Patio Restyling Before and After



CLIVE NICHOLS photo credit

I adore spring. Its my favorite time of the year to be outside. The freshly sprouted greenery, the sound of the pond and waterfall, the fountains, sitting on the back patio with my dog and an iced tea. An old garden is the best sort, and mine is almost 90 years old.

Decorating the patio is so popular and fun right now. To help get you started, your local hardware and garden supply stores have great selections. Once you do your space planning and understand your sizes and furniture needs, you can use this article to help you choose items that will add style and uniqueness to your project.


Rather than choosing all matching furniture en suite (tres boring), coordinate your furniture choices made from a variety of materials. For instance, iron looks great with wicker or wood but not so great with aluminum. Iron and aluminum are too similar to create visual interest. Choose just two or three matching pieces like I did with my dark brown settee and chair. They provided my anchor seating. I then added an iron settee and a black woven egg chair which provided variety and gave my outdoor room a unique, custom vibe. Not like it's been furnished from a catalog. Adding even one piece of interest like a fashionable teak daybed with lots of pillows makes a big statement.

PHOTO credit unknow

For accessories, choose useful items such as oversized lanterns, candlesticks, potted topiary, big comfy pillows in weather resistant fabrics, and even subtle wall décor. By accessorizing your patio with things that have a purpose you’ll keep it from looking pretentious or overdone.

I'm also liking the look of black and warm white cushions on the patio. Black and white add a crisp counterfoil to whatever patio material you have be it concrete, flagstone or brick or even semi-soft ground material like crushed granite or pea gravel. I don't like my fabrics to upstage the greenery and garden color.

PHOTO credit unknown
I initially found my own patio very hard to plan. It's a huge square space which always creates challenges and to make matters worse it has a large, upright central wooden beam. Since I  often entertain 6 to 12 dinner guests during the warm weather months I needed ample seating and dining space. Growing plants is problematic too. It  has half light shade and half deep shade making plant choice very difficult. I softened the central beam with large shade tolerant potted plants like asparagus ferns, woodwardia and star jasmine. I surrounded the furniture with double and triple ball ivy topiary which both accentuates and softens the seating areas.




ecause a portion of my patio is covered I can get away with feather cushions and pillows with indoor fabrics but I must admit outdoor fabrics and materials last longer even under cover and are so much less stressful.
Living in California means our life outdoors is extended to nine months. All the more reason to have an outdoor space you love!