
So there you have it! A few things that can not only dress up your patio, but keep you and your guests comfortable all season long.