Your DIY Dream Patio Starts Here

By Lauren Caggiano on April, 5 2019
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Lauren Caggiano

Lauren Caggiano is a Fort Wayne-based copywriter and editor with a nerdy passion for AP Style. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, thrift shopping, fitness and travel. Learn more on her website:

Turning an ordinary patio into an oasis is something many homeowners dream about, but many don’t bring to fruition. As much as the end result is enjoyable, the actual planning can be a bit daunting. Where to even start?

We’ve made it a little easier for you. Take these considerations into account when creating your dream patio, and your outdoor space will be ready for summer cookouts in no time at all.

1. Begin with the end in mind.

What is the purpose of the space? Outdoor dining and entertaining? Lounging? All of the above? Once you have a handle on how you want to use your space and the frequency, you’ll want to place your focus on selecting outdoor furniture.

The four basic material choices for patio furniture are metal, wood, wicker and resin, and each has pros and cons. Generally speaking, plastic is the go-to choice in the Midwest because it’s durable. There are many plastic options on the market that look sophisticated and will survive unpredictable weather. Regardless of material, you’ll want to make sure the size works for the space.

As far as set up, keep a couple of things in mind. You’ll want the dining area either close to your kitchen door or next to your outdoor kitchen for convenience when transporting food. For seating, think about the optics. Is there a focal point in your backyard you’d like to accentuate, such as a pond or a beautiful garden? If not, curate a conversation area, where chairs and sofas are grouped close together.

2. Follow a theme.

The options on the market for outdoor seating, decor and accessories are virtually endless. While having choices can be attractive, it can feel overwhelming without a clear vision. You’ll want to begin by considering your house’s style. A modern home, a lake house, and a bungalow will all require different approaches.

Translate your indoor aesthetic into your outdoor scheme, so there is a smooth transition as you move from one area to another. For example, if you have a Mid Century Modern home, you’ll want to pull the retro style into the fold outdoors. (Check Pinterest for inspiration).

3. Think details.

Once you’ve got the basics squared away, it’s time to add amenities that make it your own. For example, if you plan on entertaining on the reg, you’ll want to add outdoor speakers. If you read, floor or table lamps are must-haves. And if you dream of the days of napping on a lazy Sunday afternoon on the chaise lounge, then fluffy accent pillows are necessities.

Other features can enhance the mood day and night. Bird feeders, fountains, garden lights, gazing balls lanterns are just a few of the possibilities. Perhaps add a fire pit to the mix for form and function? Hello, marshmallows! And don’t forget plants! Potted plants can bring an earthy element to the scene. Just make sure they are getting enough sunlight if your patio is in the shade.

Just like the indoors, be sure all the elements play off each other. You’ll want the outdoor area to feel inspired and not piecemealed or an afterthought. Your attention to detail won’t go unnoticed.

4. Don’t forget privacy.

Once you have your dream patio functional, you’ll use it often—both during day and evening hours. If you plan on entertaining, take care to ensure private areas inside your home are not visible to guests. Curtains and blinds should be strategically placed. No one wants to see your laundry piled up while they’re enjoying a cookout.

5. Make plans!

Whether it’s a small get together of neighbors or a large shindig, the best way to find out if the space works for you is to test it out. Then you can tweak and optimize it to your liking.

Check out out post on hosting parties at your home for even more ideas! 

Channel your inner creative and use these tips to transform an ordinary patio into the ultimate outdoor room that you can enjoy all summer long.