6 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Patio Area

by Cheryl Dunn

Whether your patio or verandah is used for relaxing afternoon tea, classic alfresco dining or as a sunny breakfast nook, a little creative and inexpensive decorating will help make the area feel like an inviting space to escape the demands of modern life. Here are six creative ways to decorate your patio area in preparation for outdoor dining and relaxation this summer.

1. Lighting

An appropriately lit outdoor dining area of an evening can create a wonderful, romantic mood. Think creatively when adding lighting to your patio or verandah--if it is a small area, a few candles in a table top chandelier or a string of fairy lights woven through the rafters should produce adequate soft lighting.

If your space is a larger, consider a combination of different lighting fixtures. Try a low-hanging ceiling mounted chandelier over the dining area with either candles or low-wattage electric pearl bulbs in conjunction with a few well-placed wall-mounted lighting features, table top lamps, lanterns, fairy light strings or some simple, strategically-placed candles.

Experiment with lighting styles, locations and wattage in your outdoor living area until you find a combination that suits the mood you want to create in the space.

2. Soft Furnishings

A few soft furnishings scattered around your patio furniture will bring the warmth and comfort of your living room outdoors. Hang colourful curtains to frame the windows and soften the view, as well as providing a little shade from the afternoon sun.

A few plump cushions scattered across the patio furniture makes for an inviting rest stop. Don't be afraid to mix textures and patterns to create an eclectic, whimsical feel. Pop a throw rug across the back or arm of your outdoor couch for those cooler spring evenings when you're curled up with a good book or relaxing after a family barbeque.

3. Plants and Flowers

Bring a little bit of the garden into your patio area with some potted plants. It's a quick and simple way to bring some colour and life into your outdoor area without blowing the budget. Get creative and pot some cuttings and colourful flowering plants in some discarded garden items, like old watering cans or gumboots.

If you have an abundance of flowers growing in your garden, place a vase filled with fresh cut flowers on your outdoor dining table for a burst of lively colour. Alternatively, scatter a few pots of similar coloured flowers around your patio area. Go for bold, classic flowers like pansies, chrysanthemums and marigolds for a traditional feel, or create a little whimsy with a combination of flowering succulents, kangaroo paw and a selection of native plants and shrubs.

4. Floor Rug

Timber decking is a commonly used flooring material for patio areas, as it is durable and reflective of the natural environment. Make the decking more comfortable underfoot by laying an outdoor rug under your dining setting or coffee table to create an inviting, stylish environment. Choose a texture, colour and pattern that suits the overall theme of your patio area.

5. Colour

By choosing a colour theme, you will make your patio area look like a stylish and polished outdoor entertaining area. Choose two or three complementary colours to decorate your patio area, with these colours echoed in your choices of fabric, plants, flowers and soft furnishings. Don't go overboard and have everything in the room the same shade of blue--vary the tones, textures and patterns to create a colourful, well put together outdoor living space straight out of a glossy magazine.

6. Wall Art

A patio area is ideally a recreational outside room that often doubles as a practical space. As such, you will need to accommodate the regular use of garden equipment. What better way than to make them into a wall art feature? Hang hats and quality garden hand tools on hooks on a piece of rustic wood mounted on the wall to create a practical and simple wall feature.

Colourful Moroccan tiles and upcycled reclaimed gardening tools and bric-a-brac make for quirky wall art, enhancing the style and originality of the space. Adding a mirror to the wall of your outdoor area will help reflect light and make the space seem roomier and more open. Consider positioning the mirror opposite a window to maximise the mirror's light-reflecting capabilities in your space, like fromPro-Form Pergolas Pty Ltd.