Decorating with Patio Furniture

From fledgling spring, through vibrant summer and into the crisp early months of fall, the patio becomes an integral extension of your interior home. Whether it's the go-to for neighborhood barbecues and family picnics, or a respite from everyday responsibilities, seize the opportunity to make your backyard a hub for relaxing, entertaining and soaking in the warm weather and buoyant atmosphere.

Plan for Entertaining

Bring together elements of both the kitchen and the dining room to assemble your alfresco food prep, grilling and dining area. If you have the room, try to keep some space between the grill itself and a dining table with mesh chairs. This gives the grill master room to work and keeps guests away from the heat of the charcoal. To achieve the look and feel of a traditional outdoor gathering space, consider long, classic rectangular tables in durable materials such as stainless steel, aluminum or unfinished teak. If your patio is on the smaller side, try using round bistro tables arranged throughout the seating area. For an entirely different look, consider combining the grilling area with the lounging section. Start by covering the length of the deck with a durable polypropylene rug that's easy to clean. Then, set two or three tall potted plants along the edge of the space, including faux olive trees or cacti, to create an open barrier. Add lounge chairs with cushions or woven club chairs for comfy seating.

Lounge Around Outside

Mirror the luxury, comfort and style of an interior living room in the garden area with sectional sofas, loveseats, armchairs and ottomans from top brands such as Sunbrella. Furnishing outdoor spaces is all about materials. In addition to timeless style and enduring comfort, your patio furniture needs to be weather resistant. Consider a set in wicker, an all-weather, mildew-resistant material. If a rustic wicker look isn't for you, consider slipcovered furniture. Sunbrella offers slipcovered chaise lounges, chairs and ottomans as well as cushions for wicker and resin wicker furniture. Water-repellent and UV-resistant ticking are added bonuses. If you have enough space, arrange a central coffee table between two regatta benches that sit under patio umbrellas. Enhance the benches with lumbar pillows and throw a picnic blanket over the back. Consider opening up space when switching out the coffee table for small end or side tables. Don't forget to include your pool in all the fun. Configure a group of adirondack chairs around the perimeter for sunbathers. For smaller patios, forgo the traditional layout and create a unique yet functional setup with a fusion of round accent tables and garden stools. If you're feeling particularly creative, configure these tables and stools near a hammock that hangs from your favorite tree in the backyard.

Add Fresh Decor

Take advantage of the growing season and decorate with fresh green botanicals and potted flowers. Easily grow edible herbs such as basil, dill and rosemary in long rail planters designed to conveniently hang on a window ledge, deck frame or railing, or yard fence. Accent your lounge space with tropical ferns, succulents and dry air plants in modern square and rectangular floor planters. Create an aesthetically and texturally interesting central display with a variety of planter heights. Alternatively, scatter your mix of plants throughout the deck, giving it a natural, woodsy look. Finish off your decor with atmospheric mood lighting to keep your patio alive well into the warm, open night.Additionally, an outdoor pergola adds height to the display. Check out our guide to pergola decorating for more ideas.