Nothing beats warm, summer days hanging out on the patio. Your patio serves as a meeting spot, a dining place and a lounge area and for some of us, our outdoor office space. So why not make it cozy and welcoming? But how do I brighten my patio?
There are lots of different ways that you can make your patio warm and inviting. Read on to learn about all the different features for small patio ideas and pieces that will brighten up your outdoor space so you’ll look forward to spending time on your patio.
1) Outdoor Patio Deck Decorating Ideas - Water Features
If you’re looking for a way to bring a calming, yet lively feeling to your patio, look no further than adding an outdoor water feature. Water features on, or next to your outdoor space are one of the easiest and simplest of outdoor patio deck decorating ideas bring instant vitality and a sense of calmness to your space, providing a dynamic focal point that sets the tone of your outdoor space.
Water features stand out against greenery and offset harsh lines from walls and canopies. They also create visual interest and texture to brighten up your patio.
There Are Sizes To Fit Every Space
Now, not all water features need to be as large as the above picture. You can get water features which can range all the way from small waterfalls, to ponds, to large fountains. The size and type of feature that you go for is completely up to you. You may choose to install a stand-alone water feature, or integrate another water element into an existing pool or spa.
Create A Pond Or Waterfall
If there is a part of your yard that is particularly prone to flooding, you may choose to convert it into a pond or waterfall as a creative way to remedy the problem.
Bubbling Water Creates The Relaxing Sounds Of Nature
Water features are a great way to liven up your patio and bring a distinct ambience to the space. The bubbling sound of a fountain or waterfall brings peace and harmony to your patio. Close your eyes, and you may as well be at the spa.
Water Features Attract Local Wildlife
One of the best things about using water features for patio ideas, is the wildlife they can attract to your yard. Water features have the added benefit of attracting wildlife to your garden, patio or deck.
Birds and dragonflies may venture onto your patio to take a sip from the fountain. If you’re really interested in wildlife, consider an outdoor aquarium. A koi pond is a relatively low-maintenance option for first-timers.
2) Outdoor Storage Benches And Boxes
For a practical way to minimize clutter and add visual interest to your patio, think about using outdoor storage benches and boxes. A dedicated storage space will allow you to keep all your gardening supplies, pool toys and barbeque implements out of eyesight while you’re not using them.
Safely Store Away Hazardous Items
A storage box is also a good place to store hazardous items that you want to keep away from kids and pets. Things like fertilizers, pesticides and garden tools can be tucked safely away.
Yes, Deck Boxes Double As Coffee Tables
If your storage box has a flat top, it can double as a coffee table. Look for boxes that have attractive designs and appealing colors. That way, it will look less like a storage solution, and more like an intentional design choice. Here’s why you’ll like the benefits of using deck boxes for storage
Look For Waterproof Storage Boxes
Outdoor storage boxes are typically made of durable, waterproof materials such as treated wood and plastic. The most durable storage boxes are built to resist harsh weather, dents and scratches. Look for a storage box that is waterproof and that has a high storage capacity weight limit.
Yes, Storage Boxes Can Be Lockable
You can also find storage boxes that lock, giving you extra peace of mind when you store your items outside.
Plus They Double As Extra Patio Seating
For a practical storage solution that also maximizes seating space, look into storage benches. If you have a small patio, or just want to be as efficient as possible, this is a clever way to use the space that you have. A storage bench is a great place to tuck away some spare blankets for when it gets chilly on your patio.
3) How Do I Brighten My Patio With Outdoor Fire Pits?
An outdoor firepit is a great way to create an ultra-cozy patio. Bring out the s’mores, gaze up at the stars and emulate a camping experience in your own backyard.
Throw A Party
A fire pit is a great gathering place for friends and family, and it will make your patio all the more inviting. Kids love roasting marshmallows around a campfire, and a fire pit is a great place to kick back with friends of all ages.
Back yard fire pits are usually made from materials like metal or stone. It’s important to place your fire pit somewhere fire-resistant, in case embers fly out of the pit. As an added safety measure, make sure to have a bucket of water nearby.
Wood, Gas Or Propane Burning Firepits
The main fuel options for a backyard fire pit are wood, propane and natural gas. Firewood has the benefit of being widely accessible — you may have a wood source in your own backyard, and if not, it’s easy to find.
Check The By-laws!
Wood-burning fires are beautifully cozy and authentic, and there’s nothing like the sound of a crackling fire. However, many urban areas don’t allow wood-burning fires in people’s backyards. Check your by-laws before starting a wood-burning fire!
Propane is an easily accessible alternative to wood. You can find it in canisters at most gas stations, and it’s quick and easy to light.
Natural gas is another option for your outdoor fire pit. It’s a good option if you have a natural gas hookup for your stove or hot water, but it may be too expensive to set up for a fire pit alone.
4) How Do I Brighten My Patio With Outdoor Furniture?
If you’re wondering how to brighten up a dark patio, choosing lighter colored furniture is an instant way to brighten your patio or deck. There are many different types of outdoor furniture available. The type of furniture that you choose will set the atmosphere of the outdoor space. It should be comfortable, durable and should fit your desired aesthetic.
Look For Durability And Weather Resistant Materials
Just like a coat of fresh paint coat of paint, outdoor patio deck decorating ideas needn’t be difficult. The most important things to look out for in outdoor furniture are durability and water resistance. Depending on where you live, you may also need to consider the material’s resistance to extreme temperature, sun or snow. Outdoor furniture should be able to hold up against wind without breaking or blowing away. Therefore, it’s often heavy and chunky-looking.
Benefits of Aluminum Furniture
Aluminum furniture is a great all-around option. It is resistant to rust and moisture, and can be coated to provide even more resistance to the elements. Aluminum is relatively lightweight, making it easy to pick up and move around.
The Benefits Of Wicker Or Rattan Furniture
Wicker furniture is made of a woven material around a metal frame. Often, wicker furniture is made of rattan, a naturally durable fiber. Wicker or rattan whilst its very attractive isn’t as durable or weather resistant as many other outdoor furniture options.
Benefits Of Resin Outdoor Furniture
Resin wicker, on the other hand, is made of a water-resistant synthetic material. Materials typically include nylon, PVC or polyethylene. Because of the durable materials used, resin wicker is durable and water-resistant. The woven look also lends a cozy feel to your outdoor space.
The Benefits Of Classic Wooden Furniture
Wooden furniture lends a classic and cozy appearance to your patio. Different types of wood offer different levels of durability. Teak is known for being highly durable, and acacia and cedar are other good options. To make your wood more water-resistant, apply a sealing varnish or stain.
5) Outdoor Seating options
Having comfortable seating options will make your outdoor space all the more appealing. Stretch out in the sun on a comfy chair, and you can spend the whole day out on your patio.
Outdoor Chaise Lounges Are The Ultimate In Reclining Relaxation
Outdoor chaise lounge chairs are a great option for outdoor seating. They offer full-body support and adjustable reclining options. You can adjust the angle of the seat to sit up with a book, or stretch out for an afternoon nap.
They sit closer to the ground than other chairs and benches, making them easier to get on and off. For extra comfort, look for a padded chaise lounge.
Since chaise lounge chairs take up more real estate than other chairs, they may not be the best fit for smaller patios. Make sure that your patio can accommodate a chaise lounge before taking the plunge.
Hanging Hammocks Take Up Less Space
Another comfortable chair to lounge in is a hanging hammock chair. Hammock chairs are known to help improve posture, and they can help to relieve neck and back pain. On top of this, they add a fun and laid-back atmosphere to your outdoor space.
Many hammock chairs need to be hung from up above. To install one of these hammock chairs, make sure that your patio has an overhanging roof that can support the weight.
If you don’t have the space to hang a hammock chair, look for one that comes with its own stand. Some hammock chairs have stands that support their weight from below, which makes installation quick and easy.
6) Brighten Your Outdoor Space With Outdoor Patio Rugs
How do I brighten my patio instantly? Outdoor rugs bring an extra coziness to your patio instantly. A rug will make your patio feel like an extension of your living room, making it a comfortable and inviting space to socialize. For those with small spaces, its worth checking out Instagram for small patio decor ideas.
Perfect for Indoor And Outdoor Use
Outdoor rugs come in all sorts of colors and patterns. By using an outdoor rug, you can bring your own distinct style to your outdoor space. If you find one that you like enough, it can double up as an indoor rug as well.
Here’s some gorgeous larger sized outdoor rugs all available in different sizes for different spaces.
Available In Many Different Attractive Fibers
The most important feature of an outdoor rug is its durability. They come in many different materials, including polypropylene, olefin, polyester, bamboo, jute and sisal.
Polypropylene Lasts For Years
Polypropylene is a popular synthetic material for outdoor rugs. It is UV resistant and relatively inexpensive, making it a great option for your outdoor space. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to brighten up a dark patio, buying one of these gorgeous rugs in bright hues such as the Lhasa with its gorgeous violet and burnt orange colors!
Olefin Fibers Are Mold And Fade Resistant
Olefin is another great choice for an outdoor rug. It’s easy to clean, and is fade and mildew-resistant. Olefin is also soft to the touch, which will make your patio feel all the more inviting.
Polyester Is A Great Choice For Color And Design
For a durable and lightweight rug, polyester is a great choice. It is easy to clean and tends to repel stains. However, polyester doesn’t usually hold up quite as well to wear and tear as other synthetic materials.
Jute Is Environmentally Friendly
If you’re looking for an environmentally friendly option, Jute is the way to go. Jute is a natural material that will give your patio a laid-back feel. While jute is durable, it is not the best choice for humid environments.
Sisal Is Another Great Patio Rug Option
Another natural fiber is sisal. Just like jute, sisal is environmentally-friendly. Sisal is more durable than jute, but it tends to feel rougher.
Bamboo Outdoor Rugs
Bamboo is another increasingly popular fiber because its a sustainable fiber. Bamboo is used for a range of flooring from rugs to flooboards. It’s incredibly hard wearing and bamboo mats make an attractive floor rug for outdoor decks and patios.
7) Gather The Family For Outdoor Barbecues
An outdoor barbecue will bring you a whole world of culinary possibilities and make your patio the go-to hangout spot. Fire up the barbecue on a warm summer night, and make all the neighbors jealous as the smoky smell wafts through the air.
BBQ’s Are Available In A Range Of Sizes
Barbecues come in all different sizes. If you have a smaller space or are only looking to feed a few people, a smaller grill will work well. If you plan to feed a larger cohort and your patio can handle a bigger barbecue, consider sizing up.
Here’s a selection of some great portable grills on the market which work a treat to cook up a feast for friends and family
How Many Grills Do You Need?
For gas barbecues, it’s also important to consider the number of grills when deciding on size. Two burners are standard for gas barbecues, but you can also find barbecues with up to six burners.
Remember To Check The Dimensions Of The Barbecue
When figuring out how much space you have, don’t forget that barbecues need about two feet of clearance on either side. They also need to sit on a level surface and there should be room for smoke.
Choose From Gas, Wood And Charcoal Fueled BBQ’s
The main types of outdoor barbecue to choose from are gas, wood and charcoal.
Gas Is The Most Popular BBQ Fuel
Gas grills are the most popular option. They run on either natural gas or propane, and they heat up quickly. You also don’t need to worry about cleaning up ashes after you finish grilling. One downside of gas barbecues, however, is that you don’t get as much of a smoky flavor.
Cooking With Charcoal Produces The Best Flavors
Cooking with charcoal takes more time than gas, but the smoky taste can’t be beat. Since charcoal burns at a higher temperature than gas, you can get a nice sear on your meat. However, charcoal is more expensive than gas, and the cleanup takes longer. If you’re a purist after the classic barbecue taste, a charcoal grill may just be for you.
Customize Food Flavors With Different Woods…
Grilling with wood allows you to customize your flavor, depending on the type of wood that you choose. Hickory, applewood, oak and other types of wood all impart different flavors and complement different types of food. The downside of wood is that it’s difficult to control, and can be slow to heat up.
8) Outdoor Dining Tables
If you plan to enjoy meals on your patio (and why wouldn’t you?) you’ll need a table. As with all other outdoor furniture, outdoor tables need to be durable and water-resistant.
The Charm Of Natural Wood Tables For Patios
Wood is a popular material for outdoor tables. It’s naturally beautiful and adds an elegant charm to your outdoor space. When choosing outdoor furniture, it’s a good idea to go with hardwood instead of softwood. Hardwoods resist damage and can last for longer, making them better for the outdoors.
Aluminum Is Attractive And Won’t Rust
Aluminum is another good option for an outdoor table. It’s strong and highly durable, and can be shaped into architecturally complex designs. Aluminum is weather-resistant on its own, but can be sprayed with a powder coating to make it even more durable. Like all metals, aluminum heats up in the sun, so it’s a good idea to use a tablecloth or placemats to keep yourself comfortable.
Classic Pretty Rattan Furniture Sets
Rattan is a common material used for wicker furniture. Rattan is a natural fiber that gives a cozy and relaxed look to your outdoor space. While rattan is strong, it is susceptible to water damage. If you want the look of wicker with a more durable material, consider a synthetic resin wicker instead.
Which Patio Table Shape To Choose..
Another thing to consider when picking out a patio table is shape. Round patio tables tend to feel more casual and laid-back. They also take up less space than rectangular tables, since there are no corners sticking out.
It’s a good idea to look at your other patio furniture to determine what shape of table will look best. A circular table will complement other rounded furniture, making the whole space look cohesive.
If your patio has more angular, contemporary furniture, a square or rectangular table will better complement the space. A rectangular table will give your patio a sleek and modern feel. Another benefit of a rectangular table is that you can push it up against a corner to save space.
Why Choose A Portable Folding Table?
If you don’t plan to use your table all the time, it’s worth looking into portable or folding tables. You can stash the table away during the winter and bring it back out once the weather warms up. This is also helpful if you have a small patio space, and want the option to clear away your table to add more seating for guests.
9) How Do I Brighten My Patio With Outdoor Lighting?
Lighting is one of the best ways to set the mood for your patio. When the sun goes down, there’s nothing better than a welcoming patio adorned with twinkling lights.
Patio Lights Create A Pretty Ambiance
The right lighting will add ambiance and warmth to your outdoor space. You have tons of lighting options to choose from, and you can customize your patio with the lighting that you choose.
Patio String Lights
Decorating a deck with lights, in particular string lights are a popular outdoor lighting choice, and for good reason. String lights add a festive glow to your patio, and they serve as decoration as well as lighting. You can choose the bulb type, wire length and color to further customize your space.
Fairy Lights For Your Patio
To transform your patio into an enchanted wonderland, entwine fairy lights into trees, fences and bushes. The tiny lights will look like fireflies gathered together in your backyard. The prettiness and romance of sparkly fairy lights are an instant way for decorating a deck with lights.
Patio Solar Powered Lights
If you don’t have access to an outlet, solar powered lights are a great workaround solution. Solar powered lights come in all different forms, so you have tons of options to choose from.
Hang Some Pretty Outdoor Lanterns
Lanterns are a great way to enhance your outdoor space. Lanterns will add a nice warm ambiance to your patio, and they have the added benefit of being portable.
10) Use Planters To Bring Nature Closer
Some deck decorating ideas with plants. If you have a green thumb, why not use it to brighten up your patio? By planting greenery on your patio, you can improve the air quality and add color to your space.
Cheery Happy Flower Planters
How do I brighten my patio? Flowers, Flowers, Flowers! Flowers will add beautiful color to your patio. Vines are a good option for covering lots of space and adding privacy. You can even plant fruit, vegetables or herbs to have fresh food right in your own backyard.
Planter Boxes Are So Easy To Use
Planter boxes are a great way to plant greenery on a patio. You can place them anywhere you get good sunlight.
Tons Of Different Sizes To Fit Every Space
There are many different types and sizes of planter boxes available. Window planter boxes are a great place to plant colorful flowers. They’re also a handy place to plant herbs in an easily accessible place.
Raised Planter Boxes
Other planter boxes sit on, or slightly above, the ground. To ease strain on your back while gardening, look into raised planter boxes, especially now so many people are growing their own veggies at home. Browse some magazines for small patio decor ideas and inspiration.
How About Adding Gorgeous Pots?
You can also liven up your outdoor space with potted plants. Add visual interest to an empty-looking table or liven up a storage box with a potted plant.
Short On Space? Vertical Gardens Are Space Savers!
A vertical garden is a great way to maximize gardening space. Vertical gardens are a great way to utilize space on walls and fences, especially if these areas get lots of sunlight.
Vertical gardens are visually beautiful. You can use a visual garden to hide certain parts of your patio that you’d rather not see, and you can also use it as a privacy screen. If you have a smaller patio space, a vertical garden will spruce it up. deck decorating ideas with plants
Vertical gardens are amongst the most convenient deck decorating ideas with plants. A visit to the store for products, and a couple of hours later, you’ve got a beautiful instant green garden to show off!
11) Patio Heating In Colder Months
We tend to abandon our patio living as the weather turns and the evenings grow colder. But you needn’t do that if you love spending time outdoors in the crisp Autumn and Winter Months. You can extend your patio living into the colder months by installing patio heating. Outdoor heaters let you take advantage of your patio space in the fall and winter months.
A Wide Variety Of Patio Heaters To Fit Any Size Space
There are different models of outdoor heaters available. Floor standing heaters are one of the most common options. They’re tall and thin, and true to their name, they stand on the floor.
Floor standing heaters are what you usually see when you go to a restaurant or cafe patio. They offer immediate heat, and they can be placed anywhere on your patio. Floor standing heaters are a good option if you have floor space to spare on your patio.
Hanging Wall Mounted Heaters
Hanging and wall-mounted heaters are a good way to save floor space. They often have a sleek and modern design, and they complement contemporary spaces well.
Tabletop heaters heat only a small amount of space at a time. They tend to be the most affordable, but they aren’t ideal for heating large areas.
Gas, Propane Or Electric Heaters For Patios
Heaters also use a variety of different fuel types. You can choose between propane, natural gas and electric heaters.
Portable Propane Heaters For Outdoors
Propane heaters are easy to install and move around, since all they need is a gas tank. The downside of a propane heater is that you will have to replace the propane tank when it runs out. You also shouldn’t use a propane heater in an enclosed space.
Natural Gas Heaters
If you have a natural gas line, you can hook up a natural gas heater. You’ll need a professional to install it, which will add to the upfront cost. However, natural gas is cheaper than propane in the long run.
Electric Outdoor Heaters Are The Easiest To Use
Electric heaters are easy to install and move around, and they are safe to use in enclosed areas. One thing to keep in mind is that your electric heater needs to be close to an outlet. While electric heaters cost more to run over time, the set-up costs are low compared to other types of heaters.
Okay, It's Your Turn Now - How Do I Brighten My Patio? What Ideas Can You Put Into Action?
In our ever busy world, creating a relaxing gentle space to slow down and simply be, or spend precious quality time with friends and family is increasingly attractive- and vital to our well being. There are plenty of studies such as this one from Patio World which show the benefits of spending time outside, both mentally and physically.
You don’t need to spend a lot of money as you start putting your plan of “how do I brighten my patio in action”. There are plenty of small backyard patio ideas on Instagram, Youtube and forums to give you inspiration to redecorate your patio or deck.