Do you think of your backyard as a retreat? If you’re looking to design the perfect spot to relax, dine and entertain, you’ve come to the right place! No matter the size of your patio or lanai, some simple touches can transform your outdoor space into a multi-functional area the entire family will enjoy.

Design Time

When coming up with a design plan for your outdoor area, try to determine what you’ll be using the space for primarily. Are you looking for a quiet place to unwind or read a book? Perhaps you envision dining outside regularly. Or, maybe you’d like a lively area that’s perfect for hosting family and friends. In some cases, you might want ALL of these things. Depending on patio size and budget, it may be possible to create multiple “activity zones” in one space. Otherwise, hone in on what’s most important and functional for your family.

Determine Color Scheme

Try to think of this area as an extension of your home. A large outdoor area rug is one way to begin decorating your space. There are plenty of options that come in various sizes, colors and designs. No matter what you go with, make sure it’s comfortable and durable. The palette you select with the rug can help guide additional décor choices like pillows, cushions, lanterns and more.

Add Furniture

Circle back to the main way your space will be utilized. This will determine if dining furniture, lounge furniture, or something else, is best. Nowadays, there are plenty of affordable furniture options in a variety of colors and materials. Begin by selecting larger items, then add in smaller accent pieces next. A coordinated set is not necessary! Mix and match furniture adds functionality and design appeal. If you’re tight on space, search for items that serve various purposes. Such as a table than can be used as a bench for additional seating or for storage.

Create Shade

You live in Florida, so you know how hot summer can be! In order to get the most use out of your revamped space, be sure to include plenty of shady spots. Umbrellas, pergolas, arbors and shade producing trees or shrubs are all great ways to ensure no one overheats as temps rise. If you are creating a dining area, a large umbrella is a necessity, both to combat heat but also to provide cover from sunlight and insects.

Color and Comfort

Pillows and cushions are a fantastic way to increase comfort, while also infusing pops of color. Allow these accents to elevate your design scheme. Ensure your outdoor fabrics are UV and water resistant. With that being said, cushions and pillows should not be left out in the rain for prolonged periods of time. This is why a designated storage place is crucial. Whether this storage is included in your outdoor area, or located somewhere in your home or garage, is up to you.

Add Accessories

Elements like lighting, candles, lanterns and décor go a long way in making this space feel livable. Plug-in string style lights, battery operated candles and circular lights placed under open umbrellas allow you to enjoy your space no matter the time of day. These features also enhance the overall design and ambiance. Use flowers and foliage on your patio to increase privacy. Try incorporating different types of planters at varying heights for added interest. Lastly, tie everything together with decorative touches. Place settings, baskets, coasters and unique pieces (like a glass whale or antique dinner bell) are fun ways to personalize your space.

Hopefully these tips have provided you with some inspiration to transform your backyard into a one-of-a-kind spot you will enjoy for years to come!