The patio can become a defining element for any home. Creating the perfect patio means an important and well considered exterior design project to enhance a home’s value. Additions also create excellent first impression curb appeal and add livable square footage to the property. Every interior designer can add outdoor spaces to their portfolio to complete the lifestyle vision for their clients. Just like traditional interior design, these outdoor rooms must become an accepted, considered and well designed element.

Some might think a patio is only for a barbecue on disposable furniture. Quite the contrary… Whether you’re reading a book in quiet solitude, sipping sweet tea while the sun sets or talking with friends for hours about nothing in particular on a warm day, a patio is a welcoming portal to your life, a nexus for the flow of activity that makes a house a home. To properly do it justice, you need all the right elements in play. When understood and harmoniously used together these elements, can make a patio irresistible.

Hardscape – Your Materials

The patio can become the major destination guests are entertained in your home – and one of the first things they notice is what it’s made of.

Pay close attention to the materials you use for the hardscape. It’s the largest area that people see, besides the sky. Beyond cost considerations, materials say a lot about the character of not only the home, but of its owners. Think: are you a hardwoods type of person? Do you want the urban look and feel of concrete and brick – or do you prefer the ambiance created by natural stone?

The materials used should meld with the overall aesthetic of the home, to make sure that the patio doesn’t stick out like a misplaced element but instead complements the overall look and feel of your home’s curb-side appeal.


Color is capable of many things. It can inspire, excite, and motivate. It can calm and soothe. It can invoke feelings of warmth and joy.

What kind of feelings do you want to invoke with your patio?

When deciding the right tone for your patio, figure out how you want to arrange the colors (not just which colors to use). Do you want a monochromatic color to create unity? Or would you prefer dramatic and contrasting colors? Or perhaps you’d rather make the colors harmonize together.

You can also adopt a theme for your porch, such as New England-style, Coastal, or Contemporary. Patios adopt the flavor of their locales, after all, and you can easily make your home do the same if you consider the patio’s theme.

Accent Décor

A patio is beyond mere color and material; it’s also about the soul of the space, which is an expression of your story as told through the accent décor you select.

Whether you have fallen in love with a rusted metal cross to serve as the centerpiece, or want to go elegant and sophisticated with a glass-and-crystal chandelier and metallic accent pieces throughout, the pieces of décor you select to accent your space should work together to tell a story about the occupants of the home – a story that you will want to tell throughout your entire home, starting with where it begins.

Patio Furniture

Finally, the element that ties everything together and makes a patio functional, livable, and organic is the furniture – that which makes a patio truly a patio, where people gather and live.

What kind of furniture do you want for your patio? Do you want the classic patio look of wicker furniture? Or do you want something like teak or metal? There is also the consideration of what type of pieces you want, which are mainly a reflection of the function you want for the space. Do you want rockers that allow you to rock gently back and forth for hours with a close friend? Or perhaps a daybed and chaises for lounging? You can have these pieces match, or can go for a more eclectic look that still invites people to associate freely.

How do you want your visitors to congregate on the patio? Consider arranging the furniture so that it naturally encourages gatherings, places where people can look at each other while conversing and enjoying each other’s company.

Think carefully about all of the elements of a perfect patio if you want to create a space that is inviting, peaceful, warm, accepting, and inclusive. Use these elements to create a patio that speaks volumes not just about the home, but about the owner.